Economy May 12, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Stress management tip

When school’s begin a new semester, Nontawat Poomchusri, managing director of Accenture Thailand, often uses mass transit to go back home after work because it can take him as long as half an hour just to go from the Abdulrahim building to Rama IV Road.

But since his home is down a soi, using the electric train is still not the most convenient mode for him. Nontawat said he was glad that he just got a bicycle and might try to use it for travelling back home soon.

Nontawat is no stranger to two-wheelers. Due to his craze for “speed”, he has been a big fan of Ducati. He usually spends his weekends on the big bike, travelling in and out of Bangkok. He has three Ducatis and also holds a car racing licence from the Singha Racing School.

Similar to playing drums, which is his another of his favourite hobbies, getting on speed through big bikes or racing cars helped him to concentrate and spare his head from work. Without filling up your head with something else to concentrate on, it is less easy for you to forget about work, said the Accenture boss, sharing his stress management trick.

Surprising guest

Chutima Pruangmethangkul, co-founder of Boxing King, had thought her boutique boxing gym would mainly attract teenagers and young workers of no more than 30 years of age. But she was shocked to find that many parents also came to kick and throw punches at her boxing camp. Many of these older customers are parents waiting for their children to finish classes at Siam Square tuition schools and want to do something more constructive with their time.

The most surprising guest, however, was her own mother, who is over 50 years old. She recently took an over one hour course with one of the gym’s professional boxing trainers.

Rice VS bread theory

If you think Westerners are more independent than Asians, owing to how they are raised to leave their parents when they grow up, there is now another theory. It’s because we eat rice but Westerners eat bread.

The US’ Science Magazine last week published an article citing research that showed that communities that grow and eat rice are more interdependent, while Westerners who grow and eat wheat are more analytical and independent.

This is, however, not due to any difference in nutrition between rice and wheat but because of the culture in planting. Planting rice requires social coordination. Because rice is grown in standing water,it requires elaborate irrigation systems, where one farmer’s water usage directly affects another’s.

Building, dredging and draining a paddy field often requires the work of an entire village. The labour, says the study, is typically twice as much as that for farming wheat, which doesn’t always need irrigation.

Contributed by Pichaya Changsorn