Lucky me, it would be a half-day on duty today and town was calling!
We heard of a particular house to visit, a place to idly but pleasantly pass away the afternoon. Okay it was a mama-san’s house. There were three of us who made our way over there. We were greeted by a couple of scantily dressed girls; as hot as the weather was, I’m sure they were the most comfortable of us all!
They walked us over to a shady spot to sit beneath a tree in the front of this house.
Relaxed and mildly comfortable on the grass I see the mama-san coming our way with a couple more girls and they’re bringing us ice cold beers. So far so good! They too sat, mama-san parking herself down as well.
I remember seeing quite a few trucks going by in front of the house, their tires spitting up dust and gravel from the hot, dry road. I couldn’t help feeling slightly on edge; here anyone is possibly the Việt Cộng even for all we knew, these females in our presence could very well be as such.
There’s a smallish man walking with a basket on his head and is called over by mama-san. He approached us and then removing the basket, he brought it ‘round, laying it down near to her. I see there’s a towel covering the contents, which he removed.
At first glance and if I had to guess, I’d say a basket of hard boiled eggs but then, I saw them.
Some things which looked a lot like … legs? Tiny little legs sticking out of those eggs! I cannot begin to understand how this would be possible.
“You like?” Mama-san motioned to us, asking whether we cared to partake in this delicacy of theirs; all three of us refused at once, in silly horror, I might add. She shrugged her shoulders without disbelief. Mama-san then paid the man for some and handed the girls each a couple of eggs.
Impolite or not, I just knew I couldn’t stomach it. Now best as I can recall, I’ve never meant to talk down anyone’s beliefs or cuisines but umm … no, I didn’t want to play in this round.
The time had come to witness a new rarity in my life: to crack open the egg, the girls pulled a long hair pin from out of their doo and at the top (which you would only tell by the legs dangling out what might be the bottom) they tapped and then removed the lid. What else?!
Now I see them open their mouths and lift the egg up over and drop it in, without shell of course, into their mouth. I nearly fell sick but managed to stay composed. I’d never seen, let alone imagined, such a culinary display of snacking.
Mama-san lost three business possibilities that day. I couldn’t look at, much less eat eggs for at least a week! And I never went back to that mama-san’s house again – most probably, just as well!