Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Restaurants returning to coal to cut costs
瓦斯漲價 麵店改燒炭熬湯

A man surnamed Lai, the owner of a beef noodle shop, lights coal under a pot of beef soup in Yilan County’s Wujie Township on Jan. 7.

Photo: Yang Yi-min, Liberty Times

The price of household gas cylinders keeps going up and the costs of running a business continue increasing, leaving many shops little room to make a profit. A beef noodle shop owner in Yilan County’s Wujie Township surnamed Lai has been racking his brain for ways to save on costs. He finally decided to return to traditional methods by using coal to cook his beef broth. Flustered and infuriated, Lai says that President Ma Ying-jeou’s incessant claims about the economy being a top priority are all lies.

Lai says that he is afraid of losing regular customers if consumers are forced to cover the increasing cost of raw materials. After taking quality into consideration and unwilling to cheat by reducing ingredients, Lai decided to alter his cooking methods to save on costs by taking costly liquefied petroleum gas out of the equation before anything else.

Lai says that running a beef noodle establishment requires the gas to constantly be in use, such as when making the broth, which uses the fuel from the time you open shop until close. One standard 20kg household gas cylinder only lasts two or three days, while one 18kg box of charcoal costs NT$420 and lasts three or four days, saving quite a bit on costs.

Although coal saves money, shops must make sure they have adequate ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Not every shop is suitable, however, and all safety precautions must be taken before coal is used.

When it comes to his grievances over saving costs, Lai could not help but complain that “it is all Ma Ying-jeou’s fault,” begging the question what Ma is actually doing to help the economy. Since Ma took office, the economy has not improved, the nation’s businesses languish, people are destitute and everyone’s wallets are suffering, which Lai says make people frugal when shopping and eating out and difficult for businesses to stay afloat. During the flag raising ceremony on New Year’s Day when the master of ceremonies said Ma was “stepping down” he really should have stepped down, Lai says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)


1. infuriate v.

使大怒;觸怒 (shi3 da4 nu4; chu4 nu4)

例: The woman’s provocations infuriated her host.


2. priority n.

優先;重點 (you1 xian1; zhong4 dian3)

例: This is a priority. Please handle it promptly.


3. frugal adj.

花錢少的;節約的 (hua1 qian2 shao3 de5; jie2 yue1 de5)

例: Being frugal doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t know how to have a good time.








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