This was eventful. After entertaining guests until late the previous night, I was told to be ready at 5:30 in the AM for the trip to the fish market.
It’s a great drive so early in the dawn, you can see Georgetown awakening, the traffic lights all blink yellow and the air smells good even as you near the market.
Located close to the Banks Beer bottling plant, it is an easy walk inside, provided you find parking space. Yes, who would have thought that people would be out to buy fish this early?
As you enter the area, you will find many sellers selling their piscine wares from the backs of trucks. But we went further up, to the pier, with it’s anchored boats and a large building of the Fisheries Cooperative. The co-op packages fish for export and other sales so we couldn’t get in there. But on the other side, there were many sellers with mounds of snapper and trout, all of them fairly large and already gutted. They sold it by the pound. Around 200 dollars a pound for the trout and 420 for the snapper. Not too bad.
So after selecting a nice looking five pound trout and a nine pound snapper, we made our way to the cleaning ladies.
Now these were a true taste of spirited Carribean women.
They hollered out to each other, over the shouts of sellers. Spoke about the recent belly slashing incident that made the local papers. Apt topics while gutting, deboning and scaling organisms I reckon.
But these were buxom women, very Creole, armed with tiny axes, attired in aprons, some of them in shorts and to finish the appearance, huge gumboots.
As Liz and I waited for for the fish to be filleted, I glanced around at the river. The sun shone beautifully onto the anchored vessels all painted in bright colours. The pier had all this green heart and purple heart wooden planks on it that kept see-sawing with the movements of the people. There was one boat that was rather ‘Titanicked’ where a mini mangrove forest had decided to set root. It looked very lovely and I wished I could have taken some pictures but unfortunately, photography wasn’t allowed. I wonder why?
As we meandered back to our car amidst the shouts of ‘good morning sweetheart’, we even managed to peek into a basket containing blue coloured live crabs. I decided to pass the blue creatures just this once.
There wasn’t a massive choice but at least the fish was fresh and not like the five day old smelly versions at the supermarket. Someone said that if I wanted more choice, I could perhaps come by at 3 AM the next morning !!!! Why yes, how lovely !!
And back we were, on the road on a sunny saturday.