I was talking to my friend A over at the Secondhand Market and he was telling me about his finances (another one of those topics that is not inappropriate in Thailand).
A is a cook, and he knows how to make one dish only, and that one dish consists of Ramen noodles, a soy-based sauce, and some cabbage. He boils up the Ramen in a huge pot, then boils up the cabbage in a huge pot, and then dumps it all on to a big flat frying pan on low heat to keep it warm. People then pay 20 Baht (75 cents) for a to-go box full of this stuff, called Mama Pad. And man is it delicious.
I asked him his hours. On weekdays from 3-7 he cooks up his Mama Pad at a local high school, selling it to the students. He also works Sunday through Tuesday from 7-10 at markets around the city. In other words, he works about thirty hours a week--and all of that time, from what I can tell, is spent boiling noodles, flirting with girls, and talking to me.
Each day he spends 200 Baht (6 dollars) on ingredients.
He claims to net about 100,000 Baht per month.
For those of you playing at home, this is almost ten times as much as I make, at a job that looks AWESOME, cooking a dish that I could charge twice as much for in the Old City, basically goofing off all the time. Even if I worked half as much as he did, I could be making 50,000 Baht per month (if he is to be believed, which I have no reason to believe he is not).
AND, AND, AND: I asked him if he could teach me how to make Mama Pad, and he just laughed and said there is no skill at all. And from what I can tell, there isn't. Just a lot of boiling. He says that if you know how to make the sauce (which is apparently as simple as buying it at the grocery store), you're set. I am so excited.
Ma, we're gonna be rich!
(Also before you freak out, know that I will still be writing, sheesh).