July 10, 2014

Horse 1710 - Pot Noodle Crisis

Look, I know full well that this is very much going to appear as one of those "first world problems" and to be sure, the fact that I even am writing a blog post about this on a computer, means to suggest that I at least better off than 80% of most of the world but...
... where have all the good pot noodle flavours gone?

I work in Mosman which is one of the wealthiest suburbs in Australia and consequently, I can not afford to eat lunch at any of the vendors in the suburb. Even a meat pie which you'd think would be a cheap and tasty meal can not be obtained at all in the entire suburb for less that $5.50; considering that I at most have a budget for lunch of about $20 a week, then at $4 a day, this starts to look a little crazy (although having said that, a meat pie a day; every day, for lunch, is an idea which would put you on the train to Heart Attack City via Diabetes Town and West Diverticulitis). Of course once you buy bread the necessarily things for sandwich makings for a week, you're on the wrong side of $15 pretty quickly around here.
Which brings me onto the subject of pot noodles. These little pots of warm are about the only warmish sort of lunch that I'm likely to buy in this needlessly ridiculously expensive suburb and because Mosman is full of incredibly white-bread-rich people, all the good flavours have been phased out.

There used to be "Extra Hot Piri-Piri" by Fantastic Noodles but that has been removed and is now gone. "Extra Saucy Teriyaki" - gone. "Chilli Prawn" by Nissin - gone. Fortune's "That Red Curry" - gone. I don't know if these have stopped being made or if it's just that the supermarket in Mosman has stopped selling them because the people around here are so unadventurous that they're not going to buy them, but there are only six choices now... Beef or Chicken... from Maggi, Fortune and Fantastic.

What. Is. The. Point?

You'd think that in a nation like Australia with people from everywhere across the seas that we'd have a rich palette of flavours to pick from but no, we only have two to pick from - Beef and Chicken... they are two camps of bland. It is like a battle of ivory and cream when the rest of the world has the whole kaleidoscope of colour to pick from.
Even if you were to try and buy some sort of accompanying sauce, there isn't really a whole heap that you can put into a pot noodle. I suppose that some variety of chilli sauce or kebab sauce sounds like a good idea in theory but again, just like the problem of finding different flavours of pot noodles, the flavours of sauces which are on the shelves in the supermarkets in Mosman are also bland.

The thing is that I find this really really bizarre. It is a well known fact that the people who live in this suburb, tend not to shop in this suburb and this is evidenced by the amount of boarded up and empty shop fronts; you'd honestly think that you were living in some part of posh communist Moscow in the 1970s; because they do not shop here, I assume that they also do not go to restaurants here. This means that they must (by process of elimination) go to restaurants at Neutral Bay or the City or something. I would further assume that if they go to the city, that they must surely come into a whole world of exotic flavours there. If this is true, why then I further assume that the reason why they aren't demanding a wider range of flavours on their own supermarket shelves, is that they tend not to shop in this suburb in the first place.

Come to think of it, if you went to a supermarket in say Newtown, Cabramatta, or even Blacktown, you're probably more likely to find a more diverse range of flavours on the shelves than you are in Mosman. Those suburbs which have a more ethnically diverse population by extension have a wider palette of flavours to pick from and are richer for it; meanwhile Mosman which I can tell you just by walking around has a less ethnically diverse population than even Chatswood which is only a few suburbs away, limits itself to a paucity of flavours.

Do I really care about pot noodles though? If you haven't guessed by now, this whole post is one giant metaphor. Think about the two political parties and the kinds of flavour that we're subjected to. Think about the newspapers, the radio and the television media and the kinds of flavour that we're subjected to.
We only really get a choice of the blandest of flavours and they are unpalatable. Pot noodles are a metaphor... for something which should be better... but the people for some reason don't demand it.

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