…And The Poor Ate Crabs For Lunch & Dinner

You might not believe this.

Yet half a century ago, when I was living in the Bagan Ajam kampong, with the sea just 10 minutes’ walk away, this was true.

Fishermen beached early in the morning with their overnight bounties and carted them  to the wet market near my attap house. And they were cheap. Yes, crabs – and prawns and fish — were cheaper than pork or chicken.

In fact, our family often had crabs for both lunch and dinner. My late mum would deftly de-shell the cooked crustaceans, and gather their meat into delicious piles for the kids. (That is the reason why till this day, I cannot ‘handle’ crabs properly).

Lately, I checked out the prices at a nearby hawker centre. SGD60 per kilo. I was so stunned that I started walking sideways!

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