Saturday, 8 September 2012

Fish on Friday

This is the story about two almost clueless people trying to make their way in a new country :) It was the Friday afternoon of Family S's second week in Mozambique. Dad and Mum had completed their first full week of language classes and were feeling the brain strain. Their baby girl, Lilah, had been badly sick for their two weeks in their new home so Mum, being, tired, pregnant and worried had trouble talking to their two afternoon guests without crying. Mum had already employed a lady to help with house work while full time language studies were underway, but being in an emotional state, sent her house worker, her empregada, home early. Suddenly, some carpenters rang to say they would arrive any minute to put up some shelves. Two men came and began working away with loud drills and sawing and banging, much to the delight of Lilah and their oldest daughter, Eliana. 

Finally the carpenters finished their work, which was of very good quality. However, cleaning wasn't part of the carpenters' job so the house was filled with sawdust and scrap bits of wood. Mum suddenly started to regret sending her empregada home early :) Then, Dad and Mum had a great idea. A drive out in the fresh air with the setting sun and then a trip to the local nighttime fish market to buy some fish for dinner. First they made a quick trip to another family's house who were out of town but who said Dad and Mum could pick up their internet from outside. So Dad parked the car and did a few internet jobs while Mum sat in the back with two wiggly, squirmy girls, swatting at the mosquitoes that were freely entering their car in the twilight of night.

Next, Family S made it to the fish market and were immediately met by market sellers who were aggressively attempting to sell their catches of the day. Dad and Mum started to realise that they didn't know much about types of fish, how to clean them or good prices so they blindly bought a bunch of 10 fresh fish and returned home.
Upon arriving home, Dad and Mum managed to zap a potato in the microwave for their two tired girls. The girls went to bed. Amidst the sawdust that was still spread everywhere, Dad and Mum attempted to gut and clean the fish. After massacring two fish beyond edibility Dad and Mum started to wonder if the fish market on such a crazy day was a good idea after all :)

Then Dad, the hero of our story, took his portuguese skill, the rest of the fish and a knife onto the dark street in order to seek the help of some passerby. He quickly found the guard of a Mozambican family down the road who was willing to show Dad how to gut and clean a fish Mozambican style (scales off, guts out, eat everything else). Dad drew quite a crowd and amidst answering the crowd's questions of why his empregada or wife wasn't cleaning the fish, was able to learn to gut fish Mozambican style. Dad left 5 fish with the family of the guard then returned home victoriously with 3 fish for dinner. Mum fried those fish like their was no tomorrow then Dad and Mum finally slumped themselves into some chairs and ate what they could out of the fish at 9pm. After cleaning up as much of the sawdust and woodscraps that their energy allowed Dad and Mum at last crawled into bed. It had been a long time since they had looked forward to a Saturday morning sleep in with so much enthusiasm :)

1 comment:

S and K said...

What a day!! There's always plenty of "fun" to be had in Africa! Just saw that you are pregnant...congrats! Praying for you all.