The latest sales pitch: The $18 billion price tag really isn’t as big as it seems. The island could save up enough money for the arms if everyone cut back on drinking milky bubble tea - that popular icy beverage with chewy tapioca sucked up with a fat straw - over the next 15 years.
“The Cold War ended with the Soviet Union collapsing because of an arms race,” said Fu Ying-chuan, a retired major general who joined 156 former officers who signed a petition against the arms deal.
The critics plan to hold a protest march Saturday in the capital, Taipei. They appear to have wide support: Recent polls indicate most Taiwanese think the deal is too costly.
Enter the government’s bubble tea analogy, which says Taiwan could raise the money if everyone had one less cup of the drink each week over 15 years. It not only makes light of the $18 billion pricetag, it does so with an example intended to resonate with working-class Taiwanese who favor the drinks sold on most street corners.
Bubble tea vendors, meanwhile, have different ideas about how to pay for the weapons.
“We should drink less Coca Cola,” said Huang Kuo-shu, a city councilor in the central city of Taichung. “That makes more sense.”[/quote]
And you guys thought I was the one with half bake ideas.