my other life.

These days, too many things disappoint. You’d think you’ve found the gem of a restaurant and then months after, you return and find the standard has slipped. Ah, the disillusionment of a consumer.

I hate it when I get bad food and bad service. It makes me want to throw their shit back in their faces and the worst thing is, I’m still compelled to pay. Kindness begets kindness and since I’m gracious to you, you jolly well return that favour because even if I’m not, you’re still running a business and I’m still paying. That said, hmm, I don’t really abide by that because if a customer is rude, he sure doesn’t deserve good service from me.

Anyhow, I believe in good food if you’re in the business of food. Isn’t that a given? Gosh, what is the world coming to? I believe in good service because it’s a business and why should anyone pay for the rest of their day to be ruined? And, what is with restaurants that charge for plain water?! Plain water isn’t your business, it’s PUB’s business. I can get plain water from the public toilet so I don’t see you as having exclusive rights to sell that. And calling it skyjuice doesn’t make it your product.

Seriously, why do people persist in trying to profit from a business when they are not doing the requisites of a business? Beyond the ethics, how is that even practical? Ask yourselves what differentiates you and why people would pay for that.

Oh dear, I meant to write about something happy.

I’ve been part-timing as a waitress at this quaint little cafe for about two months now. The pay is, honestly, meagre but I’m not looking purely at the money. At this point in my life, anyway. I like the place. It’s a Bohemian dream I’m trying to live out. Fanciful; a young, lowly-paid waitress at a cafe right out of some European movie like Amelie. It’s my way of forgetting the life I have, once a week. A paid daydream, you might say, how…viable.

It’s perfect for me. The business philosophy fits to a T. The entrepreneur behind this had been unsatisfied with places where you ‘pay too much for too little’. They believe that clean drinking water should be provided free. It is a business, alright. But not a cold-blooded one, ok maybe more a social enterprise. That brings me to another one of my beliefs. I believe that charities should be viable businesses in their own right and generate profits that (largely) go back to the community, rather than sit around and beg for donations pitifully. Too many of these people who head charitable organizations have proved to be little more than lazy squanderers.

This place is cozy and the people are warm and the food is actually good, consistently. They’ve managed to run a good business that isn’t overly profit-oriented. You see your own cooks bustling about the narrow space of a kitchen and if you like, you can even sit at the bar and watch them cook right under your nose. They serve cakes handmade by real housewives so that they get a source of independent income, which I think goes a long way in securing a woman’s autonomy. I love how this business actually helps the community it is in rather than only benefiting its capitalist mastermind.

And I’m happy working there. It’s a beautiful daydream.

Food for Thought
420 North Bridge Rd, North Bridge Centre #01-06
T: +65 6338 8724   E: eat@foodforthought.com.sg

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