McDonald's Corporation

McDonald's Corporation

McDonald's humble beginning started as a small burger joint in San Bernardino, California ran by two brothers Dick and Mac McDonald and ends up to be one of the world's leading food service retailers. McDonald's Corporation has over 32,000 restaurants serving more than 60 million people in 118 countries every day largely due to the McDonald brothers' vision of starting a franchising program from their small restaurant. It all started in 1954 when the brothers met 52 year old Roy Kroc multi-mixer salesmen, who later became their first franchising agent. When Ray Kroc received a large order of eight multi-mixers to be delivered to the McDonald brother's restaurant, he was stunned by the effectiveness of their operation. The McDonald brothers produced a small menu focusing on just a few items – hamburgers, fries, and beverages – which allowed them to concentrate on the quality at every step. In 1955 Roy Kroc told his vision of creating McDonald's restaurants nationwide to the brothers and founded the McDonald's Corporation. By 1958, McDonald's had sold its 100 millionth burger and 1960 Kroc bought the exclusive rights to the McDonald's name from the brothers. Kroc's distinctive philosophy to build a restaurant system that would be famous for food of consistently high quality and uniform method of preparation. He wanted the serve the same tasting burgers, buns, fries and beverages from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida. Kroc's vision and drive is one of the reasons why McDonald's is the world's leading fast food retailer it is today.

McDonald's supplier relationship has been very successful and strong for many years due mutual trust have in each other. Some of McDonald's long-term suppliers are Gavina Gourmet Coffee who has been with McDonald's for 25 years – Lopez Foods, beef supplier 30 years – Keystone Foods, chicken McNuggets, 40 years and 100 Circle Farms, potatoes, 35 years. The reason these suppliers have been with McDonald's so long is because they maintain the strict requirements of quality and food safety. McDonald's suppliers meet or exceed USDA standards and commit to be environmental friendly companies. Because Ray Croc (founder) managed to create the most integrated, efficient and innovative supply system in the food service industry is why McDonald's is so successful today.

In the down fall of US and other global economies, McDonald's has proven to be recession proof year after year. Here are some of the reasons why McDonald's continues to grow while other companies continue tighten up their belts. One of the reasons is that McDonald listens to their customer's wants and needs. The way McDonald's listens is providing their customers alternative to high-end restaurants by offering dollar value meals. Even though the cost of food and utilities are higher McDonald's still keeps their menu prices low and have more late night hours for their customers benefit. For those health conscious customers, McDonald's provides a large selection of healthy choices to include: 11 types of salads, 11 types of wraps, and 4 real fruit smoothies. For the diehard coffee drinker customers, McDonald's offer 19 types of hot and cold coffee drinks in the McCafe section of their menu. McDonald's McCafe beats their competitors Starbucks in price and convenience. The main reasons why McDonald's is succession over their competitors; McDonald has more restaurants all over the world-having more variety of menu items that adapt to whatever country or culture they are in.



Source by Yvonne L Corda

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 28, 2020 at 11:01 pm

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Eat Rice – Lao Eating Culture

Eat Rice – Lao Eating Culture

Enjoy Your Meal

Eat Rice

'To eat' correctly translated into Lao actually means gkin khao – to eat rice! Rice was and still is the main staple food in Asia but is consumed less and less thanks to populations' growing affluence. It used to be a huge bowl of rice with only a morsel or two of flavored ingredients (gkin kap khao – to eat with rice) which were prepared extra spicy to last the distance. In other times, when foodstuff was scarce and expensive but rice cheap and plentiful, it was done out of necessity. Today we do it because it is simply a delicious way to enjoy food as the rice tastes so good!

Eat In Style

… means that all the dishes, except for sweets and fresh fruit, are served at the same time and therefore all placed together in the middle of the table. Help yourself to this spread at your leisure instead of being told what to eat when in western style. Furthermore you can combine various dishes' flavors to create new ones. Except for noodles eaten as an inbetween snack, everyday meals are large affairs for the family, friends or community to join together for a feast. Eating is a social event.

A meal should be a delightful mix of opposites, of contradicting and thus complementing tastes in the tradition of 'yin and yang'.

• Flavors salty, sour, bitter, sweet, spicy hot in any combination, or bland

• Ingredients meat, innards, fish, vegetables and herbs, roots, spices

• Cooking grilled, fried, boiled, steamed

• Presentation dry, soup, curry, stew, dip

• Colors contrasting

For a big dinner you may first have a set of appetisers (kong kgaem / gkin len-len) which is then followed by the main dishes before finishing with sweets and fruit.

Unlike in the West, where one should have the courtesy to finish everything offered or else give the host the impression that her cooking was not tasty enough, in Asia not all the food is eaten. Instead, out of necessity for the family, and therefore out of courtesy from the guest, some should be left over. This is then kept under a fly screen on the kitchen table in consideration of whoever may get hungry later or arrive unexpectedly and, not least, for tomorrow's breakfast.

