Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Three Blind Mice...

"There's a rat in me kitchen what am I gonna do? There's a rat in me kitchen what am I gonna go? I'm gonna fix that rat that's what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna fix that rat." 

Quit bringing your rat family to see me
My apologies to UB40 but I swear if I see one more rat in Asia, running solo, in herd or gaggles, or whatever they gather in, I am going to go "Three Blind Mice" on their ass. I have seen rats from India, to Thailand, to Singapore, to Australia (well, technically, they were possum and OZ isn't Asia, but close enough). My latest venture with the pests was in Melaka, Malaysia with my sister Lori, and R2. It doesn't get any easier seeing these vermin running through the streets or dangerously close to where you are dining, no matter how often you see them.

We took Lori for a final trip in Asia before she went homeward bound because we wanted to jam in as many countries as we could. It was her first trip to Asia, and after all the bats, rodents and lizards we saw,  hopefully not her last.

We took a luxury coach to Melaka; the only way you can get to this UNESCO Heritage Site city. The term luxury was a mystery because it was a normal bus with your typical tourist that cracks open a Tiger Beer at 8:00 a.m.and continues to pound five before 11 a.m. Once we crossed the Malaysian border, we stopped for a bathroom break, to the ultra luxurious squat and dip toilets; Lori was not amused.

R2 sprung for superior rooms with huge beds, a monstrous pool to cool down from the August heat and a lounge where we relaxed, away from general population of history seeking tourists. So far, so good.

At the cemetery in Melaka
Melaka is a charming city, filled with forts, tombs, museums and bygone days. Let's be honest, we were there for the massages, food and a boat ride along the river. We also wanted to escape Singapore because it was National Day which means traffic, people and confusion at every corner. We had heard the military practising the fly-bys so often, I thought Singapore was under an air strike and we didn't get the memo.

The romance tuk tuk ride
One activity that I thought would be great for Lori was the manually driven tuk tuks, decorated in every imaginable way. The tuk-tuks are different than I have experienced as they are bicycles that chauffeur you around. We found a couple of men willing and eager to give us a ride to the river. Most of them want to give you the entire city tour.  Little did we know R2 and I got the honeymoon tuk tuk and Lori got the disco tuk tuk. It was all great fun, and the added history lessons we received from the driver was a bonus.

In Melaka, we didn't do anything we haven't done in any of the locales we have visited in Asia: we drifted on the river and pretended it was Amsterdam, we noshed in a bistro and pretended it was France, and we escaped the intense Malaysia heat at the busy pool and pretended it was Mexico. We people watched, we looked at historic Malay sites, we took our lives in our hands trying to cross the road and we fought the never-ending crowds along the street. Pretty much what we do in every place we visit. 

The Dragon all alone in the ghost town
On one sultry evening we took a stroll to find that Melaka is a ghost town unless it is a Friday night. No one told the sewer rats to stay home; I don't think they were interested in the ubiquitous karaoke. It wasn't bad enough I had to listen to R2 and Lori scream through not one, two, or three rats, there were four rats running near the gutter on a deserted street. I knew this trip was going to go from bad to worse if we saw more.

Often, if I didn't have any bad luck, I would not have any luck at all when it comes to the flying and grounded vermin and roaches. My worst fears were confirmed as we walked down another  creepy, darkened street the following night, on the hunt for a decent reflexology treatment. I saw the rat, the rat saw me and it was Mickey Mouse go-time. He went scurrying down the gutter towards Lori like a bat outta hell, but I kept my yap shut and my inner screams stifled. I was hoping they wouldn't see what I saw for fear of having to revive them both from a case of the Vapours. 

The famous river - where the rats band together
I was in the clear; the disgusting vermin made a beeline for the garbage heap and they were none the wiser.  Oh no, as with monkeys, if you see one, there are fourteen more surrounding you; same deal with the rats. All of the sudden, the tick-infested, nasty rat made an attempt down the fifty yard line, right past Lori, and between R2's longs legs."Game on, Rat," I thought. Lori's screams could be heard in Indonesia and R2 tried to kick that rat for a field goal, up the middle. The attempt, like the Saskatchewan Roughriders, was unsuccessful, but I imagine it felt good to try to punt him like a futbol.  So much for an enjoying a quiet foot massage with Lori and Arturo screaming, shouting and carrying on like school girls from the latest Ratcsapade.

We boogied back to the hotel and had a shower (not together) to rid ourselves of the rat image. An early night was probably the best after two nights of the cheeky buggers. 

The next day, we had a long ride back on a crowded bus to Singapore through two borders, a beer drinker and immigration officers from Dante's Inferno.  I just hoped none of the rats jumped in our luggage because getting into Singapore Customs is tough.

32 comments:

  1. Could your writing be any more fun, or funny. Love to see your work - keep it coming!!!!!!

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    1. Merci, but I don't want any more rats!

