Wednesday, January 22, 2014

meal plan

It turns out that January will not be the final month in which I have to starve. I had hoped to be working all during my two-month vacation, but one of my side jobs won't pay until the book to which I'm contributing has been published (probably early spring), and the other side job won't be giving me any work until mid to late February. Financial bliss remains a dream deferred. What to do, then, with the petty cash I've got? How to last out the month? Well, I think I have a plan, and it won't involve any food-shopping on my part.

The local E-Mart, which is a ten-minute bus ride away from where I live (and a longish wait for the 518 bus going in that direction), has a food court. There's an overpriced Burger King there, along with an array of Korean-style international food stalls. Most of the entrées' prices are actually quite reasonable. For W12,000, I can eat a humongous amount.

So from here until February 15, my next payday, I can use my dwindling cash this way: go to the food court every other day, eat a large W12,000 meal that I can digest over two days, and enjoy purifying "days of nothing" (except for water and/or tea) in between binges. I can hear some of you screaming, "Aaagh! Your blood sugar!"—but I've found that I don't tend to spike or bottom out that much; whether hungry or full, I feel about the same.* From now until February 15, it's twenty-four days. If I eat W12,000 meals on twelve of those days, I spend only W144,000 (plus a bit extra to recharge my traffic card). By Valentine's Day, I'll still have a few thousand won left over.

I think this will do me fine, and I'm starting my new meal plan today.

*My criteria for how I feel are (1) pulse rate (and whether it's pounding, usually indicating higher blood pressure brought on by sodium intake), (2) presence or absence of headaches, and (3) blurriness of vision (another BP warning sign). In most cases, I don't experience any of these symptoms, whether starved or replete—no pounding pulse, no headaches, and no blurry vision. But when I overdo something, then yeah, I feel it. Luckily, the viands at the food court are well-balanced, so long as I don't overdo the carb-heavy dishes.


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