Archive for January 2009
There is this cơm sường place near my house, at the corner of Tôn Thất Tùng and Sương Nguyệt Ánh. During lunch hours it is packed with office workers. To solve the lack of tables problem they move the bbq pit outside on the pavement. They also set up about 10 tables there. That amounts to 30 m2 of space rent-free. To solve the lack of waiters problem they allow this shoeshine boy to help them out. Whenever I m there, I see him running around sitting people, pulling out chairs for them, taking orders. He even opens the taxi’s door to let customers in and out. The only thing he doesn’t do is handle the check. Now why would he do such a thing without pay? Because by being helpful, he bets on the customer letting him shine his shoes. It is a win win situation for both the restaurant and him.
Here is the picture of him asking a customer if he wants his shoes shined, after he sits him down.
Its opening was picked up by both Asialife
By the way, the algorithm is not that complex. It is just a little script I cooked up so I dont have to manually pick the books. What happened was my supplier had a huge xls list of her current inventory. I just filtered it against Amazon’s database so that only only books that have 4 stars or above. have at least 10 customer reviews, published after 06 are picked.
Xe om drivers have a tough job. They spend all day in the sun, getting stuck in traffic, eat and shit on the street. And I m not even talking about all the risks inherent with the jobs, like traffic accidents or con artists. What is worse is the night xe om drivers. They just sit there, at some deserted corners and wait. I rarely see them pick up any customer. Some read the newspapers using the street lights. Others play with their phones, texting someone or playing games. But most of the time they just sit there and wait underneath that depressing streetlight. One time I talked to a xe om guy. He was around 50s, drives xe om in the morning, goes home in the afternoon, takes a nap, cooks, cleans, picks up his kids from school and come out at night to drive xe om. His wife sells vegetable and they both try hard to support their kids. When I got a ride from him he was perching on his bike, taking a quick nap. His reasoning, why takes a nap at home when you can do one on the street and make some money with it. Fucking tough job. Seriously.