first page | a chance encounter | voices and shapes | sea urchins, bottarga and mussels | tired but happy
THE SOUNDS AND SHAPES
The vendors' voices, sing-song and inviting, recalled the Tuinisian merchants I had seen the year before, but the shouts of cambara, maccioni, piscu're, sparedda, mumungioni brought me back to my senses. I could remember having heard a similar refrain during Carnival, and somebody had explained to me that they were all names of fish in Sardinian.
I wandered around among the stalls, pushing my way through the throngs of customers, and was attracted by the live eels writhing in their baskets: among the extremely fresh octopus, mullets, lobsters, bass, even swordfish, I decided to buy two nice red mullets that were eying me languidly, and I asked the price.
Experienced after my stay in Tunisia, I bargained a little and found out it worked: however, a little too proud of my astuteness, I let them convince me to buy two kilos of crabs that were still alive, even though I knew very well my wife would never agree to cook them.