Prior to covid-19, I didn’t do much grocery shopping at the Asian supermarkets other than picking up the latest boba popcorn snacks or a bag of baby bok choy.

Since then, I have become well-versed in the ins & outs of what’s available as I have become my folk’s personal shopper.

  • The meat counter? Check.
  • The bakery? Check.
  • Finding herbs for cooling tea? Check.
  • The fish stall? Kinda check – my father has not let me live down the fact that I brought back a not-so-fresh fish…some bones were sticking out of it and I didn’t notice but now I know and I’m like one of those aunties inspecting all sides of a fish.

But, there is one level I cannot even attempt. If you can do it, then I have to give you big boss props.

My father asked me to get a fresh chicken from the live chicken shop in Chinatown. I just couldn’t…memories of being dragged there when I was a kid came rushing back – the smell, the loose feathers everywhere and the sounds have forever been etched into my soul. Maybe it’s more clean now, but still no thanks.

Believe it or not, I was able to fulfill his shopping request in the end. To my surprise, Kam Man supermarket in Quincy, MA sells fresh chickens by the bag. How fresh are they? I don’t know but they have the heads and feet still attached which seems to be all that matters?

BaBa Chan was happy in the end. So, mission accomplished.

This comic appears in the August 7, 2020 issue of the Sampan Newspaper.