Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A long time ago

Black Chicken market original

I'm not the greatest blogger I know. I realise I haven't touched this blog in almost 2 months. Doubtless everyone who has ever read it has dropped off by now. But anyway I am going to add something now about the trip we took to Sapa with Connor and Bin. It is actually about a food we ate there. Black chicken.

There seems something sinister about eating a black chicken. Something sacrosanct like peeing in a church, hotwiring a hearse or defacing a picture of a Cardinal. It seems like the sort of thing you would do in a devil worshipping ceremony. Put on some red robes, funk your hair up and eat a black chicken, maybe afterwards put a curse on your kid brother so he has a hiccupping fit during band practice or breaks his retainer eating a taco.

I’d heard about black chicken from a source, and that’s always the way with these sorts of things. Someone whispers something in your ear, you find a note taped to the bottom of your chair, instructions are lipsticked on your mirror when you come out of the shower, or thrust into your hand in the midst of a prison riot. I was told that it was medicinal in nature, a local delicacy in Sapa and worth a million sins. Though perhaps my mind conjured up that last part after I suffered a blow from a dinner tray during the riot.

Where we went to eat I couldn’t order it off the menu. I get confused about that. If it’s on the menu and I order it off the menu, does that mean if it’s not on the menu I order it on the menu and it’s off the menu. It’s something that needs the UN’s attention (oh yes in these times more than ever, my inner worrywart is saying). At any rate I ask the waitress to get me one from the market just outside and after agreeing to pay for the whole thing myself, someone is dispatched to carry out the deed.

This is the first time I’ve engaged in anything so blatantly corrupt and I’m a little bit nervous. I make the mistake of blindly selecting some preparation off of the menu and I get the yips when it comes out hissing and spitting on a steel plate. I’m sure the lights dimmed slightly when they brought it over but it might have been a power dip. It’s hard to pinpoint satanic intervention mixed up with genuine electrical inconvenience when I’m so far from home.

Black Chicken with lemongrass

The chicken is black. I mean it really is black, the skin, the bones, the feet and the eyes too. The meat though, senor, she is not (my inner Mexican comments). Her taste is sweet and woody, gamey rough with a lemony tang from the preperation of lime leaves she has been smothered in. My skin prickles a little, but I feel no turning from the light in my soul and I admit a little bit of disappointment about selling my eternal salvation so cheaply. It tastes a little like eating one of the Marlboro Man’s calves, the Marlboro chicken, or a sandwich smoked under the bonnet of a truck.

Google eyes

I actually expect a bit of damnation to oocur later on that night. It wouldn’t be the first time on the road that I’ve been struck down and the market the chicken came from looked to be the same one Ebola grew up in. Nothing happens however and I get to cross the threshold of churches again with nothing more than the usual burning sensation. Live another day I say.

19 Comments:

At 11:58 am, Blogger Preya said...

Love love love your writing! I was traumatized by black chicken when I was 9. Well, it was actually a baby bird, which is worse. My brother snatched it off the plate and stuck it in my shoe. There's some Vietnamese food I just don't like:)

 
At 12:46 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am very offended that you treat black chicken in a segregated manner. i am here to represent all chicken of colours, they shall be choked, plucked and eaten equally.

 
At 1:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha, love what the guy above me say. Yes, it's discrimination. All chickens are born equal!!! What's wrong with being black?

 
At 11:02 am, Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

havent really tried eatnig black chicken except when they boil soup.

been to alomost everywhere in Vietnam cept SAPA

 
At 12:54 pm, Blogger greypanther said...

aha,very interesting. Have tried black chickens.Hey they are good, what the hell,u hungry u eat no?How about balute?u know those embryo duck eggs, try those huh?They are good too,u hungry u eat?meat and potatoes how boring!!U gotta worry about the avian flu now,forget all the above take Tamiflu eh?

 
At 6:09 am, Anonymous sicky said...

Sounds gross and sickening!

 
At 6:12 am, Anonymous sicky said...

I'll puke!

 
At 6:15 am, Anonymous sicky said...

The horror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 8:04 pm, Anonymous sicky said...

Booooorrrrrrriiiiiing!

 
At 8:09 pm, Anonymous sicky said...

I changed my mind sounds delicous... sorry bathroom!

 
At 8:13 pm, Anonymous sicky said...

(Farts) I'm back and hunrgy, do you have black chicken?

 
At 8:17 pm, Anonymous sicky said...

i got struck by litening... yay!

 
At 8:17 pm, Anonymous sicky said...

i got struck by litening... yay!

 
At 8:20 pm, Anonymous sicky said...

LOve what the guy above me said!

 
At 8:27 pm, Anonymous sicky said...

I'm mincemeat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 11:43 am, Anonymous Kumi said...

Black chicken is damn scary and tastes gross. The "traditional" Vietnamese think it's good for one, but. .__.

 
At 6:03 am, Anonymous vietnamese translator said...

I really like your writing

 
At 12:42 pm, Anonymous Blog Cantik said...

Nice posts..!
Glad to know U..!

 
At 6:38 pm, Anonymous ST said...

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