… and for the monks before that. Therefore extra quantities are produced as offerings during their ritual early morning rounds. In typically condescending western jargon this is generally called 'begging' which has led to the misnomer of a monk's 'begging bowl'. In fact, it provides a precious and convenient daily opportunity for the layperson to make merit by giving freely for a good cause, an act of charity. It is called 'giving alms' in proper English from which derives the 'alms bowl'; Now you know it. The laity looks after the bodily needs of the monks which permits them, in return, to fully dedicate their time and life to the spiritual world for the very benefit of the individual and community. Well, at least that's the theory.

… and by lunchtime another plate or two will have appeared to replenish what was finished. This process will go on delightfully and ever self-inventing, sustaining life and punctuating the time of the day.

A festive meal will last for hours, with participants coming and going … and reappearing. They will probably bring back another bottle of Whiskey and more food picked up at the street stall around the corner together with ice cubes sold everywhere in handy one kilo plastic bags.

Inevitably the cubes stick together so these bags are ceremoniously smashed on the table, banged against the wall or hammered with the pestle or Pepsi bottle – all part of the ritual.

Food is generally consumed at room temperature which, usually in the high twenties or low thirties Celsius, is certainly warm enough. Further north and higher up in the mountains this can pose a problem, though, during the winter months. A new trend is becoming noticeable where people like their food including rice and khao nio steaming hot when served. In the past it didn't matter; now it does.

A greeting, even to strangers, when enjoying a meal is inevitably an invitation to gkin khao (eat rice) accompanied by a gesture to sit down and join them instead of the usual sabaidee . And they mean it, join in. It can't get more hospitable than that!

Bite Size

The food described here is eaten with spoon (bouang / chohn) and fork (som) as is mostly the custom today. Therefore vegetables and meat should be cut small enough to conveniently fit the bowl of a spoon. Exceptions are whole fish or fish steaks where meat easily comes apart when worked with this extremely practical pair of tools or 'hand pieces' (keuang meu) .

A western acquaintance had, after many trips to Laos, finally adopted this sensible and civilized way of handling one's food. Upon his return to Germany his wife promptly called him a barbarian. Indeed! Who is civilized, the one who holds a spoon or wields a knife, a pen or a sword?

On this note, no Asian would ever dream of using a sharp knife for peeling fruit or vegetables by aiming it towards one's body. The proper method of doing the job is by aiming outwards, away from your body. If you are not used to it, this will take some practicing. It is easy when you have been brought up from a young age to do it this way, like sitting most comfortably with your legs crossed on the floor.

In upcountry homes food is most often consumed by means of a soup plate and a Chinese spoon which has a short handle and a big bowl. Tables set up for après- baci fortification, a wedding party, funeral wake or any excuse to celebrate feature these spoons together with chopsticks.

Each serving plate has its own spoon for the partakers to help themselves. Nowadays this custom is meticulously observed, even in the case of a soup. Previously one's spoon could freely dip into any communal offering.

The Universal Table Setting

A tool for everything

Who needs that stupid overload of eating tools on a western restaurant table which only serves to confuse and embarrass the uninitiated and succeeds to seriously annoy me. I'm ex-Lausanne Hotel School where we were taught all this nonsense as the expression of western sophistication. For enlightened simplicity take another look above.

Hands On

Lao and Esan people love glutinous sticky rice (khao nio) as their main staple food which is eaten with fingers, delicious! Knead a big ball of it in the cup of your left hand. From this you tear small morsels to dip into and pickup bits of the various dry food on offer. A Chinese spoon is provided to help yourself to soups and stews like nam , tom, gaeng and or . The use of one's fingers to eat explains the prominent availability of washbasin, soap and towel in private homes and restaurants which allows you to wash your hands before and after meals.

Food is served on a low, mostly oval shaped, woven rattan platform (pha khoa) with people sitting cross legged on the floor. I am not invoking any privilege but old age to kindly ask for the mercy of a chair. Asians are brought up without unnecessary contraptions like chairs and beds, and are therefore totally at ease sitting around Buddha style. In western oriental romanticism this is mystifyingly called the Lotus Position.

Traditionally minded people, and not only the older generation, make a nop over their empty plate once they have finished eating by way of giving thanks for having been provided for.

Chopsticks

Chopsticks are used in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar to eat noodles and to transfer food from serving bowls onto your plate from where you proceed with spoon and fork. For the Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese chopsticks (mai touh) are the eating tools of choice together with the Chinese spoon for consuming soups.

The sauces in which food has been cooked are mostly discarded; they only serve to flavor the principle ingredient, to my great regret.

Chinese noodles

khao poun – khao jeen phoe – kwitio mee leuang – bamee sen lon – woonsen

(in Lao and Thai respectively) and khao soi in their vast choice have peacefully conquered south-east and fareast Asia millennia ago which has led to the universal adoption of chopsticks. One of these, bamee egg noodles, has ventured farther afield and has since beguiled not only the people of Italy but the entire world, Spaghetti! We owe them to the instant love affair of one Marco Polo of 13th century leisure travel fame who was unfortunately incarcerated in a Venetian (or was it in Genoa, I forget) dungeon as reward for his commendable inquisitiveness.

Rice as such is not eaten with chopsticks off a flat plate unless cooked rather wet, and thus sticky, like in Vietnam. Only tourists do this to show off and look utterly ridiculous in this hapless undertaking. Whatever morsel of food you have picked up with your chopsticks from one of the communal plates is put on top of the rice in your bowl which you then place at your lips, slightly tilted up. Proceed to shove this combination into your mouth, or put a morsel of food in your mouth which is followed by some rice in the same way.



