Saturday, May 19, 2012

Asian Eyes' USA - Mobile Forrest Gump

I went to school in USA back in the early nineties. It was already 2 week since I started my first UPS shipment. I was busy fishing, sometime with friends and sometime alone. Not all days I went fishing I will come back with fish. I befriended a couple of fishing guys, both blacks and whites, and was close to one particular one black chap named Sam. Sam was a Vietnam War veteran and he walked with a strange gait but it did not stop him from showing up at the pier fishing almost every day. We spoke and strike a deal to buy his fish from him, agreed on deals like $1 to $3 per fish, depending on the type and weight. Sam had been fishing for quite some time, started with subsistence, then move on to get some extra cash. He bought yearly pass to the pier, so he did not charge high price for his fish. However he do no delivery and the payment was cash only.
Forrest Gump, the movie
I also found a shrimper boat (they catch shrimps, just like you see in the move ‘Forrest Gump‘) who end up supplied me shrimps. Zak and other customers had a liking for fresh shrimps. In fact with shrimps you would not go wrong. One can cook it with anything, on anything or just by itself, it will turn out great. There are 7 different sizes in shrimp are colossal, jumbo, extra-large, large, medium, small and mini. The colossal had 10 or less shrimps (heads on, shell intact) in a pound, jumbo had 11 to 15 and so on till small size at 36 to 45 shrimps count a pound. Bobby, the owner, sold his shrimps both head intact and headless. For my own consumption I always buy those with head intact, particularly the large one and they are very good in curry. I like the fresh shrimp heads, especially the goey stuff that was supposedly part of the brain. Some shrimps that are past due are sold as baits. I may have unconsciously bought some of those indirectly. Bob sold most of his shrimps headless. "They stay longer, may keep up to months" Bob told me after I inquired about the head. No wonder. The shrimps I shipped to Zak were always headless thereafter. In the hit movie Forrest Gump, Bubba mentioned more than 20 ways to cook shrimps but he did not mention curry shrimps. Maybe his mama does not cook curry!
I have sent many consignments over to Zak. Flounders were in season and I send a box with 20 flounders twice a week. They are flat and can fit in more per box. Shrimps are year round and in great demand but I do not make much out of it. White Trouts are plenty round the year while Whiting are seasonal. Occasional I had mixed shipments of Sheepshead with Spanish Mackerel. At times there were Pompano, Snapper and Red Drum. These were premium fishes and Zak let me charged him extra for them. He mailed me a check every other week. I tallied my first month sales was now nearly $250. Not bad for some incidental income. Almost all the fishes I send Zak I bought from Sam and his friends. My fishing skill was not good enough to fill even a consignment.
Me and a pompano in hand, a 
fish similar to our golden 
promfret.
Another fish that we normally threw back to the sea was stingray. I was just joking one day when I stuffed one in a consignment box and shipped out to Zak free of charge. I had the tail carefully cutoff as it was not only dangerous but has little to no meat to it. It turned out to be a winner where he requested for more stingrays. I did not asked Zak what he did with it but I have since started to keep them and asked Sam and company to keep for me as well. Sometime I shipped Zak whole shipment of stingrays only. Not bad for some thrash fish and I made good money. There is always a ray across the sky, somewhere, if we care to look for it!
Stingray was considered a thrash fish, 
now sought after
Location: Dauphin Island Public Fishing Pier, 109 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528, USA.
Tel: +1-251-861-3607

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