February 28, 2017

Fat squirmy worms

Little tan fatties with brown faces, the size of my second largest toe, wriggle in tubs.

“For eating?”

“Yes, of course!”

“Raw? Alive?”

“Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, goreng (fried).”

I can see a single muscle contracting in waves through their chubby, limbless bodies. I stand above the worms, eyes wide, jaw dropped. I gawk at the freaks. Why???

Meanwhile, the locals stare at me. What is this oran putih (white person) doing here? They examine me, eyes wide, jaws dropped. Some tap their friends’ shoulders to get their attention and point at me. They gawk at the freak. Why???

I laugh at the absurdity of consuming the worms, and also out of the discomfort of being stared at in a way that perfectly mirrors my own reaction to the odd little critters. Will I ever get used to being the fat squirmy worm spectacle of the morning market?

This blog, "Uprooted", is not an official Fulbright Program site. The views expressed on this site are entirely those of its author and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State, or any of its partner organizations. 

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