More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New Pandemic Spreading - By Reporter Thanh

Today, yours truly, courageous reporter Thanh will go into the heart of the trouble spots and reveal a new pandemic that is spreading across the world and threatens the whole way in which we live.

This pandemic does not discriminate between race, religion, gender, age or even weight. If it keeps going at the rate it's currently at, what kind of society we have left in a few years time will be anyone's guess. So what is this new pandemic I hear you ask, bird flu? No. Terrorism? No. AIDS? No. Its food sampling, yes you heard correctly, food sampling. If food sampling continues, the whole fabric of society will be stretch until it breaks.

So what is food sampling? Well food sampling is the act of robbing a seller of profit in the dishonest act of sampling food that you have no intention of buying. I've seen it been done before, by people of all ages. Little kids learn this bad habit from their parents. Parents learnt it from their parents. No one is immune to it. Everyone is exposed to this every day of their life.

So today, I will be visiting the two places where food sampling is most prevalant and expose this pandemic that could turn the economy upside down. Firstly I am at the fruit shop, where food sampling is rife. Even for the 10 minutes that I've been standing here, I've seen 5 people walk past and steal cherries, grapes, lychees and mandarins. None of them had any intentions of buying. No, they merely saw an opportunity to gain something through illegal means and took it. Just because the item seemed small and cheap, they felt that it was ok to steal. Shame shame.

A recent episode I witnessed on food sampling went as follows: Disclaimer: Please note that the conversation was in Chinese and below are transcripts roughly translated by myself. Any implied meanings that you took from this translation is no fault of mine and are those of your own making. Therefore no responsibility will be taken for any damages caused to the reputation of Asian Lady Shopper or Asian Lady Shop Owner.

Asian Lady Shopper goes to grab a lychee to try.
Asian Lady Shop Owner: What you think you doing?
Asian Lady Shopper: I'm trying a lychee.
Asian Lady Shop Owner: No no no, no trying at this shop.
Asian Lady Shopper: But how I know fruit is sweet.
Asian Lady Shop Owner: I tell you my fruit sweetest of all shops here.
Asian Lady Shopper: But every shop owner say that too.
Asian Lady Shop Owner: Ok Ok, you try, but then must buy half kilo.
Asian Lady Shopper: But what if not sweet, I don't want to buy.
Asian Lady Shop Owner: Ok you try but tell you kids keep hands off.

Asian Lady Shopper tries the fruit and then says its not sweet. As Asian Lady Shop Owner walks back inside shop, Asian Lady Shopper takes handful of lychees and passes to kids and walk away. You see what I mean, this food sampling has gotten out of hand and is starting to turn people into criminals. What next, people will be sampling caviar?

So to my second location today, the supermarket, otherwise known as food sampling heaven. Around every corner there are alluring enticements for the food sampling addict (FSA). First there is the fresh fruit like at the fruit shop. But not only fresh fruit, there are dried fruit as well. And nuts of all kind. The FSA takes a plastic bag and heads to the dried fruit and nut bar. He opens the bag and looks around to see if anyone is watching. Since no one is watching, he dips his hand into each of the containers and grabs a bit of everything. But instead of putting them into the plastic bag, he pops them into his mouth and pretends to be sampling the goods. Once he has filled up to his desires he moves on.

The next section is the deli. The FSA grabs a number from the machine which he never intends to use. While pretending to wait for his turn, he starts to sample the cheeses on offer, and then the hams and salamis. When his number gets called out, he discretely scrunches up the ticket and throws it away and walks on.

Next on the hit list is the salad bar, otherwise known as the all you can eat buffet. Once again, the FSA repeats his act like at the dried fruit and nut bar. He grabs a plastic tub and pops a bit of the potato salad, coleslaw and pasta salad into the tub. Instead of closing the lid and going to pay for it, he casually takes a few pieces out and samples it. He then samples some more until there is nothing left in the tub, to which he discards the tub into the bin. His work for the day is done, and he retreats home full and content knowing he didn't have to spend one dollar to get full.

If this new pandemic of food sampling is allowed to continue, small shop owners will start to lose money. They will keep losing money until the point where they can no stay open. The FSA will then all target the large supermarkets, who will in turn also starting feeling the pressure and eventually have to shut down. Then where will we all get our groceries from. We will then all start to starve and can't work, bringing down the whole economy. So every citizen has to start doing their job and stop FSA in their tracks. Unless someone is going to buy something they sample, they shouldn't be allowed to steal.