Source by Vincent Fischer-Zernin

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 27, 2020 at 11:01 pm

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World's best Chinese restaurant – T'ang Court in Hong Kong – 3 Michelin stars



Join me for my amazing tasting dinner at T’ang Court ( one of only six three-Michelin-starred restaurants in Hong Kong. This iconic Cantonese spot is considered the best place in the city for classic, yet contemporary Chinese food. T’ang Palace is inside the beautiful Langham, Hong Kong ( in Kowloon and is one of only four Cantonese restaurants around the world to hold three Michelin stars.

Dinner was delicious, with both classic tastes and new things to discover. The wine was especially good and the service was just spectacular.

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27 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 10:59 pm

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Why Americans Fail at Sea

Why Americans Fail at Sea

Why do so few Americans work on cruise ships? Other than entertainers, are there any at all? I worked at sea 4 years on 5 cruise lines, and never encountered more than a handful of Americans on any one ship, despite crew lists in the hundreds and usually over a thousand. So why won't cruise ships hire Americans?

A hint: I recall an Australian couple who quit after only two days as waiters on a Carnival ship. They were forced to work until the end of the cruise or they would have to pay for their food and cabins. Abandoned in Miami, they had less than 24 hours to leave the US before Homeland Security arrested them. And, really, how many disgruntled Indonesians living in Bali do you hear from? It's all too easy to hide why cruise lines won't hire Americans. As the sole American to survive a full contract in a Carnival dining room without quitting or transferring (the first in 30 years, I might add!) I discovered the hard way why Americans are barred at all costs.

# 1 Slave Wages Overview: One website offering services to help get hired on ships had the ludicrous statement that wages were comparable to the same job on land. That is a blatant lie. If the wages are the same, why aren't there any Americans working on American ships owned by American companies?

Wages: Most crew members make from $ 1500- $ 2000 a month. This applies to the lowest level crewmembers who don't even have guest contact and barely speak English, such as the Able Seamen, to the hairdressers at the Spa, up to the entertainment staff who are constantly in front of the guests endlessly hosting Bingo. Rumors of room stewards and waiters making larger income are true but exaggerated. I was disciplined by Carnival for mentioning the ship pays waiters almost nothing: the 'voluntary' tips of guests are the only money they see.

$ per Hour: herein lies the deception. In a regular 40 hour work week, the wage may indeed be comparable. However, cruise lines demands at least 80 hours a week without a single day off for months in a row. Even minimum wage at 80 hours a week is more than $ 1500 a month … and you don't share a closet-sized room with a strange foreigner, either.

Limited expenses: the ship will house you, clothe you, feed you, and ensure your safety (but not health). You can save much of your earnings by avoiding bills. Crew food is good and plentiful, though geared towards foreign palates (especially Asian: some ships cook up 100 lb. of rice daily). Most first world staff seek more familiar and healthier foods in port. Ports, of course, are vacation destinations and overpriced. A burger and a beer frequently cost $ 25, and a salad easily costs $ 12. Drinking, the magic elixir for crews since sailing began, is especially expensive in these places.

# 2 Crew Cabins Overview: cabins are one of the greatest shocks of all, particularly for Americans from the suburbs. While cabin sizes vary based on ship hierarchy, they are universally tiny, cramped, and utterly unnatural. Most are below the waterline and none have windows or natural air. You will share a closet-sized cabin with a foreigner who may or may not share your values ​​in hygiene or sanitation. Newer ships have toilets and showers shared between two cabins, but older ships have communal facilities tucked into corners.

Size: my first cabin on the older Carnival Fantasy was modestly large, due to lack of toilet / shower / or sink facilities. Communal facilities, shared by dozens of nationalities, were filthy and I never used them. Most modern cabins have less than six feet of floor space. Invariably suitcases are crammed beneath the desk and the chair is shoved out of the way if possible. The design is such that only one man can dress at a time, the other being forced into his cabin or into the toilet.

Privacy: there is no privacy on ships at all, sometimes not even on the toilet! Officers can and will search cabins regularly without warning. Crew structure is surprisingly military in manner. Because the company is 100% responsible for your life, they take great interest in what occurs in their cabins below the waterline. Even hidden behind your bunk's curtain, privacy is difficult to maintain when your roommate is watching a movie, frequently in a foreign language, or more often having sex with a stranger. To be fair, none of this matters because most crew are never in their cabins. Sleep is fleeting on ships and free time nonexistent.

# 3 Unending Labor Overview: ship life is a 24/7 operation and no one gets time off, not even the captain. In the restaurants I worked a minimum of 80 hours a week, with a stretch of 100 hours a week for nearly three months before I finally moved on. Don't be fooled by crew or even the captain lingering in the crew bar constantly: everyone is always 'on' and ready for an iceberg. But after yet another 15 hour day and only six hours to relax, bathe, sleep, and return to work, alcohol is a much needed 'speed relaxer'.

