Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dogs In Taiwan

I was telling my parents about the proliferation of soi dogs in Thailand. At the risk of perpetuating stereotypes about alternative Asian cuisine, I'm following up my last post with my parents' response.

"Years ago, when I was still in Taiwan, you'd never see stray dogs anywhere."

"Why not?"

"People were hungry. They'd catch stray dogs and eat them."

"Really? I thought white people just made that up about Asian people."

"No. Even your dad, when he was in the military, his friends would catch dogs and eat them."

"No, no," my dad said. "Not everyone. Just the officers. They'd never share it with the regular soldiers."

"So, I mean, you'd catch the dogs and then grill them over a fire?"

"No," my mom said. "Stew."

"They'd catch the dog and then chop chop chop," my dad said, chopping at the air with his hands.

"But stray dogs are so skinny," I said, always being practical. "What's there to eat?"

"Better than nothing."

Now I'm in the mood to watch that episode of King of the Hill when the Laotian family moves in next door and their pet dog escapes from the yard. As the wife frantically calls the police to report their dog missing, Peggy spies on them through the window. She sees her strange Asian neighbor in the middle of making dinner, chopping meat while she's explaining the situation to the police.

"Dog!" she says into the phone. "Run out!"

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