The Breakup


Full o’ pork noodles at Guaythiew Moo Jay Pui

Excuse me if I don’t make a lot of sense today. America broke up with me this week, and I’m only now beginning to make sense of it.

They talk about the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), but I am unsure of where I stand. Mostly I just feel numb. I feel like I should have known better. There had been so many signs. There were all the times you questioned my English, or tried to explain to me my own culture. Or the time you came over to my house for dinner and asked if we were eating dog. The couple of times you mistook me for Lisa Ling, or automatically assumed I could fix your computer. And so many times you told me I was overreacting to jokes you had made or things you had done, that I was too emotional, being too touchy. I needed more things to do, you said. Was it that time of the month? After all, America doesn’t see color, and everyone knows America believes in women’s equality, everyone says so.

I should have seen it coming. You told me yourself, that no one understood what you were doing with me in the first place, that you could do better. You made sure I knew that. You said I was cute, and “pretty in my own way”, but there was no way I could ever be a 10. Oh sorry, you said it would be “very hard” for me to be a 10.  There I go again, misrepresenting you, but what do you expect? My English will never be as good as yours, and going out with me in public always embarrassed you a little bit. “Why her?” your friends would ask, and you would shrug and tell them that it was a good year for small town girls. You thought I was lucky, for a while. But it’s time to go back to the Courtneys of the world. Doubtless you think I’m overreacting now, at this very moment. SAD! You should have known better, too.

When you are dumped, you want to eat the whole world. I am saying this, just a few hours after having inhaled 3 pieces of broccoli-and-sausage pizza and some pillow-soft pappardelle in duck ragu. Also, I an gluten- and dairy-intolerant, so my stomach will feel like exploding any minute now. But I feel like it will be worth it. I have been eating and drinking so much lately, never feeling full, always so ravenous. Maybe a case of indigestion is a good thing, when you are hell-bent on eating your feelings.

But if your stomach is always empty and your face always in need of stuffing into a silent mask of despair, a great big bowl of noodles is probably a better bet, in the long run. So if you find yourself at Guaythiew Moo Jay Pui, also known as “Moo Deng”, on Prachatipatai Road in Banglamphu, and you feel like there is a bottomless hole in your gut that you cannot fill, well, this bowl could go a ways towards helping a little bit. Sweet pork broth, two different types of meatballs (one smooth and bouncy, the other sweet), a heaping helping of rice noodles and a generous shower of deep-fried shallots and fresh coriander? You can’t always get what you want … but a bowl of pork noodles does go a long way.




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12 responses to “The Breakup

  1. Al

    As an older Asian guy who grew up in New York City, I could only imagine what it was like to grow up in a place that may not have been ethnically diverse. That said, knowing oneself and knowing that one’s own opinion of yourself and the opinions of those who you care about most the only ones that matter. There isn’t enough time in this life to care about people who don’t really matter think of you.

    About the election, what can I say? We need to get rid of the electoral college.

    As for your blog, I just came upon it today and enjoy your writing. Keep it up!

    Cheers from NYC!

  2. Sweet pork broth sounds great

  3. I live in Seattle, and we’re shocked and grieving (and stuffing our faces and chugging wine), too. I’ll be eating and drinking my feelings in Bangkok the first and last weeks of January while many of my friends are marching in Washington. If you need a sympathetic ear, a drinking buddy, and/or a sense of solidarity, let me know!

  4. Jonathan King

    Half of our electorate (aka registered voters) did not vote at all. Half of those who did, meanwhile, voted for Trump. He was elected, in other words, by 25% of the eligible voters. We need to work on that problem, definitely, and I suppose a lot of us have just generally had a bad attitude all week long — but it doesn’t mean we’re breaking up with you!

  5. Chissa

    I need to eat my feelings!

  6. Paul

    San Francisco, L.A., New York, and other places are still here, unchanged nor have any of the poplar racist cliches you speak about (San Francisco is over 40% Asian). The places that voted the new President in, that you or I never visit, nor read about cuisine.

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