This is an excerpt from Vinh where we stayed with a friend from home, Matt. It’s a bit of a fucked up story.
When asked by Matt if we’d eat dog Alistair and I had slightly differing opinions. I was of the opinion that since I eat all meats, why should dog be any different. I’ve been a dog owner and lover all my life, but then I’m an animal lover in general, so why should a dog differ from a cow or a pig?
Alistair on the other hand was adamant that he wouldn’t under any circumstance eat dog. He was a vegetarian for two years before coming to Asia and is a big dog lover.
We’d met Matt’s boss Hue a few times by this point. She’s really sweet and Matt considers her like a sister.
We’d been out the night before (obviously!) and were all feeling a little bit on the tender side. We woke up and Matt was trying to hurry us out of the apartment so we could go for some breakfast with Hue.
We rode about for a bit in the rain looking for the ‘restaurant’. It was a small place packed full of Vietnamese people all eating and escaping the rain. The place wasn’t the cleanest to be honest. You’d eat the meat and discard any bones or parts you don’t want to eat on the floor.
We found Hue and her husband and sat down with them, they’d already ordered and were tucking into some of the wild pig meat, cold noodles and shrimp sauce for dipping. Hue gave us each a bowl, and dished out some of the meat and noodles onto our plates.
I wasn’t feeling too good anyways and have never been a breakfast person but being polite I tried some of the meat and noodles. The noodles weren’t too pleasant as they were cold and a little sour and the meat was very chewy. I’d say belly pork is my favourite cut of meat. So the first bit of meat I tried was a meaty bit with fat on it. It was so chewy I chewed for about 5 minutes trying and failing to swallow it. I had to sneakily spit it out and discard it on the floor. I tried another piece which was like a tube with meat in it and bone, maybe throat or something. Again it wasn’t pleasant and was hard to eat. After that I decided I wasn’t hungry any more.
Matt didn’t eat anything, he wasn’t hungry.
Alistair ate everything he was given, being too polite to say no. He had a fair few bits of meat from different organs and parts of the pig. He even ate its heart. He didn’t enjoy it but because we liked Hue so much he didn’t want to offend her by saying no.
We left Hue and her husband and ended up going for some other food elsewhere.
So, that was that. Our most unpleasant food experience in Vietnam. It doesn’t sound so bad right? Read on.
We later traveled with Matt after leaving Vinh, for about a week starting in Da Nang.
One of the things he said to us a few times was “I got you”. He even showed Andy (another guy we were traveling with) a picture on his phone. He wouldn’t tell us what it was, and said he wouldn’t until he left.
When he left us a week later Alistair and I got a group chat message on facebook from Matt and Hue;
Needless to say we didn’t know it was dog meat and neither of us were too pleased he’d tricked us like that. I could see the funny side and had said I’d try it if I knew, but Alistair was furious and still is. He doesn’t like talking about it and Matt better hope he doesn’t see him any time soon!
Again, the monster at work.
At least now I can say I’ve eaten dog meat. And no, I wouldn’t willingly eat it again. I think I’ll just stick to dogs as pets, not food.