Schedule: crew of all levels work seven days a week with no days off for up to ten months. Further, schedules force workers into labor all day and night, a few hours here and there. As a waiter, I worked daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight buffet, receiving one rotating shift off daily. On Carnival Legend I only received one lunch off every eight days!

Few ports off: it is true that some concessionaires never work when in port, because shops and casinos are bound by international laws. Entertainers work at night only and have the most free time. Most crew jobs, however, are working in port as well: there are guests to feed, rooms to clean, safety to ensure, tenders to man, spas to soothe, etc.

# 4 Transience Overview: this unique life caters to those with an open mind, a lust for travel, and able to let comfort slide in favor of experience. The entire world is potentially at your fingertips, but many crew never even leave the ship.

Contracts: Mostly six to ten months at sea a year, sometimes more. Friends and family are only contacted via phone in port or via expensive emails. Limited shore time is usually at internet cafés. Many Americans have regular bills, such as rent, auto loans, credit cards, insurances, or storage fees and find the unknown and variable schedule difficult to manage.

Vacations: Signing off a ship is like the last day of school times 10, but even that is stressful. Sometimes you sign off on the wrong side of the earth and have to make your own way back home. No one talks about how a $ 1,500 a month salary can be devoured by flying across planet earth twice (more expensive one-way trip tickets, remember). And where to stay for two or three months? Who wants a house guest for three months?

Being an Outsider: after a few contracts, years have passed and you have changed. The return to land life is very difficult and many fail and return to ships, overwhelmed by starting fresh, paying for everything from food and clothing to rent and electricity to insurance. Ships take care of everything, asking only for slave labor in return. You either get used to the labor or perish, and before you know it you are seduced by the sea.

# 5 In the Navy Overview: naval life has always been harsh. No longer are lashes the norm, but the reasons for them are alive and well. Officers wear stripes for a reason: they are responsible for the survival of the guests. They are trained naval experts and demand a well-run ship or people die.

Drills: in decades past the first and sometimes only people to escape from sinking liners were crew. Now international law requires all guests to perform a boat drill before departure. Cruise lines spend millions on safety and hire the best officers. But how does this translate to, say, a waiter on a floating hotel?

Crew drill constantly, defying limited sleep and precious port time. Strict compliance is demanded or termination results. As crew you are property, not a person. The corporation controls everything about you, from when / how you sleep to where you use the toilet. You aren't in the military, but boy are you close!

International waters mean labor laws are for PR only. On Carnival, I was virtually denied food for no reason other than being American, and while the cruise line did not know about it, they did not really care because that's ship life. Americans complain to the press and like to sue, so they are avoided. It's that simple.



Source by Brian David Bruns

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 25, 2020 at 10:59 pm

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$1300 "LUCKY SEVEN CHICKEN CHALLENGE" | ErikTheElectric



**CHALLENGE STARTS AROUND 4:05**

The “Lucky Seven Challenge” at China Blue in Corvallis, Oregon!

ONE HOUR.
7 POUNDS.
7 TYPES OF CHICKEN.
$1,300 JACKPOT.

What a hell of a challenge this was! Just a little bit of a backstory. This challenge features a progressive JACKPOT that increases every single month by $100 every time that it’s not completed. This jackpot was won last year by Stephanie Wu who took home $1,500. I was a day away from booking a flight last year before I was informed that the challenge had been completed. Very discouraged, that being said.. When I was informed of the jackpot recently I vowed to take on the challenge. I headed out after class late on Wednesday night and took the 16 hour drive and the rest is history.

The challenge features SEVEN pounds of SEVEN different kinds of chicken.
Here they are, listed in order of the best tasting (in my opinion)

1. Hazelnut – 9/10 (Middle bowl)
2. Mandarin – 8/10
3. Sweet and Sour – 8/10
4. Orange – 7/10
5. General Taos- 7/10
6. Hunan – 5/10
7. Lemon – 3/10

Like I said, I went into this challenge extremely tired, fatigued and without much hunger as I drove 15 hours straight to get up to the restaurant. The chicken came out PIPING HOT. I used ice cubes and a separate plate to cool them down. The breading on the chicken was extra thick and I’d estimate the chicken weighed almost EIGHT pounds (instead of the listed 7 pounds). Since I do not consume meat, I was very nervous about taking down this colossal amount in one sitting. I finished the challenge around the 35 minute mark and took home the $1,300 check and got my picture on the wall!

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Code: ErikTheElectric

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Asia Pacific Consumers Ready to Spend Their Way Out of Recession

Asia Pacific Consumers Ready to Spend Their Way Out of Recession

A recent Nielsen survey portrays that Asia Pacific consumers are ready to spend their way out of recession. Renewed willingness to spend as 2010 progresses is found in China, Brazil, India, Singapore and Hong Kong. Stock market investments and increased savings are a result of consumers being more confident in the market, including spending on luxury items such as vacations, clothes and entertainment.

One MasterCard survey portrayed that entertaining and dining is where Asian Pacific consumers will put their money in the next six months, showing extreme resilience in the face of the global recession.

Consumer confidence has surged in the first quarter of 2010, returning consumers to positive territory. In the last 6 months, the majority of consumer sentiment in Asia pacific has shifted their gears from recession into recovery. In this climate of economy, the sentiment is correlated to actual sales. In Australia, for instance, the confidence of consumers rose eleven points in the third quarter of last year.

