Thursday, 25 June 2015
THE memory that sticks most, of following mum to the wet market is how the butcher cleanly sliced a piece of belly pork from the chunk hung on a black metal hook. And the way the meat wobbled when thrown onto the huge wooden chopping board -- after it was weighed on the daching. Then with deft hands, the butcher would wrap it up with newspaper.
Once, I went to the market on my own. And returned home to discover that there was an extra newspaper-wrapped packet of minced meat in the straw basket we used for marketing.
"Hey mum, we can have steamed pork today!" I said happily.
"You go and return it right away!" mum said.
"Must I? I don't think the pork man (gee yuk lo) would remember," I retorted. It was a very long walk to the market.
Aside: Everything was wrapped in newspaper in those days... from meat to vegetables to biscuits. Today, we know this is not very healthy :)
Another aside: Gee yuk lo of yore do live up to their name. Their white t-shirts usually rolled up to expose their pot bellies. Such a figure, holding a huge cleaver, was how cartoonists depicted the hardworking butcher, king of wet markets.
There were of course some slim gee yuk lo who did not roll up their t-shirt -- there being no pot belly to keep the rolled up t-shirt from slipping down.