Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chicken ~ Will you please cut off its head and feet? ~ Random Memory #21 ~ Iran

Scene from a self sufficient Mayan kitchen garden, Santa Helena, Campeche, Mexico. Taken January, 2009.

Random Memory #21 ~ Iran

There is a big difference from those long ago days of sitting through a language class because you were supposed to...because it's expected, to desperately needing to communicate your most basic needs. One of the first things I did after arriving in Tehran was to attend Farsi classes at the Iran America Society. I inhaled the language with its musical lilt and peculiar sounds coming from unused places in the back of my throat. I gulped down vocabulary and became a collector of words. I used each new verb and tense minutes after leaving class and practiced my new skills every day with Goli who helpfully produced an English/Farsi dictionary that was always on hand whenever we were together. 

With time, I became adept at haggling in markets understanding it was as much a social function as the need to obtain a fair price. I bought most of our food at little stalls or street vendors. Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs and so many other things tasted better than anything I had experienced in America, but acquiring everything I needed to produce a home cooked meal was time consuming. There were no tidily wrapped cellophane packages of meat. I bought freshly killed chickens and was grateful they were plucked! I learned to squeeze my eyes shut and yank out the internal organs, but how I hated their limp dead necks, dull yellow beaks and scaly feet. I learned the verb "to cut" and asked the chicken man to "please cut off the head and feet." He would practically roll on the ground every time he heard my request, but he did it.


  1. Not a bad set of skills to have. I saw my great Aunt and great grandmother do this with the skill of a surgeon. I do not think I would ever "take" to it. pgt

  2. pgt ~ Although not overly squeamish, I'm certain I never did this as efficiently as your great aunt and great grandmother!


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