The rat and you

800px-Rat_in_a_suburban_Vancouver_drivewayThere’s an article in the Cambodia Daily today about rats. The gist of it is that there are professional rat-catchers in Phnom Penh – I never knew that. They live out in the suburbs and come into the city centre at night to hunt behind the Riverside tourist strip. Lots of pricey restaurants on the Riverside, lots of good food that gets thrown out, lots of rats that the tourists never see.

The rat hunters are a special breed, fast of hand, fleet of foot, unafraid of crawling down the inner-city drains in search of their quarry. They run many dangers – the police mistake them for gangsters, and the gangsters for police, and they get arrested by the first and beaten up by the second. But the money is good – about three times what a Western expat English teacher makes. And then…

“After we hunt them we chop off their heads, skin them, and remove their insides, but we do not have to clean them since they are stored in ice,” Mr. Han explained on Friday morning as he prepared the previous evening’s fly-covered catch.

And why do the skinned and filleted rats have to be stored in ice? Read on.


Looks disturbingly like chicken, doesn’t it?