Lizard for dinner
My girlfriend and i met a slightly mad but very charismatic Austrian man in Southern Luzon, Philippines. He was an elderly man who only happened to own a small island off Palawan! It was open to paying guests as an eco lodge and his prices were variable, depending on one’s circumstances and how well you get along with him. Serendipity held sway and 2 weeks later, much to his surprise, we found our way there along the dirt tracks of Northern Palawan. Brother island is a pearl shaped slice of paradise a couple of hundred meters off the mainland, one third white coral beach and two thirds hilly woodland. You could walk around it in 15minutes. To our surpise he had a large pig, named Angela (of Merkel or Joli fame, depending on his mood!) and a turkey named after other celebrities of the day or mood! Despite the free range affection they enjoyed they were to be dinner at some stage. Not to be outdone, his dog came back one day after killing a surprisingly large lizard. It was nearly 2 meters long and the dog nearly bit his head off. Poor thing, I thought, after all, what were the chances of such a beast getting to and / or surviving on such a small speck of land until growing to such a size. One of the local handy men was about to discard the carcass but Alfred was having none of it! After blessing it with some tea and serenading it with his trumpet he duly had it skinned and butchered in preparation for a ghoulash that evening! I was amazed how persistently the body would involuntarily contort and reflex, even without a head, skin or limbs! The organs were removed and examined in an impromptu biology lesson by the surf, though Steffi was more interested in their potential as jewellery! Free range monitaur lizard certainly won’t go down as my tastiest meal ever (mostly cartilage, though the sauce was delicious!) but certainly the most memorable. Myself, Steffi, this mad Austrian and his son Alfredo, at a table, under a palm tree, on a white beach, under a starry sky, on a white speck in the Sulu sea, chatting until late, avoiding the yuckiest bits of this poor gargantuan lizard in our evening meal.