It’s a question we ask one another generally speaking. But since Enrichmentality is a blog about enriching your future, I thought I should reflect on our journey over the past 1.5 years. And that means a spending review.
As we’re preparing to leave Japan after almost three months, getting ready to pack our bags, I find myself reflecting on the belongings we have with us, those we left behind, and the day we arrived in Osaka.
We got off the bus with our small backpacks and began walking down the road. Most people were struggling with heavy suitcases and multiple bags. As we continued on foot to a cheap restaurant where we could spend a few hours before our check-in, we passed a small trolley, probably belonging to a homeless person, impeccably organised. Expensive executive bags with specialty pockets and zippers and organising inserts would not come close to the precision with which the owner of this trolley had carefully stored their few possessions. An assortment of neatly stacked books. A row of well-organised toiletries.
Although the logo for Enrichmentality is a sprouting seed, symbolising the growth of new ideas and a better outlook on life, I am a terrible gardener.
I began this blog over five months ago with an anecdote about my failure to grow a money tree from planting my pocket money as a child. It should come as no surprise, then, to know that I’m also a failed gardener when it comes to growing actual plants from seed too!
I never managed to grow vegetables when we had a yard, but living in a small apartment with no balcony or external window sills posed a particular challenge.
If we play a little word association game, and I say cheap, what springs to mind?
How would you fill the gap: ‘cheap and ……’?
Collocations are two or more words that often ‘go together’. The term is used in corpus linguistics to indicate ‘a sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance’.
According to the Ozdic Collocation Dictionary, the most common collocation phrase for ‘cheap and’ is ‘cheap and nasty’.
Google’s predictive search has a slightly nicer suggestion, ‘cheap and easy’, as in the top recommendation, ‘cheap and easy meals’. But even ‘cheap and easy’ can be a nasty jibe depending on what – or who! – it is directed at.
So how can we turn ‘cheap and nasty’ into ‘cheap and tasty’?
Having just returned from the shops with boxes full of melomakarona (μελομακάρονα, a dessert made of flour, olive oil and honey) and kourabiedes (κουραμπιέδες, a butter shortbread dipped in rosewater and powdered sugar) in preparation for Christmas in Greece, food is on my mind!
When a politician is criticised for being ‘out of touch’, it is often said that they don’t know the cost of a loaf of bread or a carton of milk. The BBC describes this as ‘a classical political ambush that has been popular on both sides of the Atlantic for decades’, with cynical voters suspicious that political leaders live in a world divorced from the ordinary lives of the majority. But why are these two items such important yardsticks? And how would they stack up in a global comparison? What about something a little more fun… like the Big Mac?
It’s 30 years since The Economist invented the Big Mac Index, a ‘lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalise the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries’.