That concludes this ground breaking report on the newest pandemic to sweep through the world known as food sampling. Its report Thanh signing out and hoping you all teach the children, the future generation, to not sample food unless they are going to buy some.

14 Comments:

Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Good write up, Thanh. Keen observation! Some people just like things to be free!

Choo

5/16/2006 10:11 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Haha, I was just being funny mainly but I do think I have fairly good observation skills. I thought I would try and do a satirical piece and happened to remember the incident with the Asian Lady Shop Owner and the Asian Lady Shopper who wanted to "try" some lychees.

5/16/2006 11:50 PM  
Blogger danielsan said...

I totally agree with you. When I was working in Tesco (Large Supemarket Store), I always see customers helping themselves to fruits like Grapes, Cherry, and even apples. They will put it in their trolley, and by the time they get to the checkout, there'll be hardly anything left in the fruit bag.

5/17/2006 4:44 AM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Life will be so much better and easier if we all constantly remember what Confucius said, "Don't do unto others what you don't like others to do unto you", or what the Christians always encourage, "Do unto others what you would like others to do unto you?"

Hence before we pinch that nut or grape, let us imagine that we are the owners, not the customers!

Choo

5/17/2006 9:58 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

To eat a whole apple, thats just daylight robbery isn't it.

5/17/2006 5:45 PM  
Blogger Superb said...

Another cool confucius saying

'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.'

To which I will add, 'Don't steal fish'

Great work reporter Thanh. Which publication were you reporting for again?

5/17/2006 8:27 PM  
Anonymous pH said...

you could try a grape for 50 cents, that's what a seller charged a "tester" at dandenong market. a smarter person would have gotten more grapes for 50 cents especially at dandenong market.

5/17/2006 10:28 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Trev, I work for the publication "Today's Current Affairs Tonight".

Paul, its funny you should mention paying 50 cents for a grape. A work mate also said that she saw a sign at a fruit shop that said 50 cent to try a lychee. If you're going to pay 50 cents, you might as well buy 250 grams of grapes for that money.

5/18/2006 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you get to choose your grape if your paying 50 cent for it? ... i would pick the biggest, baddest grape for 50cents...

I think its arright to try b4 you buy... like when you go out to get a car, you don't have to pay for petrol, so at grape shops... should be similar policy.

Tesco makes too much money anyway, and most biz ppl are well off compared to shoppers.

5/18/2006 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Ren said...

Hm... while this is a keen observation and is definitely a problem, I wouldn't say it's a "pandemic spreading across the world". I've never seen someone "food sample" here, because it's considered shoplifting. At the least, the "sampler" would be told to leave, if not prosecuted (ah, The American Way). Granted, I do most of my grocery shopping at major chains. The rest I get at smaller Asian Markets- but I haven't noticed a problem there, either. Not to say that it doesn't happen, because I'm sure it does... just no where near that level. Buffet thievery... now THAT'S a problem. I don't know of a single buffet in town that serves crab anymore, because people come in and load up on crab and nothing but crab, and even take a load home with them. Bleh, sorry if this comment seems like an overreaction to obvious literary devices. Actually I enjoyed reading this very much... felt compelled to reply. Cheers.

5/18/2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Yes yes it was only a literary piece and food sampling is definitely not a pandemic. It does seem to have struck a nerve with some people who obviously take this issue a bit more seriously than I do.

Thank you for you comment Ren, please feel free to comment anytime. Reader interaction helps give me more encouragement to write.

Finally, I never thought of buffet thievery. Hmmm I must look out for that next time. I can say that I've never stole from a buffet before, unless you count eating the remnants of an ice cream cone while you're walking out the door as theft?

5/18/2006 10:51 PM  
Anonymous pH said...

all the sashimi you can have at a Japanese buffet is awesome.

5/18/2006 11:16 PM  
Blogger afrobev said...

Stealing is bad. Sampling is good. When I first worked at the same supermarket Brother Daniel San is referring to I worked on the Produce dept (Fruit and veg) and we were encouraged by our section manager to sample the different kinds of fruits as a way of increasing our knowledge on each product so that we could recommend certain lines of produce to customers.

We were also encouraged to give out samples to customers or potential buyers, but simply stealing food is outrageous and if you even count the odd grape, it still add's up to a pretty sizable loss to the company and it means that WE as customers end up paying more as a consequence.

Incidentally. As a retailer Tesco paid out more in one year in damages to people who had slipped on grapes than it did in actual profit from their grape selling in the first place. Mad isn't it?

5/19/2006 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Oblivion said...

Last time we went to buy manure from Bunnings, guess who tagged along for some 'sampling'?


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