Today, I went to the market, by myself.... alone... without my dear wife. As she is incapacitated, and the food supplies were running low, it was up to me to ensure the survival of our family. I've done it before, I think, a long time ago, just after the birth of my youngest child, while my wife was in confinement... but, that was almost 10 years ago.
07:30 hours, after the debriefing by my wife, equipped with a list of things to buy, I embarked on a journey of uncertainty..... I was unsure what ikan senangin (threadfins) looks like. The night before, I googled an image of the fish, tried to commit the picture to memory.
07:48 hours. Arrived at destination. As usual there wasn't an empty parking space in sight around the Subang Jaya SS15 wet market. I stopped the car and wait for somebody to vacate a space. There were a few, but they were on the other side of the road and were quickly filled by others who were also lying in wait.
08:02 hours. went once around the block and found a space, a little further from the market than to my liking. But, I told myself the walk will do me good.
08:04. Zul the fishmonger's stall was crowded. I could hardly see the fish. I stood behind a barricade of women, all of whom were taking a life time choosing a fish...which, apart from the different shapes and sizes, looked the same to me.
08:14 hours... A gap appeared. A rather sizable woman, having instructed Zul the manner in which she liked her fish to be cut and cleaned, reversed from the edge of Zul's shelf of fish, pushing the others to her left and right away, and in a flash I squeezed myself into the gap she created.
08:18 hours. Put four fish that looked like senangin in a plastic basket thrown at me by Zul. That's all? Zul asked. Yes, I replied and told him to clean them and I come back later.
08:22 hours. Stood in front of the veggies stall, and looked down the list.... sawi (mustard greens), cabbage, chili, coriander and onions. Two chickens. I had to ask the sister behind the counter for coriander because I really don't know what that looked like, otherwise I took every one of the veggies myself. An amazing achievement, and a comfort to know that all those time I was dragged along by Sapiah to the market did yield some benefits after all.
08:47 hours. Approached the chicken stall, put up two fingers and the young man wielding a cleaver nodded. He chose two chickens and put them on his scale and quoted the price which I agreed to.... Seemed rather pointless. I would've agreed to any price he mentioned, not aware am I of prevailing price of chicken today.
08:51. Went back to Zul's stall to pick my fish.
09:15 hours. Finished my roti telor at Restoran Sri Melor Jaya, asked if the mee goreng, two maggi goreng and six roti canai take away order is ready. It was and off I go on my way home. A satisfying day, I'd say, with a warm sense of achievement.
09:43 hours..... I forgot the sawi.....