Monday, January 25, 2010
Walking around Vancouver Chinatown was an adventure in itself when I was a child. I remember the first time I went with Dad to pick up something to cook for dinner. In front of a Chinese poultry store we stared at all the fresh chickens stacked in boxes one on top of the other. I grimaced and said, "Dad, what is that smell? It stinks." He laughed, "That's the way it is." He grabbed my hand and dragged me inside the store. Aroma wasn't any better inside either but fresh fish swimming around in a large fish tank got my attention. Distracted, Dad told the butcher, "Get me one of the chickens outside, just make sure you clean and feather it good, rinse it too." He returned a few moments later with a squawking bird, wiped his hands on his apron, and right in front of me, slit it's throat. Blood spurted out all over his already filthy blood-stained apron. The bird's head went down, going limp in his hands. I recoiled, "Ugh, that's horrible! I can't stand the sight of blood." Then Dad pointed to a large rockcod and the butcher used a mesh net to pull it out. He placed the squirming fish on the same chopping block and hit it hard with the flat side of his cleaver to kill it. The fish stopped struggling and then the butcher proceeded to clean it before handing it to Dad.