I’m at a loss for words, really. Life has sent me two orders of Taipei-based megadumpling chain Din Tai Fung’s juicy pork-truffle soup dumplings in one month. Just imagine this: minced pork with a spoonful of broth in fluted wheaten skins, all sealed up and steamed in delicious, juicy packages. Now imagine adding black truffle and some deeper, richer broth that has enough gelatin in it to make your lips slickly tacky, your salivation glands work overtime. It’s a dumpling so decadent it doesn’t require sauce or ginger, and they even bring you a clean plate and chopsticks to eat it.

Now imagine eating that twice. Thank you, life.

I will not even complain about being here at my discipline’s massive, angst-filled annual conference again this year.  It’s a dreaded moment in the cycle for many English academics, where all the interviews are held, tortured panels on arbitrary topics take place, and old colleagues and frenemies mingle among sweating graduate students who can’t afford to fly across the country during the holiday break.  You know why?  Because I have truffles perfuming my décolletage and gilded pork juice glistening on my lips.  I may look like a dumpling, but I have the blood of angels.

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