Editor’s note: Iâ€™m not a complainer. Really, Iâ€™m not. But having lived my first 68 years in the USA, I find that things being different take me some getting used to. Understand, please, Iâ€™m not asserting that â€œdifferentâ€ is wrong. Itâ€™s probably right for here; only Iâ€™m unused to it.
So, Iâ€™m sucking it up and learning to accept those different things. Still, I think it may amuse Dominicans reading this and help inform and prepare Americans, and Europeans and other â€œ1st-worldersâ€ wishing to settle here as well. Iâ€™ll write about those differences â€“ big and small â€“ from time to time, and will preface it with this paragraph so that you know Iâ€™m not complaining.
Difference #1:: Chopping fish versus filleting them. I know that the Dominican way, which is to chop fish, wastes no meat. But I was raised in a culture where fish bones in a meal of fish were considered distasteful at best and a deadly choking hazard at worst.
I was raised on the Atlantic shore and earned money during school summer vacations working on â€œhead boatsâ€ where tourists (fares paid by the head) were taken out to try fishing; and I earned extra tips filleting fish they caught and wanted to take away to eat. I fillet my fish and when I eat fish I break the meat using the edge of my fork because if thereâ€™s a bone Iâ€™d find it that way. I positively hate finding a bone in a mouthful of fish.
A Dominican friend of mine says he enjoys sucking the meat from a fish-bone in his mouth. Thatâ€™s how he was raised. I understand the difference, and that Dominicans are appalled by the manner in which I waste meat by filleting fish; and theyâ€™re right. Iâ€™m wrong, but I will continue to fillet my fish. If I can get it done at the market, everyone is happier. I have no fish offal to dispose of and the fellow at the market earns a couple of extra dollars (as I did as a boy) filleting the fish for us.