When I go to the park at night, I usually stay clear of the rats. Recently though, I feel as if I have gotten a new understanding and appreciation for the creatures. I used to be really scared of them, feeling that they might gather together in hundreds and decide to crawl up on my legs and attack me for some reason of their own. But since the night a few months ago when I dreamt about a white, dirty rat dancing quite crazily to Frank Sinatra, my life has gotten steadily better.
Maybe because of that, I decided that I wanted to loose my fear once and for all. So I have gotten closer to them step by step by sitting on a bench by the puddle in the park at night, watching them scurry around my feet. My heart jumped up in my throat every time one stopped and looked at me. But then I thought, if the ducks are not scared of them, and my dog doesn't care at all, why am I so stupidly terrified? I see nothing in their eyes that I don't see in my dogs, so why all the fuss?
Just yesterday I was walking the dog at night with a friend, and we stopped watching the rats. My friend was shocked that there were so many of them (thanks to the Bird-Lady, who basically throws the ducks two IKEA bags a day with bread, even the ducks are annoyed with her, and the Bird-man, who feeds the birds with whole chapatti breads...). It happens a lot that they bump into each other and the crash, which makes them fly to the side like figures in a cartoon. It's funny.
Anyway, this morning , I see one of my new friends laying in the middle of the road, panting. A crow was jumping around it, wanting to take a bite. I threatened the crow in some very bad language, so he flew away. And then one of those little carts came, with two round gardeners in it, with the rakes on top of it like antennas, and I managed to make them steer away from the dying rat too. I wanted to grab it and place it under the bushes, hidden from evil crows and feet and wheels, but I had nothing to grab it with. And, let's face it, touching it is my limit at the moment (thinking it would bite me and give me rabies). But I wanted for the little one to just die in peace. So I sat down and talked to it, telling it all sorts of things, mostly linked to it being a very good rat. It blinked slowly, and, I swear, got calmer. My dog then started pulling the leash, and so I noticed a group of people walking past me, with that look in their eye. Look at that madwoman. So, now my status as a Stadtpark mad person is indeed cemented. But what a better group could I belong to?
Most amazing beluga lentil stir fry:
1 1/2 dl of beluga lentils
half a leek, plus some green
1 spinach stalk, puls some green
1 celery stalk
whole coriander (crush it in a mortar)
white and black sesame seeds for serving
Cook the beluga lentils about 30 mins. Fry the veggies with the ginger and the coriander. When the veggies have the consistency you like, pour over a spoon of stock and stir. Then throw in the lentils and add a little water to make it juicy. Let it cook together with a tiny knifes edge of sambal.
Make a dip, or sauce: put a few spoonful of goats yoghurt, two cloves of garlic, fresh basil and 1 cm piece of chopped ginger in a bowl and stir with a hand mixer. Pour on top of with sesame seeds.