Chicken

The weather is hot hot, much more so than I have experienced before. Life is however very easy at home in the airconditioning, and indeed everywhere else which has aircon, like buses, metro and shops. Unfortunately I am not much of a shopper! All our household needs are provided for by our homehelp who comes in from 4 – 8 pm every weekday. She shops/cooks, cleans and launders so I feel incredibly lazy but also discover I could get used to this very quickly indeed. It is China though, so although some have heard this story before, it has been popular and I am posting it for the record.

A few weeks ago, our home help, ZhouAyi, had a brief holiday Monday Tuesday Wednesday – I now realise she was somewhere in the country, as she popped in very late on the Wednesday after the boys were in bed and left a cardboard box in the tiled area off the living room, then she took off again. I did not catch what she said, in chinese of course, and Donal looked a bit bewildered, then the box squawked!! A chicken! By this time she was gone. We were going to get treated to fresh chicken for Thursday dinner, but of course ZhouAyi does not come in until 4pm each day, so the chicken was ours till she returned. We left it in the box and tried to ignore the periodic protests, but when the boys woke up the next morning had to explain them. We let them poke their toast crusts in the holes and I put some water in through the biggest hole, but we did not let it out and then when Zhou Ayi finally came it turned out to be 2 chickens. Louis said he wanted to see ZhouAyi make them dead though he thought the chicken would not like to be dead or cooked. Ali said he really really did not like to hear the chicken ‘shouting’ so loud. He thought it did not like being in the box. I said Ask Zhou Ayi – coward that I am. What on earth can one say? So after they asked her and presumably heard that the chickens would soon be dinner, I had to say that was mostly what happened to all the chickens and we always ate our dinners anyway…

All true! Donal and I both gave all responsibility to Zhou Ayi apart from repeating that that was what happened to chickens and we always ate them anyway. As we did that evening, though we have also since been answering variously a whole range of interesting thoughts. I know we had chickens when I was a wee girl and that their necks were wrung but I cannot remember a single thing about them apart from still not liking live hens anywhere near me.

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3 thoughts on “Chicken

  1. Reblogged this on elspethc and commented:

    This is a reblog from over a year ago when I was living in Shanghai, helping to car efor my grandsons, just like a chinese granny. Last week we were talking about food to pass the time in the car when driving back from Connecticut, got to ‘like chicken pie’ and I told the girls the chicken story. Then WordPress suggested a focus on Expat Blogs – well this is one. And there are lots of others as being an expat was why I started blogging. Try a search for ‘visa’ to get a flavour of Chinese bureaucracy, or anything under “Shanghai”

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    1. I know I do not want children to believe that food comes out of packets, but Louis wanting to ‘see it get dead’ – he was not quite 4 at the time – I found a bit difficult! More in tune with Ali’s ‘I do not like the chicken shouting’. I found I have to realise both are valid reactions. Never stop learning stuff… I love your posts about Al and Felix and all.

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