Thursday, November 03, 2005
When Fish Come to Your House
About 3 or 4 years ago, there was only one fish vendor plying the streets of our neighborhood. Armed with his blue pedicab and 2 plastic buckets, he would trumpet "isdaaaa" in a distinctive high-pitched and pinched alto. My Mum, if she was home, would usually purchase a few kilos of lapu-lapu or dalagang bukid if there were any. Galunggong was (and still is) very much a favorite.
Nowadays there are about 4 to 5 different fish vendors hawking their goods on our streets. Each day one comes along, striving to pass by early enough before his competitors do but late enough to catch homemakers up and awake. Timing is essential.
Now that there are more choices, Mum is wiley enough to pit each vendor's prices against each other. She would claim that Fish Vendor A passed by yesterday and his Tilapia was a few pesos cheaper than present Fish Vendor. During this bargaining process, Fish Vendors usually like to make suggestions about how to prepare so and so fish and which dish would best fit such or such. Mum doesn't appreciate these cooking lectures in the very least. When she is in a bad mood, Fish Vendor will get a different type of lecture altogether.
Aside from fish, other food items are readily hawked by enterprising folks in our neighborhood. Of course the staple binatog, ice cream, taho and balut are still mainstays. Fruits have made a strong entry into the street-peddling market. We have a Pineapple Man come by once a week, and a 2 or 3 different Coconut Men every other day it seems.
It seems the days when your mother dragged you along with her to the wet market are over. These days, the market comes to you.