Monday, March 2, 2015


Bonus update today because this arrived...

All the way from Chile, where MM/CB is continuing his journey. I hadn't been expecting a card so soon, and he told a great story about fishing where he was the only one to catch something, leading to a sour mood in a fellow fisher.

And this is not a scanner error - this postal label is a very dark green, with the black being quite hard to read.

Now I'll have to find something to send in return. 

In the meantime I have a fish-related story to tell...

...back in my mid-twenties I was back-packing in Uganda and was camped near a small fishing village on the shore of Lake Victoria. Now in general, back then (and maybe now, who knows) if you paid a villager to cook a meal for you, they would go out back and lop a chicken's head off. And that's what you want - freshly slaughtered chicken, from a healthy-looking bird. Always say no to meat that's been lying around. After many weeks of chicken on our travels, the woman asked if we wanted fish instead. Sounded like a good deal, and a welcome change. There were three of us for dinner. 

(Have you figured out what's coming next?)

Well, our chef chopped said fish into 3 pieces, one for each of us. One of us got the middle - oh lucky fellow. One of us got the tail - less meat, but still not too bad. And, of course, I got the head. At first I didn't know it was the head - there was no electricity, so by the time we got to eat we were dining by moonlight. It took a while for me to catch a glimpse of the fish's eye staring at me out of the bowl. 

The meal was not made any better by the carbohydrate portion - I know many people have to survive on this every day, but I found it very hard to stomach when I encountered it - kasava. Like eating thick cardboard, but with less taste. Or in this case fishhead-flavored cardboard.

As I said earlier, if you pay someone to cook a meal for you in Africa, make sure they go out back and slaughter a chicken.


  1. You can send him this story back...

    1. I did send him back the much shorter version of this story.