It’s a Sunday night and I have a little more than 12 hours until my first class of a new week. If I make sure I have 8 hours of sleep as they recommend for everyone, and an hour of scurrying around to get ready in the morning, then I’d have only 3 hours left to tend my homework, make a plot to show my advisor, write my thesis (and hope one day I will finish), study for the GRE, and blog. (One would say blogging is a waste of time, but I personally think it’s a better use of time than hanging out at clubs and bars. Anyway, maybe that’s just me.) Of those activities blogging isn’t the easiest one, I kid you not. You got bored from working, took out a piece of pastry your mom got you from Lee’s Sandwiches. You thought, since it’s not popular where you live and you haven’t had it since donkeys ago and couldn’t find it on Wikipedia, maybe you should blog about it. Then you took pictures of it. You even took out a knife to cut it up nicely.
Then you ate it. Then you washed your greasy hand and wiped away the flakes and tossed the napkin into the trash can. Then you took the memory card out of your camera and slid it into the slot on the side of your computer. Nothing showed up. You opened Computer, but no form of external drive was in sight to click on. Windows Vista gives you surprises. Deterred? Nah. A USB cable came in handy, you got your images transferred. Uploaded too. Then you have nothing to write. The pictures are there. The names are there. Just no words in mind. It oddly resembles doing homework.
The pate chaud is a common pastry at any bakery in Saigon, and although I haven’t been to other parts of the country, I’d say it’s common everywhere in Vietnam. It’s not quite common here. This is the second time I’ve had it in America, the first time was at Shokolaat downtown Palo Alto, but Shokolaat serves it as an entree, not a snack, and the stuffing at Shokolaat is not seasoned ground pork. The ground pork clump in Lee’s pate chaud is similar to what I’ve had in Vietnam and the pork stuffing in banh bao (minus the peas and all). Unlike other Americanized Vietnamese dishes loaded with meat, this chap actually has a skim amount of meat inside. If the pate chaud in Saigon is Sarah Palin, fluffy, flaky, and shiny, then the pate chaud in Houston is Vladimir Putin, a charred, compact, powerful settlement in your tummy.