Hard to swallow (3)
Read / lees in : Nederlands
After we, and in particular our cars, had arrived in Cameroon in one piece, the hardest part of our trip through West Africa was behind us. Alan and María-José said goodbye, because they
thought hoped they could take it from there all by them selves. At the crack of dawn they left, and after I bought an insurance in downtown Banyo I began my trip to Yaoundé as well. The first one hundred and fifty kilometers of the route still was unpaved. So, while on my way, I soon came across yet another Toyota that was not up for the task. Ed and his loyal companion to the rescue. With the winch we pulled him out of the mud, which made the crowd go wild. When that was done they asked me if I could pull the lorry out too. Haha, of course not. Mercedes owners can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned! After driving for five, otherwise uneventful, hours I finally reached the tarmac again. And a little while after that a nice hotel in Bafoussam.
That evening I ate yet another unimaginative meal from the French cuisine. That really has been kind of a bummer. Culinarywise Africa had been, up till then, quite boring. Everywhere the same tasteless French shit, spaghetti or rice with chicken. Fortunately things were about to get more interesting. When I was on my way to Yaoundé the next day with a hitchhiker, ratcatchers were selling their goods at the side of the road. Although that’s a French specialty as well, at least it was a change of diet. So I asked him if there were restaurants in the capital that served juicy rat steak. That would be hard to find according to him, but along the road we traveled we could eat some. He really liked rat he claimed, just talking about it made his mouth water.
And right he was, on a spot where two roads converged there were dozens of food stalls. Each with its own rat special. I chose rat shawarma and he chose a couple of pieces of rat, boiled in an undefinable sauce, from a big pan. I must say that my freshly grilled rat actually tasted really good. But what he was devouring next to me just didn’t look very appealing. It also stunk like it had been marinated in a sewer. He saved the best, according to him, for last. The rats head. That must be really tasty because nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, was thrown away. Maybe it was a baby rat from which the fontanelles hadn’t yet grown together. Although I’m not sure, because from the sound of it I could tell it was pretty crunchy. When I drove through Gabon a couple of days later roadkill was on sale along the road there too. But I didn’t have a taste of that. People hardly believe my stories as it is, so let alone if I’m coming with a ‘story about a monkey sandwich‘ (Dutch expression meaning ‘urban legend’). That would be hard to swallow for everybody.