11: Street Food and Thoughts on Homeless Crisis

Street Food

I watched a few episodes of Street Food on Netflix.

Very interesting to watch. I recommend it.

I grew up with eating street food. After doing dumb things (like doing karaoke, playing Mahjong or pokers with friends), we went to have late night feast. Street food vendors usually opened late, could go all the way to next morning. Even after midnight, I remember still seeing street filled with people dining.

It becomes rare these days now, because government starts to have regulation. Some streets still have it, but not the same as before. It was a very special age. The fragrance, the people, the sounds, and the lights, all of those complete a very unique dining experience, which cannot achieved from eating in a restaurant.

Just like the trailer says:

“If you want to taste real food, it has to be street food”

Seattle’s Homeless Crisis

On a total different topic to street food, Seattle, is infamous for its homeless crisis. Because of some special policy of this city, it’s said some other cities bought one-way bus fare for their homeless people to come to Seattle.

Fair enough, I am not against homeless, everyone has a bad day. I truly believe parts of homeless population end up in the situation due to a serious of unfortunate events, and they actually want to change, like having a home again.

This city government has been discussing again and again on plan for homeless. Some city councils just want to tax more to the rich people to solve some problems those city councils have no idea how to solve… every time I hear that again on the radio, this is my reaction.

The Connection

People still need to eat.

People have memory.

People also have skills.

For some people, they remember the food they have had; maybe it’s a food they love, or may it’s a food they remember from someone else.

Like I said earlier, I believe some of the homeless people really want to change the situation, and they probably are working hard on it.

Here is my idea: can this government allocate some funds that provide training and necessary resources to those people who want to change? For example, train they how to cook with a food stand, provide some tools and resources for them to prepare, and then lower the bar for them to run business.

In some areas, this city could open an area for night market. It is opened to public. Have some police watching as well, maybe at the beginning. It does not have to be limited to street food, it could be anything else. Maybe some homeless people love to make arts, or play music, or crafting. So the night market, by homeless people, sponsored by government, is not only a way for people who want a home again, but can also become a celebration of folk culture nightly and connect people together.

Of course this idea is very naive. From the bottom, the government is investing on people who want to work and contribute; instead of charging more from the top. Yes, the world is unfair: a small group of people appear to own large portion of the fortune in this world. But some of those people really worked their ass off to reach that point. They just happened to have the right idea at the right time, with the right vision and enough courage. We should not lay here and ask them to give us money, simply because they have more than enough. How is that fair?

The same thing is applied affirmation action bill. It is basically a legalized racism. Because Asians are over populated in many schools and work places, they want a law to enforce admission in school or hiring in work places must have even ratio of races. It implies they don’t even want to give a chance to people who are willing to work hard, or who have better qualification.

That, is why this city government does NOT want to invest in homeless people who want to change the circumstances.