Thursday, 7 December 2017

Divine Providence

Up until now since God has created everything including us, humankind, all of existing evidences that are circumstantial in nature are by far leading up to one point that seem to suggest that His intervention is a continuous event even in the aftermath of the creation.

If you think about it, it’s very hard not to cogitate a notion that someone out there is keeping the whole universe in natural order. Someone who has the capacity to provide us with a billion-year assurance that everything we need to remain in existence in our lifetime like sunlight, rain and food for example are being equally provided to us all no matter how good or bad we may have behaved in the last Christmas.

In Koki Fish Market, one can learn from looking at the fishes being sold there about how impressive God’s entities can be. If you observe them closely, you may probably notice that all fishes are like diversities of cloned creatures. While majorities of the fish in the market are moderate in sizes, some are really enormous and may require several people to reel out of the water. Yet they all share a common trait that makes them a mouth-watering delicacy, and that is the idea that aside from being a healthy treat, they are yummy.

But one can be forgiven for oversimplifying that fishes are just foods in general; perhaps it is due to how widely they are viewed as part of most culinary practices.

In Papua New Guinea, it’s a common thing to see Tunas of various fin colours being ended as goods in fish markets. Tuna is my favourite fish to buy because of how it looks. They always have a solid appearance that make them look good when grilled over.

I’ve been meaning to grill one but I haven’t got around to that yet.

If you can imagine a world without fish, do you think that we could substitute rats for the fish? My mental picture-processing unit is refusing to visualize a dead rat being grilled at the moment. Luckily, we haven’t arrived to that point yet. Fishes have an astonishing reproductive strategy in that some of them lay eggs in thousands, which externally fertilise leaving more room for the parents to party around without giving much attention to the surviving hatchlings.  

I don’t think we can out-eat their ability to reproduce yet.

Speaking of party, our parties in Papua New Guinea are held mostly in the house and may involve a round of a few drinks. 

How much does a typical bundle of fish cost in Port Moresby? At the time of this writing, it’s about K20 to K30 a bundle and that still depends on the kind of fish. 

A typical strategy that one can use for rating out a fish’s freshness is by scrutinizing the fishes’ gills. Fresh fishes have red gills and don’t have a red and cloudy eyes.  Our friend Jay-ar here is gingerly inspecting a bundle of fish for any sign of being stale. 

The seas of Papua New Guinea account for the major source of the fishes sold in the market, the other sources include tropical rivers and man-made lakes. In the open seas, there is always a bigger fish capable of eating other smaller fishes. It’s an uncomfortable truth but that’s how life is going on in the seas.

In one occasion, we have chanced upon a group of either Japanese or Korean nationals doing a documentary of something. There’s our friend Ryan on the left trying to have a conversation with one of the camera person on the right.

That begs a question; did Ryan initially say Ohayo gozaimasu or Anneyonghaseyo? I’ll have to ask him about it.

I’m not a fan of octopus but at one point in time, I bought one or two just to try it out.

My culinary skills haven’t evolved to chef level yet and I don’t know if it will ever be, but I have a never-ending fascination to learn from observing other people's work. These octopi are rather getting a good boiling from Raffy. Raffy is another IT manager in the company that I’m working with and one of the things that we have in common is an unwavering interest in cooking.

These green-looking bags are an interesting sight to see in Koki and are usually placed at the entrance of the market. They contain big clams in them and are sold for K10 to K15 each bag at the time of this writing.

If you like to try and increase the amount of iodine in your body naturally, try cooking out these clams.  It’s a known source of iron and iodine, which is good for our thyroid health. Every once in a while, it is available at Koki Fish Market. Clams are known to ingest dirt in them so it is best to have them submerged in the water first for a whole day.

Crabs are also found in both Port Moresby and in Daru Island but the latter has more of it. These decapod crusaceans in Papua New Guinea are capable of reaching to the size of a regular table plate. They can grow that much that even four people can share a piece among themselves.  I took this in Daru Island when I went there sometime around September this year.

Here’s me way back in 2011 with a really big crab that was sent to me by my cousin Marlon from Daru Island. Three of us had shared this crab on that day. You can see that the pincers are almost as big as my hands.

And here are the crabs that I brought from Daru last September, 2017. I gave them away to my co-managers as pasalubong. I don’t fully understand the whole meaning of that word but it probably has something to do with an old phrase, “Share your blessings.”

Tropical fishes raised in captivity for commercial purposes are also abundant in Papua New Guinea. Here’s me frying Tilapia with my hand fully enclosed in a custom-built boiling oil deflector shield.

You see, no matter how difficult life gets, there is always a clear indication that God’s grace is working in silence. All that one needs to do is act on it. The fishes are all swimming freely somewhere out there and one just needs to try and catch them.

Happy weekend everyone!

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