The photos in this post are not of the highest quality but I feel like they may reflect the gritty nature of this post. We love to attend a fish fry party and were willing to spend an hour or so on a bus to achieve this goal. We knew it would be an adventure but I had no idea exactly what I was in for this night.
We joined up with two other young cruisers and hiked to the bus stop to work our way up island for the fish fry. We caught the first bus without any big event to discuss. The first bus dropped us off into the main town. We decided to get a beer and walk around and check out the scene before we headed North. We had no idea how much we would actually experience that evening.
We wondered the street and ended up in front of the meat house when a couple local girls stopped us to flirt with the two guys we were with. As we hung out and chatted (liming they would call it in the Caribbean) a truck pulled up with two large pigs in the bed. I stopped to take in my surroundings. We were standing in front of the slaughterhouse and when you looked through the cracked windows you could see the blood and guts splattered on the wall and the locals gathered ready to prepare the meat for sale at tomorrows big market.
We watched as they led the pigs into line and then as they led a bull into the main room. I was transfixed. Wondering if the animals could sense what was going to occur tonight. I could not look away as the man struck the bull to start bleeding it out and the bull fell to the floor. This is what I eat, I kept thinking. I have never seen this up close and I was strangely memorized by the horror, knowing that my daily habits in food consumption come from this.
We eventually pulled ourselves away from this scene, each of us walking in silence as we all individually thought about what we just watched (I did not post the most detail of photos)
From here the night did a mild turn around from the dark alley of the slaughterhouse to an upbeat Christmas steel band playing at the Friday night fish fry. We loaded into the bus to start the 30 min drive up island to the fish fry. The public bus system is cheap for a reason, and we learned this as they piled us literally into each others lap. It is a funny sight to see two grown men sitting in each others lap, and you hope for their sake that the lightest of the two is sitting on top.
Once we arrived we took in the smells of fish and lobster frying and immediately felt hungry. We strolled up and down and enjoyed the steel band playing Christmas music. We decided we made it this far so might as well check out the town. We left the comfort of the party to move along the streets of this small fishing village. As we walked around we noticed a party going on in an alley so we took a chance and made our way back there. In this alley it is very obvious we did not belong, if not just for the color of our skin. There are only locals and they are playing a type of gambling game. We were only able to spend a few minutes chatting with a few nice locals and taking in everything around us, when a couple drunks started to harass us to buy them a beer and were angry if we refused. We made a quick exit and were just glad to have that brief encounter. From there we ate the most amazing food and found a place to shot some pool. It was a night I will not forget for the crazy twists and turns.
The next morning we made it to the market, in the day everything is brighter. You see all the local spices and food for sale. We picked up a few items we needed and as we walked along we found ourselves again in front of the slaughterhouse. Cleaned up from the night before, no more animals waiting for their fate. Next door is the meat market, bustling with energy as each vendor tries to convince you to buy their cuts.