American Fried Rice
INT. DINING ROOM/AIRPORT - NIGHT
A still image of a party. A large group of Asians is seated
at a table covered with food, eating and talking animatedly.
Another image of a plate of fried rice, held by a motherly
Cut to an image of ANN (20s) at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in
Bangkok, surrounded by friends and family. Ann looks happily
at the camera. A finger swipe over the image. We realize
INT. ANN’S ROOM - DAY
Everything we just saw were images on a mobile phone. The
finger pinches the screen, and the image zooms into Ann’s
Looking at the mobile phone is Ann herself, her face now sad
and lonely in the evening light.
Ann is sitting alone on a bed in her room. The studio is
bare, as if she has just moved in. An open luggage is on the
floor, the tag "BKK-LAX" still attached to the handle.
All of a sudden, a loud thump blasts from the room next
door. Ann jumps and look at the wall. Spanish music starts
to play. The bass thumps relentlessly. Ann sighs and drop
her phone on the bed. She gets up and walk to the window.
She looks at the busy Los Angeles street outside. Even more
music. Faint conversations in Spanish. Sirens blare in the
distance. Ann looks at everything in trepidation.
At that moment, her stomach growls.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Ann stands in front of a large pile of empty Thai instant
noodle packs. She picks one up. The label reads: ’Tom Yum
Kung’ and shakes it dejectedly. Dropping the pack on the
pile, she considers something then looks out of the window.
EXT. STREET BY MACARTHUR PARK - DAY
Ann walks unsurely through the streets, all by herself.
Around her are rundown apartment blocks, dilapidated
shopping malls. The streets are busy with Latin Americans.
Her eyes scan the restaurants she passes by. All of them are
EXT. LEEWARD AVENUE - NIGHT
The streets are now dark and empty, bathed in the sodium
vapor light. Ann is still walking alone down the street,
albeit a little faster. She looks around worriedly until her
eyes rest on a Thai restaurant. Ann’s face lits up.
INT. THAI RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Ann walks into the restaurant. The place is empty. Ann
gingerly walks to a table and sit down. She looks at the
A WAITER walks over. Ann looks up, smiling, ready to order,
when she realizes that the waiter is Latin American. Ann
struggles for words. The waiter looks at her and leaves.
Perplexed, Ann looks at her hand and notices that her finger
has been pointing at ’American Fried Rice’ on the menu.
The waiter returns with the meal. The fried rice looks
exactly like the fried rice she had at her going away party,
down to the way the sausages are cut.
Ann picks up her spoon, dips it into the rice, and put the rice into her mouth.
She chews. And then slowly, she smiles and relaxes.
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