Friday, April 24, 2009


It's been eight months since I've been in Vietnam and nonetheless there is something everyday that stikes me as bizarre. Here is a short list from the past several months.

-puttering along on my motorbike en route to the university I see a deer tied to a post outside the goat meat restaurant. On second thought it must be a large species of goat.

(On a side note: Goat meat is quite tasty. I first tried it in a fresh spring roll with fresh herbs and starfruit. I'm surprised that this meat has flown under the radar in the States for so long as it contains higher protien than beef and even less fat than chicken. Spread the word.)

-a truck rambling past on the freeway to Hanoi full of puppies. These little furry guys aren't going to end up as cuddly pets.

-a gigantic green squash rides shotgun on one man's old Honda Dream Motorbike.

-a old woman seating on the back of a park bench combs through a younger man's (her son?) hair picking out (lice?).  An image banally instinctual to the extent of divine beauty.

Not even realizing it, most of these strange moments here are culinary in nature. Which naturally I find fitting in Vietnam especially when my students inquire about my favorite Vietnamese food before they ask where I'm from.

There are not too many foods that I don't like and dog meat is one of them.  I must be the one who is bizarre, the Tay (Vietnamese slang for Westerner) who detests the filet minogn of meat.

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