The many kinds of dog

I am still roommate-less. She was supposed to move in today, but it could be any point after today so it looks like another night by myself (which is fine, especially since I need to wake up early tomorrow).
I decided to break for dinner. There’s this place next to the hotel that is always absolutely full, mostly of men. Places that busy are normally really good and it’s also a good sign that the food won’t make you sick (though it’s no guarantee).
As I walked in, I finally noticed the sign – turns out it is one of the many places in the area that sell dog.
I got a lot of amused smiles and stares as I sat down (somewhat uncomfortably) at the low tables with the short step stools for chairs. One man at the table next to me, after I had been sitting for awhile, pointed to his plate and said, “dog.” I nodded and replied with an, “I know.”
When my food came, it had four different parts of the dog on it. One of the kinds (the muscle) tasted similar to a combination of pork and steak. Closer to steak, only not as tender with the consistency of pork. Another kind (small intestine?) wasn’t that bad, it kind of tasted like sausage wrapped in seaweed (only there wasn’t any seaweed in it). The last kind I tried tasted like straight up sausage. This was probably my favorite, because it just tasted like sausage, only a little bit different and more difficult to eat with chopsticks. There was one more kind on my plate, but it had bones in it. I can’t handle bones on chicken, I wasn’t able to handle it on dog. Overall, the meat tastes okay, but it’s not something I’d want to order again. On purpose anyway.

While I was eating the man who had pointed out what the meat was came over and I got my first taste of what a few of the other girls have already expierenced. He liked me, thought I was beautiful, he is a well off manager, will I help him with his English? He offered some of his table’s rice wine to me (rice wine in an aquafina bottle, the way to drink it here) and I had a few shots over the course of this broken conversation that quickly ended when he got into the “I love you” phase. He probably does not understand the implications behind the English translation and he was really nice and friendly, but it was still the first time I was in a situation that required giving someone the wrong number.

As I tried to remove myself from the situation, I completely lost my appetite when I pulled something coarse out of my mouth that turned out to be a short, white, distinctly not human hair.
After that, I couldn’t bring myself to eat anymore despite the fact that I felt like a pansy westerner leaving most of my plate still full.
He wouldn’t let me pay for it, even though I tried to argue (which I normally don’t, it’s just now I feel bad for giving him the wrong number whereas if he hadn’t paid for it I wouldn’t have felt as bad).
When I stood up I think even he was surprised that I was more than a head taller than him. I’ve only somewhat gotten used to being as tall as the tallest guys. I have no clue how one of the girls, who is around six feet and blonde, deals with it.

I presently feel kind of sick, but I can’t tell if its the dog, the rice wine, or my mind reeling at the experience.

(I might have brushed my teeth thoroughly twice, flossed, and washed my hands three times in order to get the taste and smell off of me.)

This entry was posted in Asia, Vietnam 2007 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The many kinds of dog

  1. Jonathan says:

    Fido?! How could you!!???

  2. Casey says:

    wow, you’re brave. I have a hard enough time not thinking too hard about what I’m eating when I’m just eating chicken or steak…I don’t think I could handle dog.

  3. Manda says:

    Wow, I don’t know if i could do that. I’m getting surprisingly daring in my now non-Veg*n days, but that… I don’t know about that. You’ve got guts girl…

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