/ fish

A London Fish Tale

I had an engineer from the cable/internet company here installing cables on Tuesday so when my door bell rang, I was expecting he had locked himself out. Instead when I opened the door I found a Scottish fish monger in his butcher's coat standing on my door step. He asked if I wanted to know what he was selling, so I said sure but I didn't have any cash and would have to either use a card or write a check. He said that was fine and someone would be here in 5 minutes with a basket of samples. About 5 minutes later, Lloyd the Scotsman Fishmonger was at my door with a small metal basket full of packaged fish. He explained that he delivers to my neighborhood about every 3 months with a truck full of fish caught the day before in Scotland and butchered that morning. He showed me the variety and asked if I was interested. The salmon, cod and halibut all looked great so I said sure (although there was no mention of price). He told me they sell the fish in 20, 30, or 40 packages. Now, my refrigerator/freezer is considered "full size" in England but it is very small by USA standards. I told him this and he said that 20 packages is about "one and a half loaves" and I would be just fine. I had no idea what that meant. I decided to go for it and told him what type of fish I wanted. (I passed on the fresh smoked kippers, sea bass and trout; I chose salmon, halibut, dover sole, turbot, cod and bream). When he left to get my order, I realized I had no idea how to fill out a U.K. cheque! There are more lines than a US check and none are labeled except the date. I did a quick internet search and found a guide to how to do it so I was ready. He knocked on my door again and had in his basket 20 wrapped packages. Each package is on a foam deli tray (about the size of one from the grocery store with steaks or a pound of ground beef) and had one great looking filet (the bream has two per tray). He had a scribbled piece of paper with all my fish and the weights I bought, all in all about 30 kilos. He told me the price and I filled out my cheque. As I handed it over, I told him this was my first cheque I have written and he should look at it to make sure I filled it out right. He shoved it right in his wallet and said "don't worry, they'll cash anything."

I looked up what he meant about loaves - my freezer has three drawers, which are each referred to as a loaf. And he was right, they filled one full drawer and my bottom drawer, which is only a half drawer.

Kate Carter

Kate Carter

Ex-pat lugging small children up and down hills, stairs and play ground equipment.

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