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