The Random Writings of Rachel: Rat in the Restaurant

Rat in the Restaurant

 
 Hey, I never claimed that I wouldn't be naming any names...

Some friends of our recommended a particular restaurant to us,  so one day, Angel and I decided to head out and try it. As we stood in front of the restaurant, perusing the menu, we both happened to spot a large rat (but really, are rats ever known as being small and dainty?) run along the wall next to the sidewalk, dart right past a table full of dining guests, and into the entrance into the restaurant we were considering eating at for dinner.

Our response was to instantly look at each other, eyes telegraphing, "Did you just see what I saw?" Angel remained fairly composed, though I couldn't help but giggle, at how very not-sneaky this rat was, running straight into a restaurant off of the main road in broad daylight.

Oh, by the way, after that, we proceeded to walk into the restaurant and enjoy a very delicious dinner. It only occurred to us sometime later--maybe that wasn't the natural response, to see a rat run into a restaurant and eat there anyway. At the time it didn't really occur to us to do anything different.

On another occasion, some friends of ours had taken us out to a very nice steak and buffet restaurant located inside a very modern mall. As I approached the drink counter to get my drink, a cockroach scurried right across the whole counter, dodging the ice lemon tea dispenser as it went. I got my ice lemon tea, and returned to my table.

A bit anticlimactic, right? I asked Angel what he thought our reaction would be if we saw a rat run into a restaurant we'd never tried before in the US. We agreed that we'd probably skip that restaurant and go somewhere else, just to be safe.

And yet here, for some reason there's a feeling that I can't necessarily judge eating places based on the presence of occasional rats and cockroaches...after all, I've come across a cockroach or two in my own kitchen, and I'd hardly boycott my own cooking.

It tends to feel like the critters are less a sign of lack of cleanliness here, and more just a part of the lifestyle. Doesn't mean I like them, but I'm not going to write off a possibly perfectly good restaurant just 'cause I saw a rat run in the front door, ya know? If there were rat meat in the food, however, that's a completely different story...and that's partially why I've developed a reputation for being a "vegetarian" since our arrival.

We're much more likely to never return to a restaurant if we get ill after eating there--now that's logic I can stand behind.

P.S. Just in case you didn't notice the huge I PUBLISHED AN EBOOK announcement on Friday, you can read the post here . And there's still a few days left to get my eBook for just $2 with coupon code HV72M. So go to Smashwords and buy it, if you'd like more tales like this rat-infested one! :)

20 comments:

  1. It's interesting how rats and cockroaches are less blatant annoyances there than they would be here. If a restaurant has flies here, that's bad!

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  2. oh goodness. my jaw-dropped when you said you saw a rat run into a restaurant and then you sauntered right inside to enjoy a meal. wouldn't a restaurant close down forever and always if that happened in the states? and you hardly reacted -- perhaps you've truly adjusted? either way, props to you for keeping your compose and getting that meal :)

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  3. Congratulations on your ebook!! I Haha I would probably run if I saw a rat/cockroaches but that's just me. If it's a common thing in the area then that's different - here it's not common so it would most likely be indicative of infestation/cleanliness. Glad you guys didn't get ill afterwards! Have a great one Rachel! -Iva

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  4. Yes, definitely different. Now that I'm in the city and I can see rates behind my (and everyone's) house every night....I have to accept it and not boycott my own home, much like you said. Otherwise, was it what you expected of an Irish pub?

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  5. To be honest, I am not sure how I would have reacted. Neither of these animals are "common" around where I live, but having grown up in the country side I know what sometimes critters just happen.

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  6. At least you saw him run in... not like he was camped out there? I don't know, I have an affinity for tiny furry creatures, even rats and mice. I see them in alleyways by me a lot (big city, it's unavoidable) but I don't think I'd deal with cockroaches as well. I've never experienced those!

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  7. Geez! I don't know what I would have done. You're right that in America, I would have run the other way, but who knows in another country. At least you had a delicious meal:)

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  8. Yike! I have seen so many rats in Indonesia-- a few in our grocery store which really grosses me out! What is up with rats in Asia!!!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  9. Totally get you....I've learned not to be phased by cockroaches *in the kitchen* (and to learn not to retch at their awful pheromone smell).....one's standards definitely lower when in other countries! Have a lovely Christmas!!!!

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  10. We had mostly finished a meal in NYC that was "decent" when my husband just stopped eating and wouldn't say much more. I continued and it wasn't till after I'd finished and we left that he finally told me why. Apparently a mouse had been running about just behind me the whole time. Running around the tables and eating the scraps.

    I also ate at a McDonald's in Hawaii where a massive cockroach was crawling right up the wall by the cashier.

    Now though unless I had no other choice I wouldn't be eating there.

    My husband has eaten many "suspicious" meats while visiting China.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  11. Omg - I would've died had I seen that. Not even because of the cleanliness aspect. I would be freaking out about it crawling over my foot or something!

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  12. oh! It is so crazy how you adjust to what is normal (or acceptable ) in where you live. I don't think I would have handled seeing a rat very well!

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  13. That rat must be Reggie from Ratatouille if it went right through the front entrance!!!

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  14. That's business as usual in Hawaii too.

    I've been here just over two years and I still can't get past it. ::shudders::

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  15. That's interesting. You KNOW there are bugs and whatnot in American restaurants and yet people would freak out if they saw a rat or something. I agree with your logic about stopping eating there is you feel sick :)

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  16. GIRL congrats on the ebook publication, that's awesome! You're such a prolific writer and I'm glad that you are starting to get some of your things published.

    As for the rat thing, that's hilarious--because I would react in a similar "eh, whatever" kind of way at the time. Especially if you're hungry. I mean, I usually get my own hair in my food, so that's saying something. XD

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  17. I still hate cockroaches. They are gross but I know they are around. I have seen rats in the markets here but not in the restaurants. We do have ants all over the place and that is just a common fact of life here. They even got into my refrigerator and ate my cookie dough. It was sad. =(

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  18. haha, I love this post, and totally agree with it!

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  19. Haha, that's funny. I think big cities are just prone to having them (both rats and roaches) everywhere. Somehow I got lucky and never saw either one (hardly any bugs, actually) in my apartment in China, but I came across roaches a lot in restaurants and supermarkets. It wasn't such a big deal to me in the supermarket, or just seeing one in a restaurant. But one restaurant while I was eating, I looked over to the left at the wall and there was a hole in the where you could just see all kinds of roaches crawling inside the wall. Never ate there again...I think it just depends on HOW infested it is. haha

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