Strengthening economic conditions resulted in the Reserve Bank of Australia to increase its rates, becoming the first country to do this. This resulted in increased sales of 2% in both August and September of 2009 in FMCG or fast moving consumer goods. Since Nielsen tracked the recession in January 2009, there is a buzz that it is currently at its lowest levels.

Asia Pacific spending has always been a key indicator of confidence in business and has made a rebound faster than analysts have expected. Across many Asian Pacific markets, sales of FMCG has made a significant increase as Asian consumers are starting to purchase items which are discretionary after a long period of spending within the parameters of a budget.

In October of 2009, sixty-six percent of worldwide consumers claimed that their economy was in recession compared to seventy-seven percent in April of 2009. For many consumers in Asia Pacific, however, the recession has become a thing of the past. 87% of Chinese say that their country is out of the recession while 60% of Hong Kong and Australian citizens say the same. Half of Indians believe that recession has ended in their country as well.

According to another survey conducted by the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Priorities, the top spending priorities of Asia Pacific consumers are 49% on fashion and accessories 36% on wellness and fitness, 34% on their children’s private tuition, 34% on extra curricular activities and 34% as well on consumer electronics.

In Hong Kong, thirty percent less consumers say that their country is in a recession. In the most recent survey, thirty two percent of Honk Kong consumers said that they are in a recession compared to sixty percent in June of 2009. After holding back on spending for many quarters, with the Hang Seng property index on the increase, Hong Kong consumers are currently beginning to open their wallets once more.

Increased spending on discretionary items such as home entertainment, technology, holidays and new clothes is on the rise, which is a stark contrast to their cutting back on spending on these items a year before. Consequently, many other sectors of the economy are seeing a fresh recovery, including finance, property and high ticket retailing. A recovery on the FMCG remains to be seen, however as the sales of these goods have remained somewhat unchanging.

Last quarter’s 6-point increase in China was propelled by significant improvements in the personal income and local job possibilities in the country. Six out of ten Chinese describe their job prospects excellent when asked to rate the way they foresee the next 12 months, which is a fourteen percent increase compared to the 2nd quarter. China’s two tier-cities posted up to 22 percent increased consumer confidence compared to the quarter before.

Nielsen witnessed in July that Chinese consumers felt the economy was on its lowest level and was on the way to recovery. In the 3rd quarter, there is an extension of this optimism. Chinese consumers are still hesitating to spend money but there is a willingness to try new products. Thus, the companies which will focus on introducing innovative new products may be the ones to drive consumers to purchase more items throughout the country.

The survey further says that in the last quarter of 2009, Asia Pacific markets emerged to become eight of ten consumer markets that are most confident compared to South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and India, which were the least confident.

Among all the Asian Pacific markets, the highest increase in confidence came from Hong Kong as portrayed by a seven point increase in index in the fourth quarter from 93 to 100 on a 200-point scale. Since June of 2009, a 21-point increase occurred in Hong Kong.

According to Nielsen, local Hong Kong consumers are planning to increase their spending on entertainment, vacations and new clothes in the next six months are overall consumer confidence improved from seventy to ninety-nine point.

However, regardless of a greater overall increase in consumer confidence, ‘saving for a rainy day’ has remained number one of the list of consumer’s priorities in Hong Kong, with seventy-one percent putting their extra cash into savings.

Because of the stock market stability, the confidence consumers have in investments is also strengthened. Over half of the respondents (51%) say that they will invest spare cash in mutual funds and stock.

According to James Russo, Vice President of The Nielsen Company global consumer insights, this is a great sign that the overall global recession recovery is headed in the right direction.

“The Nielsen survey shows that in the past six months, consumers have become more optimistic about their countries emerging from recession with better job prospects and personal finances,” says Nielsen.

“However, while purse strings may be loosening in some markets, there is clearly a big difference in the pace of expected recovery between the emerging and developed markets, and consumers’ increased confidence is not yet translating into a widespread readiness to start spending.” Nielsen adds.

Compared to 90% of Mexican, United States and England consumers who feel that they are still deep in the recession, 60% Singaporean, 73% percent Hong Kong and 83% consumers from China believe that in the 4th quarter of 2009, the recession had ended in their country.

Also leading the way into discretionary types of spending, Asia topped global rankings for mutual funds and stock investments with China topping the rankings. Chinese consumers are ranked 44% in the world for spending on technology products, 57% for spending on mutual funds, 50% for holidays and 53% for new clothes. The survey also found that consumers from Hong Kong are starting to spend on new clothes, new technology and entertainment outside the home.

In India, concerns over the rising prices of food hampers their confidence. Russo says that “although the Indian economy is expected to grow in 2010, India has experienced a bad monsoon season resulting in increased food prices and higher grocery bills for consumers. This has had an immediate impact on consumer confidence and the availability of discretionary income.”

According to a Nielsen Report from the last quarter of 2009, consumers both in China and in the Philippines are intent on spending their cash on new technology. Consumers in Korea and Japan who are tech-savvy do not want to wait much longer to upgrade their current cell phones and PC’s. Alternatively, ten percent of Chinese consumers say that they can wait to delay their technology purchases.