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  2. u need to get a tiger as a pet to keep the mice away

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    1. Oh, i like that idea - I can pick up a white one from India.

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  3. please get a cat and be the crazy cat woman who carries around a cat in her handbag for protection

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    1. A CAT? These rats are way too big for a cat, I need a Siberian Tiger for protection.

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  4. you should have brought the rats home and cooked em up for satay;) - Loook

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    1. OKAY, no word of a lie, my friend from Japan went to Taiwan and guess what was for dinner....they catch rats and stir fry them. she told me the story with complete horror, which I found funny because Japanese eat live, squirming fish and Octopus.

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    2. they taste a big gamey though

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    3. and a little chewy. No thank you.

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  5. It's all fun and games til the screaming begins! Haven't seen a rat since I got home, other than the usual human variety! Miss you sissy, hugs!

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    1. I can airmail you some....I think there are a couple beside my hotel in India. I doubt anyone would miss a couple from here -yikes!

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  6. you need to get a cat and carry it around in your handbag to protect you

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    1. I need a Doberman, but I am not sure what a dog would do to a rat. So ugly.

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  7. Layna!

    That was GOLD! I had to try really hard not to laugh out loud at work because I could imagine the sheer horror you and your sister were going through. My sister has the same fears and reactions to rats, rodents, insects and I am her imminent protector from the same womb. Even if its 3 in the morning and there is a flying roach in her room, she will bang on my door with all her might to wake me up and save her. After I have that nasty roach in a plastic bag still flying around, I run after her with the plastic bag in my outstretched hands and watch in sheer glee at her freaking out - probably waking up everyone else in the neighborhood.

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  8. Oh lord, thank god you aren't my sister or I would squish you like a bug....Poor sissy! Such a funny story though - thank you for sharing.

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  9. Sonny Kapoor (Hotel Manager)6 September 2012 at 04:24

    Rat Meat, the New Delicacy in Demand in Southern India

    Rat meat is selling like hot cakes in certain pockets in southern India.

    There is a growing demand for the new delicacy hamlets in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Villagers swear nothing tastes better.


    That is a new phenomenon for the country. Still the consumption is confined to the poorer sections of the society. Rat meat comes cheap, at Rs 2.50 per rat, it should be remembered.

    Baskar (29) hailing from Melazhunjipettu, Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu, is hooked to the new found delicacy. “It (rat meat) tastes so good. I think those who taste it once will start eating it regularly. All our family members eat rat meat now,” he said.

    Sources: http://www.medindia.net/news/Rat-Meat-the-New-Delicacy-in-Demand-in-Southern-India-37162-1.htm

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    1. Waa, Waa, I just can't do rats. I can barely do meat in Asia, let alone rats....bring on the veggies filled with pesticides.

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  10. Monsieur Poosinboos6 September 2012 at 04:30

    During the German siege of Paris in 1870, residents had to eat whatever animals were at hand. Daily News correspondent Henry Labouchère recorded his opinions:
    • Horse: "eaten in the place of beef ... a little sweeter ... but in other respects much like it"
    • Cat: "something between rabbit and squirrel, with a flavor all its own"
    • Donkey: "delicious -- in color like mutton, firm and savory"
    • Kittens: "either smothered in onions or in a ragout they are excellent"
    • Rat: "excellent -- something between frog and rabbit"
    • Spaniel: "something like lamb, but I felt like a cannibal"

    "This siege will destroy many illusions," he wrote, "and amongst them the prejudice which has prevented many animals being used as food. I can most solemnly assert that I never wish to taste a better dinner than a joint of a donkey or a ragout of cat -- experto crede."

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    1. A man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do. I will keep this in mind when I am stranded on a desserted island...then bring on the rats and donkeys. Even R2 won't be safe because I might go Hannibal Lecter on him.

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  11. I remember seeing the rats at the night safari!! yuck! even though i had 2 rats as pets......




    -sam

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    1. How could I forget about those ones.....nasty!

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  12. Layna I really enjoy your blogging. Man oh man you really do live an exciting life. I'm happy for you, never a dull moment. Enjoy and take care hopefully meet up with you for some drinks back here sometime in the future.

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    1. You better G., cause booze is so expensive here, I have to drink when I get to Canada!

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  13. you need a to have a pet, so you should bring home a rat.

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    1. I would prefer a Guinea Pig! or a photo of a cat.

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  14. A great story Layna. It was pretty funny

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    1. Thanks Dave - my next one will be incredibly funny! Ha, ha, be well my friend!

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  15. Replies
    1. Why are you Lonely mr. Lonely? Hopefully the rats don't keep you company?

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  16. Yes Layna, we have the regular fat rat that crosses our path on our way to the hawker centre! We call him Mickey :))

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    1. You have a regular rat? I think I see random ones here, there and everywhere but I can't say they are regular. We do have regular bats that swoop and dive bomb us though. I can't name them quick enough because R2 always yells, "RUN."

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