In case anyone was worried about my garment- and gastrointestinal-challenged visit to Brussels, all is well.
Yet as different as Brussels and the outreaches of Liberia might be, dinner tonight provided an odd parallel. December is game-season in Belgium, and restaurant menus are amuck with deer, pheasant and rabbit.
Likewise, game is the menu of choice in Liberia’s Lofa County. The mystery meat in your stew could be any manner of jungle critter. Both in Belgium and Liberia, the deer was my personal favorite.
My adventurousness, however, knows some bounds. Call it it a cultural hangup, or a privileged prejudice, but I draw the line at squirrels.
At first I thought our driver, Prince, sped and swerved at forest creatures for the mere (sadistic) sport of it all. I would be wrong.
There was a time Liberian hunters brought down their dinner with a bow and arrow. For a time, the breech rifle took its place. In 2008, however, the weapon of choice is the UN Toyota Land Cruiser.
Oh, how the letters UN must strike mortal fear into the hearts of Liberian squirrels.
We promptly instituted new field rules for the project:
1. Thou shalt not purposefully run over squirrels, armadillos, snakes and deer.
2. Okay, having now “accidentally” run over a [squirrel/armadillo/snake/deer], though shalt not bring the carcass into the Land Cruiser. Thou shalt tie it to the roof rack, or I shalt personally kick your butt.
These commandments supplement our previous, entirely ad hoc and self-serving vehicle rules:
3. No live chickens and catfish;
4. The (inexplicably) hit song Reggae in the Bathroom can get played a maximum of two times per road trip before I lose my mind; and
5. The next person who throws plastic garbage out the window gets fired. I know I keep saying that, but I really mean it this time.
Now, off to bed before the flight to (litter and game-free) New Haven.