Sensible Singaporeans

Despite rebounding confidence levels in 2008, a MasterCard survey finds that Singaporeans remain conservative with their money.

Focusing more on saving their income compared to just six months ago (34.2%), 45.8% of the survey participants said that they plan to increase the amount they save in the first six months of 2010. Compared to 54.4% in the last survey, 45% currently say that they plan to save an equal amount of cash.

72.8% respondents who claimed they plan to save the same amount if not more said that the reason for this was to save for emergency expenditures that were unforeseen, due to an ‘uncertain economic outlook.’ 35.3% said they plan to save for personal international air travel and 37.9% for purchasing consumer electronics.

In the next six months, 28% of Singaporeans plan to save approximately 11-20% of their income and 21% plan to save approximately 21-30%.

The Kospi index of South Korea has increased almost fifty percent since the beginning of 2010 and its weak Won has given quite a boost for its export and manufacturing industries as well as for its sectors of key export products which is cars and consumer electronics.

Economic adviser of Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific Dr Yuwa Hendrick-Wong stated that “consumer sentiment here fell precipitously in 2008 and early 2009, but it is now seeing a V-shaped rebound. Persistent uncertainty in the outlook of the global economy, however, continues to affect consumers’ savings and spending behavior, which show that most consumers are still saving for precautionary reasons.”

He adds that “For the Asia Pacific region as a whole, the robust recovery in both economic conditions and consumer sentiments can therefore be characterized only as a ‘partial decoupling’ from the rest of the global economy.”



Source by Jennifer Cosculluela

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 24, 2020 at 10:58 pm

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Apple Dumplings with Mountain Dew!!

Apple  Dumplings with Mountain Dew!!



a “unique” apple dessert with an unusual ingredient…Mountain Dew

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How Much Does It Really Cost to Travel the World for 6 Months?

How Much Does It Really Cost to Travel the World for 6 Months?

For 6 whole months, I worked non-stop 50-60 hour weeks at two different jobs. Firstly, I worked numerous hours as a “checkout chick” asking people pointless questions about their weekend while I packed their cleaning products separate from their veggies or fixed their ‘unexpected item in the bagging area problem’ on the self-serve machines. My second job was found on gumtree at a call centre, where I spent all my afternoons on the phone to parents convincing them to book a consultation so our salesmen could give their kids a ‘free assessment’ and basically sell them an online tutoring software.

So yeah, it wasn’t very glamorous but I did what I had to do to save up enough money.

I am going to break this down into different categories on what I spent my money on. Over the six months I spent most of my time in Europe but also visited UK, Middle East, Asia and Africa.

TOURS:

Before I left, I booked 4 different tours. Tours are the best if you don’t want to organize anything yourself and still have the best time without hassle. I travelled with both Contiki and Topdeck and definitely preferred Contiki. The company seemed a lot more professional, although I still had the most amazing time on both my Topdeck tours as well.

Contiki European Contrasts: $4341 for a 29 day budget tour around Europe. This was the first thing I booked so therefore, got an early payment discount.

The next three I booked through a travel agent and got a discount again for booking multiple trips,

Contiki Turkish Sailing: 7 days on a sail boat around the Turkish Coast

Topdeck Turkey Explored: 12 days exploring different cities in Turkey staying in hotels.

Topdeck Egypt Express: 8 day budget tour

These three cost: $2576

I also booked Oktoberfest accommodation through a company called PPTravel as they book out really quickly! It cost $280 for 3 nights in a dorm room on a camping ground. This is a much cheaper alternative to hostels during this period and also a little bit nicer than camping in tents.

TOTAL TOUR COST: $7017 which was all paid before I left

Flights:

My return flights to London with a 3 day stopover in Dubai and 2 week stopover coming home in Bali cost $2232 on Royal Brunei. My tip is if possible, go to the travel expo which is on in February each year. I got the best deal as you could compare all different travel agents and companies at the same place.

Internal flights/buses/ferries/trains etc:

Most of the major transport was booked on the go using apps like ‘Sky Scanner’ or online booking companies. All ferries in Greece were booked at the ports and most buses and trains were booked at the station. To save money, book an overnight bus, ferry or train. This is normally the cheapest time to travel and even though it is not the comfiest sleep, it saves you also spending money on a night of accommodation.

Internal transport = $2,751

Accommodation:

The places I stayed at ranged depending on which country I was in. For example in UK, accommodation is so expensive so hostels (20-28 bed dorms) were the way to go for the cheapest (not the greatest) night sleep. Be prepared to be woken up by a rowdy English soccer team at 8am in the morning! In Greece it was usually cute bed and breakfasts or guest houses except for party island iOS where we fit three of us into a little “shack” as we called it. For 5 euros ($8) a night what do you expect!

In Egypt, as it is very cheap, myself and two friends stayed in the most luxurious 5 star hotel. This was probably the nicest accommodation we came across.

AirBnb is also a great alternative and a way to meet the nicest people and get a real taste for living in that country.

I was also fortunate to have relatives in Greece and friends in England so having those connections for free accommodation is a huge benefit when travelling overseas.

