Friday, April 18, 2008

3:11 AM

I woke up this morning at 3:11 AM. I am still adjusting to the US timezones. There was no hope for me going back to sleep. So I got out of bed, walked into the living room and who is laying on the couch? None other than the lovely Megan Bartley. She could not sleep either. Our dog, PugPuggy, was curled on her lap, snoring away.

At first, I was really sad that I woke up at shortly after 3. But when I saw Megan was awake, I was a little happier. Then Megan said something that she has never said before, "I am in the mood for IHOP." At 3:15 AM, Megan and I both wanted to go to the International House of Pancakes.

As we were driving there, I was trying to remember the last time I went to an IHOP. I think it was before I moved to Japan... about 8 years ago. I am not sure if this is true, but I vaguely remember going to an IHOP with Andre Meadows in the fall of 2000. I don't remember the occasion, but I vaguely remember Andre, Leah, Owen and some other people at an IHOP in North Austin.

Our VW Cabrio pulled into the IHOP parking lot at the same time as a mini-van. I was making bets with Megan on who was inside the mini-van. My first thought was drunk college kids. My second thought was seniors getting a jump on the day. It turned out I was wrong: it was 2 guys who were clearly computer guys, working late undoubtedly due to some organizational deadline. Poor bastards. I have been there.

I ordered Stuffed Strawberry French Toast with a side of hash browns. Megan had the cinnamon roll french toast. It was yummy, we did not finish it all.

Our waitress also worked at a school. She taught in the day time and worked at IHOP during the morning shift. She had two jobs, one of which is a school teacher... God bless America. As GW put it, she is living a "uniquely American experience". I wanted to ask her about her back story. I wanted to know why she was working 2 jobs. I wanted to ask her how she stayed so upbeat and positive despite working all those hours. But it was too early and maybe she did not want to talk about it, so I did not get into it.

Nonetheless, I had a great breakfast at IHOP. It is now 6:15 AM. I am going to try to go back to sleep. But before I go to sleep, I just want to thank IHOP for being open 24 hours.

Thank you, IHOP.