Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My chicken people

One fun thing about outdoor markets is how over time you develop certain people you buy from consistently. You get a "fruit lady" and a "vegetable man." Here, I have my "chicken people." It's a little mom, pop and son business. Usually I buy several chicken breasts when I go, and little mom (tiny Chinese woman) slaps them on her cutting board and deftly pulls off the skin and cuts off the bones, and little dad throws them in a bag and asks for S$1.10 each. Occasionally I speak to them in Chinese, and they speak back and compliment my skills, which is nice and overly gracious of them.

Today, I branched out in my chicken experience by asking for a whole chicken. This was a job for the son. He chopped off the head and feet, and offered them to me (I politely declined). He stripped off the skin almost in one movement, and chopped it into chunks for my cacciatore. The whole chicken was S$6.50.

I've heard the chickens are fresh each morning, and they are all kept waiting in a glass case. So I try to ignore when little mom has a bandaged finger which she's using to cut my chicken, or there's a little Chinese size cockroach (significantly smaller than the American variety) running nearby. They're my chicken people, and they'll always get my business.

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