Warning: Pack lightly when traveling abroad. Leave ethnocentrism at home.
Cultural biased cataracts blur the view of many.
Come walk with me in Busan,
savoring South Korea’s largest fish market.
My eyes espy wriggling, clinging, squid and octopi.
Cartiliaginous skates with long dead eyes,
phallic shaped Gaebuls beside sea worms,
long slithering swarm-swimming eels.
I jerk back reflexively
as red knobby sea pineapple
squeezed slightly by seller,
shoots its swallowed water at me.
So many live fish, tank after tank,
humongous to small.
Crustaceons. Amphibians too.
Offered sannakji to eat,
small “baby” octopus barely chopped,
Dipped in sesame oil, swallowed like that.
I would feel them
squirm down my throat.
I remind myself silently –
Things are not better. Things are not worse.
They’re just different.
Then politely I simply say,
no thank you
and smile . . .
and stroll away.
Sarah hosts Poetics today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She tells us about her love for visiting markets – especially when on holiday. It’s something we always do when visiting another country…..visit markets and grocery stores. It’s always so very interesting to experience culinary culture. And yes, Sarah wants us to go to market today!
Photos from our April trip where we did indeed visit the amazing fish market in Bousan. Over 500 booths — so many kinds of sea creatures!!!