A blog of my time spent in Vietnam working for Bao Nhan Dan.

Monday, April 04, 2005

There’s no business, like cho business

Kate, lift your hands from the keyboard and slowly back away from the screen…move along there’s nothing to see here!

Having got back to playing football on Thursday afternoons, I had to leave early to meet up with the gang to have dinner and take part in the Finnegan’s pub quiz – which was well worth it as we won! Having to leave early on the Thursday meant I had missed out on a few drinks with my work colleagues, so on Friday night we headed off to the local Bia Hoi to catch up on things and discuss what scum Chelsea are and other less important world issues.

After sinking a couple of glasses of the local brew, some food was brought to the table. I genuinely wasn’t particularly hungry but thought I’d better have a couple of bits. There were two dishes in front of me supplemented by a huge pile of bitter fresh herbs and a couple of dips, including the notoriously smelly shrimp paste. I started wondering what the dishes were, and was told they were ‘ethnic specialities’, so not much info to go on there. One dish was made up of delicious looking morsels of grilled meat with dried galangal on top, the other had a passing resemblance to roast lamb. So I tucked in enjoying the flavoursome grilled meat and galangal. I even tried some of the fresh galangal root – which was mind blowingly hot – try munching on fresh horseradish to replicate the flavour –so hot that it induced a coughing fit in me!

Anyway after I’d had a nibble or two more of the grilled dish, I moved on to the roast slices, chomping away I thought it was pretty similar in flavour to lamb, if a bit more stringy – goat maybe I was thinking…then having finished my fourth glass of beer, Hoan and Tuan said, oh yes, we forgot to mention it’s dog meat! I can’t say I was overly fazed as the suspicion had been brewing throughout the meal. The tab with our order on it had remained firmly down the other end of the table, and I had had problems placing the flavour of the meat prior to the revelation. Ironically enough, when I recounted the story to my Tinh my work colleague she had said that she didn’t know that dog tasted like lamb as she’d never had lamb. She also said that there were another five ways of eating dog that I’d yet to try…two down, five to go!

Hoan and Tuan were a little disappointed I think, that I didn’t go grey faced or even express distress at the thought of eating dog, however I made it clear that no way I am ever eating cat. Note: Cho is dog meat and Meo is cat, just so you know…


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Marianne and I are both enjoying reading about your exploits in Vietnam. Your descriptions of your travels and experiences put my 'sports writings' on QPR to shame (I don't think Hugh McIlvanney has anything to worry about do you?) Anyway, after reading about all your visitors recently it makes us wish we had been able to come out to see you, but as you know, Marianne's belly is bigger than mine now so all travel plans are off until later in the year at the earliest. Slainte Mhath!

9:40 pm

Blogger JC said...

Hi Stewart,

Nice to know you and Marianne are visiting the blog! Keep up the good work with the match reports - I'm starved for news about QPR - everyone here is obsessed with Chelscum and Manu. Might be staying out here longer than expected - maybe next March, would that give you time to pay a visit?

12:57 am


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