Every now and then you happen to be in the right place at the right time. Such was the case this morning during my first visit to the Kreta Ayer wet market in Singapore’s Chinatown. I was there checking out the action after reading this market is one of the top ten food markets in the world, according to CNN and National Geographic. I’m not sure I agree, but I did get to see something unusual and noteworthy. There was much ado at the market about something on the floor, so I walked over to see what was going on. Today’s catch had just arrived — a ginormous (this made-up word actually, truly applies here) fish.
The slippery, slimy, unlucky behemoth of the ocean had been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was now waiting to be displayed, photographed, ogled at and eventually gutted and fed to the masses. Too big for one female shop owner to take on by herself, six men stepped in and awkwardly grabbed, pushed, hoisted, squirmed and squished around and into each other as they tried to lift it up onto the counter, where it was finally nudged into place.
Here he (she?) is, with a human to the right for scale (ha ha). Yes, this is real. This is not Photoshopped, as someone has already asked me on Facebook. I would love to know what kind of fish and how old. He surely had a looooooong life before swimming with the fish at the Kreta Ayer market. Rest in peace, Mr. Fish, and may we smartly fish the ocean so many more of you may live to be as old.