I love this short video of little messyfish in a fish market in Hoi An, Vietnam. If you watch carefully you will see that just as he is about to trip on a rusty market umbrella food, not one, but two adults are there to prevent it. Little messyfish has been touched and pinched and talked to so much by now on this trip, that he does not see it as help, but tries to slap the intruding hand away. The helpful hand belongs to a woman, who continues on her way. Not expecting a thank you, not tut tutting him or me, not giving advice on how better to parent my child.
I love the Vietnamese and the way they are with children in so many ways. My child goes on to explore the market. His big love is sea creatures and Vietnamese fish markets are a fantastic close up experience. He has wiggled baskets, touched sharp crab claws, oggled at the eels teeth, joked around with the merchants as the wobble squids at him.... The vietnamese sell live seafood. When food is still alive, the decay process has not started yet. It is the freshest way to buy seafood. Little messyfish then goes on to wave the flies away from one of the stall holders produce. This may seem strange for a westerner, but the fish is sold that morning. Alive. Its is not wrapped up in chemical leaching plastics, stored on a styrofoam tray, and stored in an air-conditioned and fluorescent lit supermarket, with a "use by date" that could be days later. I personally would prefer a live fish, bought that morning, sold that morning at eaten by lunchtime anyday. And wait till you see the video of Linh, the fabulous cook wrap live prawns into rice paper wrappers and deep-fried. Now that IS fresh. And with little messy fish swiping the flies away....its even better.