Salary should be salty, chocolate should be sweet

by | Feb 7, 2019 | Daily conversations, Understanding the dictionary | 0 comments

Do you know what SALT and SALARY have to do with each other? Before there was salary, there was salt. Salt was very expensive in ancient Rome, it was precious like gold, and the Romans paid their soldiers in salt rations, or, as they were called, “salarium”. Eventually the Romans substituted money for salt but they kept the name SALARIUM. (I guess coming up with new words is not that easy.)

As I was reading about salt and salary, I remembered an unforgettable event that took place when I was a child in the 90’s in Romania. My mother worked in a textile factory, and one day she came home crying because it was payday and her salary was paid to her in chocolate. She was beyond herself, because, suffice it to say, our family was very poor. For my part I was thrilled with the chocolate. When my mother said she got paid in chocolate, I expected something like 100 bars of chocolate, but it was barely enough chocolate for a family of four: a jar of Nutella knock-off (that was the first time I’d ever seen and tasted anything so delicious), and 5 bars of chocolate. My mother was depressed for weeks after the chocolate incident, suicide came in the conversation quite often, and she couldn’t eat chocolate for years. I have to agree with the Romans. Salary should be salty.

I’m happy to say that years later, when I got a job I told my mother to quit her job if she wanted to. And one day, she did just that. And I’m really, really happy that now my mother tells me she eats a lot of chocolate. As I’m writing this, my eyes are teary, that’s how happy I am for her. No one should hate chocolate.

See you,