Friday, February 26, 2010

Fan Mail

Today is a happy day and it just makes all the painful hours writing away worthwhile when you have one adoring fan take the time to pass on a few kinds words. Well for me that day has come and to say it is gratifying is an understatement. Below you will find some fan mail I received about an article I submitted online on eating a snakes heart in Hanoi.

As an expat living and working in Hanoi can I say how sick I am of the following:

1. Bone headed drunks paying to be macho by eating snakes, snake blood, still eating snake hearts etc.
2. Equally stupid macho idiots writing about the above on their ill-informed blog so they can show off to their mates at home
3. Journalists also doing the above and kidding themselves that somehow they have found the "real Vietnam"
4. Dumb websites, newspapers etc reprinting it and therefor encouraging yet more macho prats to do the same.

This is why you shouldn't do what the idiot you wrote this blog did:

1. You may think you are doing something uber traditional and whose to say the practice hasn't gone back a few centuries, however, nowadays, it's pretty much just for tourists. I've lived in this country for three years and I have never, not once, been asked to take part in something like this by a Vietnamese person.

2. Extreme eating is an incredibly dangerous practice in developing countries. It's the same thought process that sees people pay large amounts for rare animals to eat. A new eating experience. "There's hardly any of them left...heck then I better eat one now then."

A great number of NGOs are investing large amount of money to try and change the above attitude of macho eating. And then idiots like these stroll into town and put their dollars on the table and think that eating part of an animal that is still not yet dead is somehow acceptable.

3. People in Vietnam eat many things but, meatwise, they mostly eat chicken, beef and pork. So...

4. Vietnam has incredible food that you could write about for years and still not cover every dish, recipe etc - so why waste your time on this? If you are a writer and you really care about writing something accurate regarding the country you are in then please don't write about this snake heart crap. Go grab a bowl of Pho.

Matador travel...please get a little more picky in the crap you decide to highlight.

* All jokes aside, criticism is always welcome and is part of the writing game. Personally I don't believe with most of what my adoring fan had to say. Why? Because I have talked about the subject with many Vietnamese over the past 6 months.

My reply:

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