i know what you mean!

WP ate my post

Posted on: September 26, 2010

and i am not motivated to repost. Which is ok, my days are pretty boring lately. Not that I mind. Boring is good news in this neck of the wood. What to do with 40 apples ? I made fried rice with apples and beef today. That’s only 3 apples down. I ate 2 this morning. That’s only 5 down. I’m thinking apple galette, but I’m not seeing that happening until at least next weekend, when Son’s home to eat it with me. May won’t eat apple sauce. But maybe we’ll do some carrot and apple soup. And then maybe some Flemish stew with fluffy rabbit and apples…

Speaking of which, I was thinking yesterday while driving around: in Vietnamese (and Chinese and Japanese too, but I won’t bother pointing it out since how many Japanese and Chinese readers do I really have? Hi Cindy) we differentiate between uncooked rice (ga.o) and cooked rice (co+m). But we don’t differentiate much between the animal and its meat. I mean, we add “meat” to the name of the animal to indicate that it is now food, but we don’t go from “cow” to “beef,” “hog” to “pork” etc., etc. the way English (and French) speakers do. I was thinking of this because I was observing the way May learns the names of her animals and her food in Vietnamese. We’d be going to the farm to see cute fluffy chickens, and then we come home where I serve her chicken. Same word. I wonder how soon it’ll be before she puts 1+1 together. I never did. Growing up in Vietnam, it was just so matter of factly presented, and meat was such a great treat, that eating the animals around us were never much of a moral dilemma. I think perhaps it’s easier to make the comprehension leap when the language May speaks (primarily Vietnamese) does not make the meat sound different from the animal.

Many books ago, I read a line in a food ethics book that said, in our (American) culture, we are so removed from our food that we have a different name for the meat of the animal, as to mask the reality of our carnivorous (and thus brutal) selves. It all sounds pretty good in soundbites, but I don’t think it’s true. I think just as cooked rice is differentiated from uncooked rice in Vietnamese, beef and cow were differentiated in the English language for the sake of communication clarity. Rice is such a food staple in Vietnam that the linguistics surrounding it is rich. For the same reason, probably the English diet was consisted more of meat, hence they got into the habit of differentiating between the livestocks and the meat (I am aware that “beef” and “pork” “mutton” etc. are all derived from French, probably due to the Norman Conquest, maybe the English were just eating potatoes until the French came, who knows). My thoughts didn’t get any further than this, because the drive was relatively short.

I spent 1.5+ hours singing nonstop to May today. She likes to sit koala style in my lap at night, as I rock her back and forth singing all sorts of songs I could think of. She listened intently. I sang waaay too many religious songs to her. Because I used to be in the choir, where I sang many religious songs and memorized half of them. As for other songs, I’m afraid I only possess full memorization of national anthems and communist propaganda songs. Or nice songs that had to fulfill patriotic quota by inserting a random HoChiMinh phrase in there somewhere, regardless of meaning.

Here’s a classic commie song for old time’s sake:
trông lên trời việt nam
ngàn sao chiếu ánh vàng
sao Việt Nam sáng ngời
lấp lánh ánh tự do
em yêu quý quốc kỳ
vàng sao trên nền đỏ thắm
máu biết bao anh hùng
đổ xuống cho quê hương!

This song exceeds all patriotic quotas.

And here’s a timely one:
trăng thu chiếu sáng trên giòng sông
bập bùm tiếng trống khua mừng trăng
đêm qua bãi chiến công vừa xong (summon trăng cho có lệ thôi chớ bây giờ mới vào chủ để chính)
đồn giặc mỹ xác phơi đầy đồng (bài này cho nhi đồng đấy nhé)

bộ đội ơi cho bé đi theo
đừng cười chê em bé tí teo
vác súng trên vai bước theo quân hành
nhằm giặc mỹ súng em “bành bành” (trẻ con mà bạo động chưa)

mai đây bé lớn lên bằng anh
đầu đội chiếc nón nan màu xanh
trên vai vác súng theo đoàn quân
thầm dặn má má ơi đừng buồn

vì hàng đêm nghe má ru con
rằng ngày sau con giống cha con
giống cha con chiến đấu kiên cường (má này bi quan quá, không mong cho kháng chiến chóng thành công mà lại nghĩ đến chuyện chiến tranh dài 20 năm)
làm người chiến sĩ giáng phóng quân lên đường!


1 Response to "WP ate my post"

You are always observing the things that I never realized existed. Love it!

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