Animal Analogies

Tonight while eating a delicious dinner of “soda bread” (tastes a lot like biscuits that we’d eat with gravy), tomato and onion salsa dip, and “zeama” (chicken soup only we had it with pork), I was sitting alone with my host mom because my host dad wants to get rid of the slanina “fat” on his stomach and my host brother was still at the river. I looked over and saw one of the 6 cats/kittens that has decided to make its way to us at mealtime cleaning itself. Trying to be funny I said, “cats are like Moldovans… they’re so clean”. Apparently only I understood what I meant (typical) because then my host mom started saying she tries to be so clean and that she swept the sidewalk twice today but no one would know and more, when really I was serious: Moldovans are so clean and they are always cleaning their shoes and their clothes and everything else. For being such a dirty country (literally dirt and trash), Moldovans are SO CLEAN (as a general rule).

So then after dinner I was getting ready to come back to my room to do some more post-Peace Corps job research and I noticed my host mom was gutting the fish. In the dark. She then asked me if I’d ever gutted a fish and I said, “no” to which she asked, “why not”. Well, we only went to my grandparents’ lake house once or twice a year, and I was little, didn’t eat fish, and it just always seemed to be “a man’s job”. She laughed at that and then got back to work. While I really wanted to go back inside I decided to seize this opportunity and learn how to gut a fish. It didn’t look so hard after all. I choose a small fish for my first experience because I figured it would be easier to handle. Then I took ahold of the “scraper” and stared de-scaling the fish and let me tell you something… this is hard work especially as the scales start coming off because then the fish gets very slippery. Just as I had finished and was ready to move onto the next step, the fish started moving. In case you missed that, let me repeat myself: the fish started moving. It just about scared the you-know-what out of me and I threw the fish back into the bloody water saying, “il merge! il fuge!!” (He’s moving! He’s running!!”) That just caused my host mom to laugh, and then pick it up and take a knife and prepare it for step two: the big operation. I took the fish and the knife and began to cut along the bottom of the fish (which is also much harder than it seems), and at that point was still scared by the moving fish that I handed it back to her to finish the rest. Apparently doing this makes me ready to marry a Moldovan. Well, we’ll see about that.
Oh, so the analogy: Fish are like chickens. They still move when they get their heads cut off.

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