Bye-bye Birdie

I was in Vietnam for work in may, for a week, and I quite liked it. Nice and hot, summery, friendly people, interesting food..

When asked what sort of food I wanted to eat, I’d say, “something authentic”. So we went for authentic, one night, anyway. It was a big restaurant outside on a street corner, noisy because of the passing traffic, scrawny plastic chairs, wobbly table, sticky menus. There was only one other table of obvious foreigners. We got a nice big crate of Tiger beer.

Things don’t happen in the usual order in vietnamese restaurants. The menus are nicely divided into apetizers, main courses and desserts, but they bring you the food as it is finished, without any heavy planning. This particular evening Lynsey had pretty much finished her meal by the time the rest of us got our meals.

The menu had things like ovaries and “(Live) frog”, and dove, which I ordered in my frenzied attempt to go authentic. Judging by Lynsey’s ribs, which were mostly skin and bone, a disconcerting thought crossed my mind. Skin, bones, beak? Indeed, when my plate arrived it had a whole bird on it. No feathers but everything else was there. I never looked for the feet but the head was hard to miss. I’ve seen my dad eat cod head a zillion times, I don’t know why this was so shocking.

The boys were so clever as to order chicken, a safe choice, one should think. Of course the chickens came with heads, too.

For the record, I ate like 1 gram of meat off that dove. There wasn’t much more to be had. I think the vietnamese must be into skin.