Photographing Ferrets… not recommended with your phone.

This weekend we had our grand day out at the Ferret Fun day. This one is always particularly enjoyable for the ferrets as the hosts have turned part of their backyard into a ferret heaven with tunnels dug under the turf all over the place. Our ferrets had a ball and returned home needing a good bath.

Ruby on guard duty… this tunnel is mine!

I thought about which camera to take with me and settled on my smartphone… everyone is taking about how good/cool the phones are for taking pictures. Well maybe they are but don’t expect your phone to be perfect in daylight with fast moving objects. No wonder I was the only one using a phone.  Doh!     Umm…. yup that was the best shot I got.

What a ferret fun day we had!

These Ferret Fun Days are great for people or families who own ferrets, your ferrets get to know other ferrets and you get to know other ferret lovers.  They are also great for people who are thinking of adopting a ferret, you can talk to ferret owners and to the ferret carers who can recommend what type of ferret will suit you best.  While baby ferrets may look cuter than older ferrets, young ferrets are a bundle of energy, they also tend to be a bit wild and bite hard.  You may end up preferring an older, quieter and fully domesticated ferret.  That is why it is important you know what type of ferret suits you best, so you can enjoy your ferret and your ferret can enjoy being with you too.

Wow these things are fun!

We always take our ferrets to these ferret fun days for them to socialize with other ferrets and have fun in the enclosures especially prepared for them.  They come back home happy and exhausted after 3 hours of smelling other ferrets, exploring tunnels, boxes, and new textures like fresh straw and packing materials.  That day we adopted a little girl, a 5 month old baby ferret Fee who is a bundle of energy!.

Fee our new buddy bites an intruder!

This stuff is great… can you fill the lounge room with it?

The search for Genuine Weasel Coffee in Vietnam…

While relaxing in our hotel in the heart of the old quarter in Hanoi, I read in the guide book about Weasel coffee. Now as an owner of pet ferrets this kind of appealed to me. A coffee brewed from beans that have passed through the digestive tract of a Weasel, I mean how cool is that! So begun a long and often highly caffeinated search for the real thing.

First a little bit of background, the so called Vietnamese Weasel or Chon as it known locally is actually the Asian Palm Civet not a Weasel at all. The process of digestion alters the beans flavour making for a very smooth and strong but not bitter brew. This is a coffee that is exceptionally rare ( I mean how many coffee eating Civet’s can there be) and expensive. One coffee house in Australia sells it for $55.00 a cup. The Weasel coffee company in New Zealand sells it for $80.00 for 100 grams when they can get it. So you get the picture.

Cute Civet in a tourist shop… But, Sorry no real weasel coffee sold here.

The problem is that the Vietnamese have perfected a roasting process that mimic’s that of the digestive tract of the weasel, clever folks! You might just shell out a whole lot of cash for nothing more than a specially roasted bean. First up I started my search with the coffee sellers in Hang Bac street of which there are a dozen or so all claiming of course to have the real thing.

After an afternoon of tasting and high pressure sales talk, I returned to the hotel dejected but rather wired I must admit. Could I trust any of them? Was there any real Weasel coffee to be found here or was it all a sham. So I turned to the internet to do some serious research. Much more informed now I set out to do more tasting and haggling with these sellers.

First thing I realised in my research was that my chances of locating some Real Weasel poo coffee where in fact close to zero. Almost a myth but not quite… Weasel coffee is produced in quantities of a few hundred kilograms a year. Not to be put off by this fact I decided that I would look for the best tasting Weasel coffee real or not I could find.

Tastes awesome, but no it is not the real thing…

Once again I set off to do the rounds of all the shops again, this time with my trusty wife/anthropologist Monica at my side. A couple of hours later and starting to feel a tad nauseous from all the strong coffee, we entered into the last shop. I went ahead and asked my question. “Do you have any real Chon coffee”… Not the stuff in the containers labeled Weasel? The young fellow said Yes of course he had some real Chon coffee. Oh really?

Well all of a sudden we were ushered out to the back room and seated at a small table next to the bathroom, all kind of secret agent like. Several minutes later we were presented with a cup of black coffee each. One more cup can’t hurt or could it? Monica eyed me with a look that said this is it the real poo coffee? Because if it is I’m not drinking it… Come on I said having already tasted mine it’s heavenly, by far the best coffee yet. So in the name of science she took a sip. Hmmm… “Very good now are we going to buy some or just keep looking” ? Ah that is a good point. So we ended up with a bag full of beans, of one of the best damn coffees I have ever had… and even if it isn’t weasel poo. I don’t care as we had a hell of a lot of fun searching for it.

Postscript:

I also purchased a box of Trung Nguyen Legendee coffee which unfortunately is sold to tourists as the real thing ( it is not,  it is a replicated Weasel coffee) for up to $70.00. You should be able to find it for around the $10-15.00 mark so be aware of this. It comes in a big bright yellow box of 500 grams ( sealed with a hologram sticker) and is produced by Vietnam’s best coffee producer. We did not have the chance to try it until we got home.

I have to say if you are going to buy just one Weasel poo type coffee then this is the one. Read about it here Legendee Coffee. The use by date is on the box prefixed by HSD. Happy hunting!

Postscript:

I have now returned to Vietnam a second time and many countries such as Australia have banned the importation of  weasel coffee from the country! So be careful what you call your coffee.

 

 

Ferret fun day this weekend… and we love those!

My best buddy Fuzzy has passed away all too soon… she was more human than ferret, but was never the same after she lost her pal Winnie to cancer. We are now left with Theodore and the Bebon ( spanish for big baby). So as always we will be going to the Ferret fun day this weekend. Not that Theodore is allowed to attend he fights with everyone! I cannot believe that he is nearly 10 years old Blind, has prostrate problems, a dicky heart and his back legs are going yet he still wants to battle on when he smells another Ferret! Now who said Ferrets are fun?

happy theo

Then again maybe Theo is a little spoilt !!!!

happy bebon

Then again maybe they all are !!!! Bebon sleeping.

Well this weekend we will just take the Bebon…. Theodore can have the house to himself. Ferret fun days are run by the NSWFS in Sydney every second month.