Total cost of accommodation (excluding tours) = $1973

OTHER STUFF:

And then there comes the most important costs food and alcohol. It is so easy to spend way too much money on these two factors especially when you’re drunk or hung-over. Try to limit how much you spend each day and opt for 2 meals rather than 3. Often hostels do free breakfast so make the most of them when you can. Also it is possible to live off $3 gyros each day in Greece for 2 months, trust me.

Shopping, souvenirs, public transport, tipping also all come into this category. If you know you want to buy a lot, bring more money or use your credit card like I did. By the end of the trip I had put an extra $2,300 on my credit card which was basically on presents, Victoria’s Secret lingerie and you guessed it… more food and alcohol.

Total: 12,900

TOTAL EXPENSES: $24,900

Now this may have scared you to death about wanting to travel now but don’t let it! If you don’t think you can save as much, go for shorter time. 3 months or even 2 months in Europe is still a lot of time. Also limit the places you go. I visited 21 countries and 5 continents so the more cities and towns you visit, the more it is going to cost you.

If you want to go for a long period of time, give yourself more time to save enough cash and be strict on how you spend your money at home. Instead of spending $50 on a dress you’ll wear once, you could be white water rafting in Austria or drinking numerous litres of beer at Oktoberfest.

The way I see it is, it’s really a once in a lifetime opportunity so you might as well spend it up and make the most of it. You want to do, see and experience everything you can and really come back with no regrets!



Source by Maddy Neale

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 23, 2020 at 10:57 pm

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The Last Cuban-Chinese Restaurant in NYC

The Last Cuban-Chinese Restaurant in NYC



La Caridad 78 is a restaurant on the corner of 78th Street and Broadway in New York City’s Upper West Side. The name is Spanish, yet the restaurant itself resembles a classic NY Chinese eatery. What’s the deal? Well, thousands of Chinese workers came to Cuba in the 19th and 20th centuries, but fled Havana’s thriving Chinatown when Castro came to power. Some of those folks came to New York. Some of *those* folks started restaurants, and, well, La Caridad 78 has been serving up some of the best Chinese AND Cuban dishes in the city since 1968. It’s a story of perseverance, cultures coming together, and really, really good eats.

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Formosan Futuro Village

Formosan Futuro Village

Travellers and photographers everywhere are constantly searching for that unique experience. That unique shot of that unique place that gets the respect and awes from friends and magazine editors. With the ever-expanding tourism industry, these places are becoming harder to find everyday, especially if you aren’t friends with a local. Traveling to unfamiliar places, it is easy to carted around to the typical tourist sights and being charged handsomely for it. Getting to those untouched gems off the trail takes research and effort. Most of the time, its because of these two requirements these places remain so beautiful in the first place; and make it that much more rewarding for those who actually get there.

Taiwan being an undiscovered gem in East Asia it-self, it is full of these uncharted areas, making it a brilliant destination for those in search of a unique experience. This weekend I rediscovered one of these destinations in which I’ve labeled the ‘Formosa’s Futuro Village’. Below is its colorful story, I hope you enjoy it.

History

Architecture

The 1970’s was an interesting time for the entire world. New fashion trends, music styles, and lifestyle perspectives were emerging like never before. People not only had ideals now, but the money to buy them as well. Trends were also emerging in the architecture design industry, attempting to satisfy the thirst of those in search of a unique home to match their new unique views on life. In an era where it was believed robots and machines will eventually cure all of humanities inconveniences, a Finnish architect Matti Suuronen designed a new house he christened the ‘Futuro’.

This new house was designed to eventually be the world wide standard of all houses, to enable worldwide travel and living for everyone. Built out of reinforced fiberglass, this 16-piece ‘pod’ or ‘flying saucer’ like shape house was designed for easy transport and to be sustainable in any environment. The basic idea was, you buy one house when you live on the beach in Hawaii, and when you want a change of pace and move to the Swiss alps to live in a skiing village, you simple fly your house over piece by piece to be reconstructed. All that was needed were four concrete pillars as the base, and the house could be placed on top of them, enabling it to be positioned almost anywhere.

Besides the unique transportable design of the house, the interior was also designed with ultimate convenience in mind. The living room had a series of reclining chairs, on which people could sit comfortably or even pull down n’ out to make into sleepers for guests. These chairs were along the outer wall facing the center of the house where the kitchen and bar area were located. This would have made for a great conversational dinning and living room area all in one compact space. Along the backside of the house, the master bedroom and bath were kept tucked away with privacy and intimacy. An interesting environmental appeal to this house was that using the electric heating system, it could go from -20 degrees to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in only 30 minutes. Incredibly sustainable.

Sadly, there were less than 100 of these houses constructed worldwide, which is commonly blamed on the Exxon Mobile Crisis and the dramatic price increase of oil. The domino effect of the increase made the plastics for these homes more expensive to produce and naturally people began to loose interest. Matti Suuronen dream of a futuristic world with traveling flying saucer houses whizzing through the air under helicopters died hand in hand with his design in the 1980’s.

Business Venture

Before the Futuro’s fate ran its course however, one savvy Taiwanese businessman shared Matti Suuronen’s dream and took action with it.

