As we have been traveling by train and also trekking the food of choice has been a giant pot noodle (or the equivalent of ramen in a plastic cup for the Americans reading) or as the Chinese know it Phang Bian Mian.
Now some might say this is not such a bad thing and without doubt they have been a budget saver costing no more than 55p or 80cents, but at times one can get your fill of the pots of joy, one time was when we managed to eat 3 within a 24hr period on a train journey which is very impressive but a nutritional nightmare!
The amazing thing about these noodles is the volume with which they are consumed considering everyone on the trains was eating them. We did some maths on this pot noodle phenomenon. We had 66 people on each carriage on each train we traveled on; there were at least 10 sleeper carriages and at least 5 seater carriages with about 70 people in them, and all trains on the whole were sold out, so that’s about 1000 people per train. We estimated that there are about 25 major cities with about 10 long distance trains leaving the station everyday, that math’s comes too 250,000 then we doubled it as most long journeys people are on the train for at least 2 meals, so that’s 500,000. That is just one day of being on the trains, a year that’s 182,500,000 Phang Bian Mian.
Think about that business model especially when your cost to produce 1 must be so small it probably does not even equal a penny!!
Needless so say China Runs On Pot Noodles! They are a blessing in disguise for the backpacker on a budget and a scourge of the east for Nutrionists and Dentists alike! At our last count Steph and I had consumed 10 a piece and more to come….