Saturday, 13 February 2010

Fresh chickens

James Seah kindly sent me a video that showed market stall holders in Singapore selling fresh chickens. 'Fresh' nowadays means buying it pre-packaged from a supermarket. Then, it meant buying the chicken alive and taking it home with you and letting it run around the garden until you needed it! I remember coming back from Singapore on the bus with my mum on many occasions and there would be live chickens running around our feet, together with lots of other produce including huge fish wrapped in newspaper. It was certainly different from getting on a bus today! Our chicken always came already cooked and we certainly never brought home any live ones. Even then, I felt sorry for the chickens and all the other animals like the lobsters that would be swimming around in tanks in restaurants before being chosen by a hungry customer and then cooked. I wonder if they still do that?
The bus journeys always were eventful and apart from the wildlife on board, there were the continuous breakdowns which meant that the many passengers outside the bus, some just seemed to cling to the side, would jump off and give it a push until it went again. Then they would all jump on again. No wonder the bus broke down with all that extra weight! As I said in an earlier blog, nobody ever queued for the bus and everyone just piled on. I can't remember how everyone paid, I don't remember there being a conductor on the bus.
I remember all the smells and noise of the livestock too. As a small boy, I loved seeing all the chicken running around. It seems strange now but, in a way, I sort of miss it! I know that if we'd brought a chicken home when we lived at Jalan Wijaya, it would have probably ended up being given a name and left to run around the garden until it died of old age!

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