Rats!!!….. just another food

Today my google adds were disabled. I guess it has detected a reader or readers clicking on the adds too much or something. I do not understand how this could have happened. If the adds are of interest to you there is no reason not to click on them and look at the contents, but If you are clicking on them and then just closing them to help me out, thank you, but please stop. I have appealed being cut off and hopefully I will be reinstated.

I saw a post on the trip advisor website about there being rats on a junk in Halong bay. Well…. Let me tell you a little about rats. Tonight my friend Carl and I sat at an excellent seafood restaurant enjoying some conversation. The day had ended and at night the nocturnal creatures began to stir. Carl exclaimed that there were big rats running amongst the bricks only a few feet away from us. After a few uncomfortable swings of my head, I spotted the little fellows. To me, the rats we saw were only perhaps 60 percent of the size I have seen. The most common rat I see here is brown grey in color and as large as some as the miniature dogs a person can see nowadays. The rats we saw were black (the first time I have seen them). I am sorry to say that the rats are everywhere. Once the sun sets, they begin coming out of their shelters in search of food. Oh and how plentiful it is!! Remember that most of the garbage here is biological waste, so it is a smorgasbord for the rats. No problem though…. They do not bother people. The rats in Vietnam are a very nervous lot that hide at the slightest movement. Fear not, you will not be bitten or even bothered by them, but do not be surprised if they are in the unlikeliest of places such as boats and other vehicles. They seek refuge anywhere they can during the day. The rats do have enemies here. There are bald eagles and other predators that feed on them. I am sure there are a host of other creatures that also could help with the populations, but they do not live in the city. There is one special kind of rat here. It is exclusively raised on rice and is a meat animal. I had the pleasure of eating rat in a restaurant in Saigon. I have to admit that there was not much for meat after it was cooked and the BBQ sauce disguised the flavor of the meat, besides, the tiny rib bones reminded me of fish. It was OK but I do not think eating it again will go towards satisfying my hunger… Maybe the Tarantulas I had in Cambodia are better for that.

Speaking of food

Many people believe that the Vietnamese will eat the family dog. This is really not true. The family pet is safe!! It is true that the Vietnamese eat dog and there are many restaurants devoted to dog dishes. I have on many occasions enjoyed a late of BBQ dog. How does it taste??  It tastes fine and I cannot describe a taste. Try to describe garlic for example. It is similar to??? The truth is that there is a specific breed of dog that is raised on farms for consumption. I have no idea of the breed and probably do not want to know. Dogs are cute lovable animals and seeing my dinner wanting to lick my face might give me a problem. There may have been a time in the past where any dog was fair game, but not now. I have of as yet not been able to find a restaurant that serves cat. I have looked, but to no avail. Darn!! I would prefer to eat a cot over a dog any day!!

Tonight, Carl has mentioned that we have to go for a good snake dinner sometime. I am looking forward to that. I have had snake in the past and found the meat to be quite tasty. He described the experience as this… The skin was stripped off the snake and deep fried somewhat like pork rinds with a nutty flavor. The meat was then prepared a number of ways. One of them was the meat being pounded into a sort of mince and fried bones and all. There was another method of cooking, but I cannot recall at the moment. The finale was the still beating heart was added to a glass of wine mixed with the snake’s blood. ( I think I will skip on that part). Mmmmm Mmmmm there are so many things to enjoy for unusual food in Vietnam. Sadly there seems to be one food missing that I enjoyed in the past…. Jelly fish.. I remember 10 or 12 years ago that we would go to the market and see a 45 gallon drum filled with sea water. Inside were clouds of jellyfish pumping their way this and that. Back then on sot of a dare, I scooped up a few from the drum and ate them live. Wow!! What a nice texture. There was really no taste but the texture was not unlike eating cole slaw. To this day, I add jellyfish to my appetizers if it is available.

There is a bit of hope on the horizon. I have an option to replace my departing night receptionist. Ideally a man is preferable as dealing with other aggressive men might be easier handled, however, all my options at the moment are women. I need somebody fast and a friend has recommended a person who may be an asset to us. If I hire her,,, I may only have 3 days to train her. If I go with the other alternatives I have, I will have a couple of weeks to train. Hmmmmm. I trust my friend and am willing to give his recommendation a try, however, she may not be able to make it here until a few days before departure. If for some reason I do not have a night person, I may have to just lock the doors for 3 weeks and I really do not want that.

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Owee

Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

4 thoughts on “Rats!!!….. just another food

  1. OOPS!! that above post was me!

    Anon… I respect your opinons and hope to see more from you in the future. I would be very curious to get your take on the issue of eating dogs, and perhaps post it, but your email address entry caused me to treat your response a bit suspect. My own nefew is in the animal business ( much to the disghust of my nieces) and I can forward any questions you have about the industry to him. If you enter a real email…. nobody but me can see it and I will respond to you directly if you wish.

  2. Here is a comment I got, bud did not approve in case he or she has some kind of other agenda… I paste it here because anybody is entitled to their opinion…..

    A poster called Anon posted

    “you complete fool – dogs are bread but they are also stolen for consumption I have lived here for over 4 years and have lost 2 pets to Cay restaurants – you are a novice, this country is not all smelling of roses….”

    REALLY!!! Some of my relatives have also had dogs stolen… but not for food! but beacuse thay wanted dogs to have to yap in their property to “so called ward off people”

    I have a lot of Vietnamese friends and family here and all of them agree that dogs off the street do not taste good and furthermore… they are cute and many would never eat anything but a bred for meat dog…..I tend to believe them….. but then, I am a complete fool. 🙂 Oh… and believe me, I have never claimed this place is smelling of roses…. just read a few more of the blogs

    1. Thats funny…. I saw the cool photo.. Naw…. there is new coral growing over old in the protected zones without the jellyfish. Maybe they are feeding on the divers? Bwa Ha Ha

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