Our adventures with Moo started with a moto trip. We bungee’d her basket to our backpacks (which were bungee’d to our motorbikes) and covered her with a poncho to weatherproof (though she does love the wind). Moo rode with me initially, and I must admit, I was slightly worried for her…but Moo did great on the road. She sat atop my backpack, just chillin, perfectly content to be putt puttin’ across the country.
I mentioned previously how stoked the locals were when we carried around the chicken basket so you can only imagine how much they loved that we had an actual pet chicken. Every stop for gas was a joy. The gas pump people would point to our chicken, laugh, and squeal (well maybe not squeal…but they made some sort of noise of approval) with delight. They would also feed her. Always. Feeding her. We had grains and corn for her already, but with each stop a local would gift us with additional bags of chicken food. They would also bring Moo cups of water…and even other chicken friends!
There was the little Vietnamese man that ran into the house for his rooster, shooing it towards us to show that he, too, had a chicken. Then there was the time we turned around to find the basket missing, only to realize a local had taken Moo across the lot to make friends with a flock (a herd? a gaggle?) of other chickens.
My favourite memory with Moo was our first night with her in Quang Ngai, when we drunkenly decided “Moo needs to be free.” The hotel staff had arranged a spot for her basket in the hotel kitchen, but we desperately wanted some quality pet/owner bonding time. I crept down to the kitchen and snuck her into our room where we (by we I mean myself and Karlee while our English Stranger Friend watched on) spent a good hour coaxing her out of the basket. It had been such an effort to get her out, so the excitement in the room when she finally flapped her wings was indescribable. Pure. Elation.
We took Moo everywhere. She loved adventures. There was Moo’s first buffet breakfast, Moo’s first flat tire, Moo’s first rain storm, Moo’s first motorbike ride with an Englishman, and Moo’s first dance party.
Then there was the time Moo tried on helmets, the time Moo went to the pharmacy, the time Moo shopped for crocodile handbags, the time Moo went to the night market, the time Moo waited at the bus stop, and the time Moo wore a fedora.
There was Moo’s first ATM withdrawal, Moo’s first photoshoot, Moo’s first visit to the carnival, Moo’s first Hello Kitty purchase, Moo’s first cuddle with an Englishman, and also Moo’s first street baguette.
And finally there was the time Moo shopped for watches, the time Moo shopped for moisturizer, the time Moo played a teddy bear game, the time Moo wore bunny ears, and the time Moo chose between sunglass options.
Initially, we snuck Moo around, hiding her under a towel in elevators and sneaking her past the check-in desk at hostels. However, we very soon realized that the Vietnamese could not care less if we kept a chicken in our room.
We didn’t want Moo spending all of her time in a basket, so for 3 days she roamed free in the bathroom of our swanky Nha Trang hotel room. I found this comical because it was the fanciest place we stayed in Vietnam. Our room had a kitchenette, a frosted bamboo bathroom door, a hippie-bead wall, a flat screen TV, and there was a tile on the bathroom wall with a half-naked woman painted on it (half-naked women tiles obviously scream swanky). And yet they let us keep a chicken there…
Unfortunately, by the time we arrived in Dalat it was time to let Moo go. Our hostel was essentially an attic with 30 mattresses on the floor and our bed mates did not seem to appreciate the smell of chicken in the room.
We also felt that Moo was unsafe. Some drunk PETA-advocate stole Moo (legitimately kidnapped her), claiming he was “saving her” from a life of misery. After an explanation of our joyful times with Moo and the exceptional care we were providing, PETA ended up apologizing (and buying us apology beers), but we still feared for Moo’s well-being. There also wasn’t an area for her to run free in an attic filled with backpackers.
Thus, our second day in Dalat, we set out to find Moo a new home. This took 10 minutes. Everyone wanted Moo. We wandered the streets around our hostel, checking out the locals’ yards, checking out other animals they owned, and gauging their potential love for chickens.
We ended up choosing a wonderful Vietnamese lady working at a daycare. She had kind eyes. You can’t fake kind eyes. We knew Moo would like it here. As we turned to walk away, Moo was surrounded by smiling children and the lady with kind eyes happily waved goodbye. The moment was so incredibly beautiful it brought tears to our eyes (we may or may not have captured said tears on video).
Moo will be happy in her new home. Yes, I know they will likely eat her, but she is a very small chicken so we figure it will be awhile before she actually hits the chopping block. I am confident that she will enjoy her days at the cute little daycare in Dalat.
And that, my friends, describes our Adventures With Moo The Chicken (P.S. she loves the wind).