One of the best things about Sri Lanka was all the tropical fresh fruit and vegetables. Going to the market on the way home from work was always a great experience, haggling, joking and tasting the produce as you go.
Being a foreigner I was always targeted for high prices but the market stalls were one of the few businesses whose prices actually dropped during our time here. They must have thought karma would come back to haunt them or it was a bad look to the other customers to keep ripping me off.
My favourite process was buying chicken. The Chicken Man sat at the back of the market with his cages of live chooks alongside his little stall. Upon ordering a chicken, another guy would slip out the side door and grab a flapping, squawking chook. What followed was a cacophony of squeals, a loud thud, silence, 2 minutes waiting and a freshly plucked bird flying over the back wall into a tub at the front. The Chicken Man would then ask how I wanted my chook, chopped up or whole, innards intact or separate, neck and feet included? I always went for the whole chook (chopped was not filleted but hacked up with a clever), no feet, neck or innards. This was always met with a call of “roast chicken??!!!” to be met by hoots of laughter from the boys out the back. Most houses don’t have an oven and chicken is usually served in big chunks in curry so they all loved this gag.
I would then get the chicken in a plastic bag, still hot from clucking its last breath only minutes ago.
I also got pretty good at deboning a whole chook as a result. Wikihow is a fantastic resource.
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