Family Dog

A good friend of mine took me for a long bike ride just last week. It was exhilarating. On the final leg of the journey he insisted on taking me for beer and snacks, local styles. He knew the place. Eight tables, four occupied. He left me to order beer whilst he went and chose snacks. That’s the way at most of the restaurants around here; you go into the kitchen to order the food, so you can see what’s available. The beer arrived it wasn’t cold, it wasn’t warm either, I can live with that. The food arrived. Dog MeatFour dishes, more like dinner really. We talked about our ride and how bad my Chinese is. It’s a hard language. Finally we got around to the food. Fried broad beans, green vegetable and mushroom, peanuts and what I assumed from the taste was beef. No. It was dog. I had seen dog heads for sale around town. Dogs for eating he assured me. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. I couldn’t imagine eating Betty the Alsatian, we have befriended from down the road. Maybe dogs for eating were dogs I hadn’t seen roaming the streets. The meat was tender, tasted like corned beef and was flavoured with Sichuan pepper and slightly gelatinous. Knowing it was dog tripped me up momentarily. ‘Local food’ my friend assured me. Thankfully, more beer arrived. I was convinced I had enjoyed it. My friend assured me we were stronger for eating dog. Later at home I started to feel a little green. Almost like my stomach was rejecting its contents. I had a cup of tea and a lie down. In the morning I still felt a little under the radar. Could I face it again? Probably. Would I? Depends if it’s a dog for eating or not.

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