Thursday, August 02, 2007

Beware of the dog ...

"No problem. I haven't had hotpot for quite a while ..."

Innocent enough words in their own right. But when overheard as a response to a request for dog-sitting a small labrador puppy, they brought the realisation we'd entered dog eating country.

Of course in this instance the young lady at the cafe in Yangshuo was only joking, but we knew we'd have to order our meals increasingly carefully as we headed toward the border and into Vietnam.

Last stop in China was a quick 36 hours in Nanning to arrange our Vietnam visas. With its palm lined boulevards, Nanning rather put me in mind of the Florida I know from watching Miami Vice as a youngster. Except for one notable difference - a whole street dedicated to cuisine of the canine variety. We steered well clear.

Then just as we we're getting ready to leave for Hanoi, I receive this rather concerning email from the hotel we'd booked;

Hi again,

I just checked your website - really nice job! Since you're interested in "special" foods, I'll be sure to get some recommendations ready for you while you're here. Dog is off the menu, I take it? I suppose cat will be too? Still, there's always crocodile, scorpion, or even duck embryos. Vietnam, as you probably already now, does have many "special" foods, so I hope you'll get the chance to try them all.

Best of luck planning your trip!

I am officially getting worried.