I am on a wooden narrow boat in the middle of what I am guessing is the Visayan sea. The boat is moving slow and is noisy so I can barely hear the bamboo hitting the waves on the side. We slow down as two fishermen in two smaller boats (or what I would almost call a canoe or kayak) approaches. Our captain halts the motor and everything is silent. I don’t know what’s happening and I don’t speak their language so all I do is observe.
The skipper jumps to the front and collects a net full of blue shells and the captain grabs a net full of tiny fish. Catch of the day, doesn’t get any fresher than that. Everyone is on nodding terms, no money is exchanged, I’m guessing they have a tab or something that will be paid at a later time.
We putter back to our virgin island and I hang around while they unpack the boat. I’m waiting for them to leave to get a final shot of the boat in the sunset, but they don’t leave so I wait. I am a patient person and I don’t want to obstruct the natural flow of life to get a picture. They pour the fish out on the boat and start plucking away. I get closer, just looking, wide eyed and shy, observing.
The captain holds out a fish he’s plucked apart and says something to me, then he fliks it together with the others. The skipper sees my quizzical look and shoots in “Sushi”.
This is what I saw; a simple life. In our shopping malls and our fancy sushi places with the rotating food that cost more than most people could afford on an honest days wages we’ve lost touch with what is real. We pay steep prices for sushi because “their fish is so fresh” and yet, the fish straight out of the ocean hardly cost anything at all, and if you fish it yourself it’s free. We’re willing to pay thousands for “brands” when let’s face it, nothing really has to cost “that” much and a t-shirt is just a t-shirt, no matter what it says on it.
It reminded me to go back to the basics. To reconnect with what life really is, and what’s really important. If you strip away the shallow trends and ridiculous standards we’ve set for humans; what makes you happy? For me it was this. Feeling human again. And the sushi was really fresh to.