Fish BBQ next door


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Recently, I was surprised at lunch when I found a small crowd of locals (my neighbors and some of their friends) outside my apartment preparing a makeshift barbeque. One of them had procured a mess of fish, mostly mackerel. I grabbed my camera for a few shots – and wondered where the fish came from. I was offered to share their food but having just eaten lunch (and afraid the fish would be too spicy) I declined.

Today, after lunch, I noticed the table outside my neighbor’s door covered with fishing end tackle (hooks and weights). Someone was a fisherman, I astutely concluded. I needed more information, so I called out to the apartment. The man (husband) who was cooking the fish previously, came out, his right hand covered in food as I had caught him having lunch. They often eat with their fingers here, rice, fish, chicken and vegetables off banana leaves or waxed paper.

He did not understand English so I went to the restaurant and asked Risma to assist me in translation. Turns out the man’s name is Aida and he fishes for fun. He showed me his two main lines, both handlines on spools with what I guessed was about 50-pound monofilament line. There was a large diving plastic bait on each line, one orange (for bass) and the other green (for barracuda). They were exactly the same except for their color but he was convinced one was good for bass and the other for barracuda. I don’t know which one he caught the mackerel with.

I showed him my rod and reel and he dismissed them as suitable only for a lake. I showed him fish I caught in Florida on my medium tackle that were much bigger than what he had barbequed.

We finally determined that he goes out – when the weather and water is calm – in a 12-foot skiff that holds 2-3 people. He is more than happy to take me the next time but is concerned since we don’t speak each other’s language. For me, that’s part of the fun.

Now, let’s see – Ken in a small boat on open water. What are the chances of getting sick again? Probably 100%. Gibbs on NCIS says crackers and apples; I use peppermint. Stay tuned.

On a side note, the area in front of my apartment has become something of a gathering place for the locals. The kids and their “handlers” like to play there in the early evening. And then the adults seem to congregate at my neighbor’s front door most nights.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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