Mr. Su Ming was a Taiwanese businessman with a vibrant past in the military during his earlier years. One of his first ventures was a now popular brand of Sarsaparilla soda sold throughout Taiwan. In its beginning days, it wasn’t very popular with the local’s taste buds and got off to a slow start. However, with the American establishment of military bases in Taiwan as a post for the great East Asia, western tastes for both culture and foods began to develop in the country. Along with this, Mr. Su Mings’ carbonated beverage sales exploded and he established a new factory, becoming a new rich member of high society.

With his new money, Mr. Su Ming was anxious to invest and decided to aim for an up scale market of Taiwanese citizenry shopping for vacation homes. He decided that water sports and beach living were the appeals he needed to create a beach side community for the high class Taiwanese. With this in mind, he picked out a beautiful beach front location along the North Eastern coast of Taiwan, made a property investment, and began to construct a futuristic housing community filled with Futuro design houses as well as Square shaped beach villas. His market was the super rich of Taiwan, as these beach villas were originally priced at around what today is equivalent to $94,000 US Dollars.

Informed by the local property manager, I was told that eventually investors lost interest and the project ran out of money. He explained that many of the investors could afford to go abroad to other exotic locations and private villas, leaving little desire for a simple vacation on home turf beach property.

Moreover, in an interview with a local dance instructor at the neighboring spa and hotel, I was informed that the weather conditions of the area were extreme year round; Summers being unbearably hot, and winters bringing intolerably strong winds and crashing cold waters to the beach. She explained how it was a less than ideal placement for vacation homes and that the neighborhood had been vacant for 20-30+ years.

The current day result is the ruins of a once futuristic beach side villa neighborhood, deserted and unsettling, giving us a small window into what was once a successful business mans dream.

Shooting Experience

Transport (travel)

Trying to catch the morning magic hour for the shoot, I headed out around 5:00 A.M. to catch the first bus over to the now abandoned beach resort. This was only possible because Taipei’s transportation system is resilient, making life easy for those who choose to avoid the danger of driving scooters in the hectic traffic. Winding through the mountains and watching while the scenery changed from high rise apartments to jungle covered green hillsides and temples, I couldn’t help but begin to appreciate how easy it was to get out of the mess in Taiwan. In only about an hour, I was already coastline. DSLR and tripod in hand, I got off the coach and spotted the first Futuro.

Feeling

The morning was overcast, as it usually is on the Taiwan coastlines, which brought a whole new feeling to the scenario. With rolling grey clouds, dispersed sunlight, and the Futuro house on approach, I felt like I was literally about to be abducted. The eerie weather and abandoned structures really worked well together, giving me a hair-raising sense that I should get in, shoot, and get out.

While wandering through the planned community lined streets, the color contrasts and random objects of the ruins presented an amazing window to into the past. All of the Futuro style homes were either a dull orange or faded light yellow color, indicating their age and rough past life. There were rust stains running down the sides of each home resembling bleeding scars caused by years and years of the harsh environment pounding down on them. The wind canopy’s steel poles on each of the square homes front porch had been mangled by the intense winds, as if they were pipe cleaners bent by a child.

Overgrown, most of the homes had clearly been deserted for a long time. Remarkably however, there were still some in which had rusted padlocks on the doors, television sets inside, and appeared to still be inhabited. This gave me the sense I was in some sort of abandoned town horror film and continually checked the shadows to ensure there was nothing creeping behind me to put an axe in my back.

I did venture into a few of the homes that weren’t barricaded with wooden pole and barbed wire locks for a better look. I found Japanese influenced tatami rooms, twin beds with sheets still on them, and even toothbrushes alongside a bottle of head and shoulders shampoo in one bathroom.

Kitchens with stoves, refrigerators, and air-conditioning units still hung on the wall all screamed at the modernity the entire project was aimed at back then. What I did find quite appealing, was that in front of the beachfront square villas, and underneath many of the Futuro designed homes, there were tables and seating along with barbeque pits and gardens. It resembled what I thought of as a camp ground, where families could get together and cook outside to enjoy nature and the company of their loved ones. An interesting contrast of feelings and mood for such a place.

Overall, the energy was a bizarre mix of extreme creepiness countered by that of an feeling that it actually could have been a very pleasant community to live in had it succeeded. The villas interior design along with the quaintness of the community could have been a very nice place for a camping vacation getaway right only a short drive from the capital.

Lessons & Enlightenment

The beach side villas established by Mr. Su Ming provide a unique and interesting view into the past of Taiwan and world trends in general. The place is a not-to-miss opportunity for any traveler or photographer coming to Taiwan searching for a one of a kind sight. Fortunately, it has so far been able to avoid the bulldozer, unlike its unlucky West coast brother Pod Houses in SanZhi, but its impossible to know when their day will finally be numbered.

Just a short time out of Taipei, it also is a nice reminder of how incredible of a travel destination Taiwan is. Being one of the undiscovered gems of the east, Taiwan’s scenery and culture remains rich and unique, yet the modernity of the country makes it all very accessible. The undiscovered Futuro Village of Taiwan is an amazing travel experience and I would highly recommend it as a day trip for those who are interested in a place that is off the beaten path, has a unique and rich story, and is all in a very photogenic package.



Source by Christopher M Collins

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 22, 2020 at 10:55 pm

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