Tuesday, February 21, 2006


The hunger is starting to gnaw inside of me.

I am writing this on the plane. It has been three hours into the first leg of my trip to the Philippines. There is still another thirteen hours before the plane lands in Seoul, Korea for the second leg of the trip, and then another four hours.

So far, they have given me a small packet of Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts along with a paper napkin and a small glass of Diet Coke. The Diet Coke is gone; I have yet to touch the peanuts. I am hoarding them, like a squirrel, for the coming famine. I am not sure when the food cart will be rolled out and even then, I would be one of the last ones to be served as I am in the front half of the plane.

We boarded the plane at 11 a.m. There are maybe a hundred people on this flight. They all looked hungry, rabid, ready to pounce on any morsel of food.

If they were smart like me, they ate a huge lunch an hour before. Mine was a quarter pounder, a six-piece, fries and a Diet Coke.

I debated whether I should get a regular Coke because the calories could be stored as body fat and can nourish my body and keep me warm during the long flight. But I decided against it; I have recently converted to diet drinks in an effort to stave off the inevitable paunchiness that signals the approach of the gay middle age of 35. I did not want a relapse. It was hard to get over the slightly metallic aftertaste of diet soda, but I think I am over the worse. The cravings only come when I am depressed or after watching The View, then I crave the full, heavy, thick taste of high fructose corn syrup.

I had noticed that I've had to work out harder to keep my abs tight and hard. I was never one to diet, my fast-burning Asian metabolism had served me well through the years, a faithful companion, like a dog or genital herpes. It was only last year that I found out my metabolism was in fact powered by a tapeworm which I had acquired one summer in camp in my twelfth year. I begged the doctor not to kill it, but to no avail. He was merciless. I think he hates Asians, but I can't prove it.

Another hour has passed, I have now opened the packet of peanuts. I poured out the contents on top of the napkin they gave me. There were thirty-six whole peanuts, I counted them. I wanted to figure out how long I could make them last, what interval I should eat them before the food cart arrives. There were also another three halves and probably enough crumbs to form another half. I factored that in too. Every two minutes, perhaps, surely the cart would come by then?

The plan failed. As soon as I started eating the first peanut, the hunger overcame me, beating me senseless like Kevin Federline's rap song. In a moment, the peanuts were gone, crumbs and all. I was still hungry.

I looked at the paper napkin. Would I be able to eat it without any Diet Coke to wash it down? I cursed my weakness, my poor planning. Oh when will the food come?

Continued: Fake Plastic Food


This is part of a series of posts about my vacation in February of '06 in the Philippines. Read the rest here:

Part 1: The Long Way Home
Part 2: Starvation
Part 3: Fake Plastic Food
Part 4: My Old Room
Part 5: Autopilot
Part 6: Jetlag

Part 7: A Conversation with My Father
Part 8: Archeology
Part 9: A Conversation with My Mother
Part 10: Redeye
Part 11: I Carry Your Heart
Epilogue: Fun with Fake Poop

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