Chapak or Fish

Chapak or Fish

Desert People – Life in Turkmen sahara, Iran
Chafak: The palm-size fish is called “chafak” or “chapak” and they’re caught in the Caspian Sea, too. The price is rather high, which is approximately half of white fish.
I was feeding my cats saying, “Just one!” until I found out almost half of the amount was gone. And it was after when I heard about the price.
Since the fish was small, I used scissors to cut open it from the belly. It was much easier to take away the externals that way than using a knife. I also found caviar in some of the fish but this time I decided to give them to my cats after boiling. For us, I fried them and cooked gatykliash.
Khalil likes dry, crispy deep-fried food. ….
So I deep-fry fish for relatively long time. I do the same with potatoes, too. My preference used to be less dry but as I tried to adjust to his taste I got used to it. Exactly like kesmek (scorched rice), I’ve become addicted to the crisp.
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Chicks that we’re growing in a room have grown bigger. We’re also keeping some new hatched quails in the same room. Their singing is heard far away and it’s echoing in our house.
It’s getting difficult to keep the grown chicks in the box so Khalil decided to move them to an empty room on the second floor of a shed where he keeps quails. There’s no heating in the shed but the climate in desert has become much warmer than before, like spring. What I’m worried about is that if we range them free there, the room will become dirty because of their droppings. But we have no other choice. Why doesn’t he carry out things with a better planning? is always my question and my dissatisfaction but there are such people in this world. First, they carry on. And then, by making mistakes, they learn an outline of the subject or the knack of it to make it successful. I think Khalil has been achieving many goals by this method in the past. His goal is simply an achievement so he’s not even thinking to the mistakes he’s making on the way. He thinks that he will learn about chickens and quails only by taking care of them himself. It’s easy to think like that but uneasy to practice because you’ll still think of the mistakes that you might make.
I was just watching how he takes care of the poultry but because his workload became heavier, I decided to help a little (just a little bit though). First, I cleaned the room that he’s going to replace the birds. There were many sheepskin which were not cleaned completely so I gathered them in one place and dust the walls, wiped the windows and swept the floor. The room was brighter than I thought with windows on three sides.
 I could see a neighbor’s grass and their small flock from a window. Also green fields in the Caspian Sea side. I absolutely wanted this room as my atelier in the future. I must find some other place for the poultry then.
You can see our house from here as well. It could also be good for a guest room. Alright, it will be used as both my atelier and a guest room (There was a fight with Khalil after this, when he wanted to range the chicks. I still think that it’ll be dirty).
I heard an unusual cry this morning, when I was preparing for milking in the cow shed. First I thought it was of somebody’s lamb but then I recognized it was much feebler than that. It was Garaglok’s newborn puppies.
The small animals moaned “nnnn”, “nnnn”. Roughly, I saw seven puppies under Garaglok. All of them looked like the last puppies, which are black and white. And they seemed to be children of the white dog with black ears, which killed Gaushan. What shall we do? Khalil said, “I will kill them if she gets his children” that time but after seeing such a small puppies, it’s really difficult to think that way. The white dog, the father, by the way, tried to come close to our place several times today. Does he know that they’re born? Furthermore, does he know that they’re his own children? Our five dogs got rid of him, anyway.
Interesting thing was the place Garaglok pup. When we saw her belly were growing, Khalil prepared a straw bed in the inner part between a quail shed and a cow shed.
Because it’s a sequestered place it’s difficult for her enemy to enter and there’s a roof as well. We took it granted that she will pup there. But the place she has chosen were here (below).
It was actually between the quail shed and the cow shed but she went inside the junk under the stairs, which Khalil has cleared away. The prepared bed was in the back of that place. Human thought of a comfort of the dog but the dog thought for the puppies’ safety first. She dug under the junk and went inside and nobody else can go in. Great.
Chi-chan and cow No.2, which are about to give birth, were also looking in on puppies. We don’t know which will be the first but sure we’ll get some kittens and a calf as well soon. And it will be the New Year in Iran very soon.
Today I asked Khalil for some shopping because I had to bake a cake for a celebration. I wanted to bake a chocolate cake with walnuts so I listed a chocolate bar and a plastic wrap, along with Nescafe (instant coffee) which was running out. I was worried if they sell chocolate bars but I told him he can choose any kind of chocolate if there weren’t.
And those were all Khalil bought (above). I wondered where’s the Nescafe but it seems the one at the upper left is an instant coffee. The man at the shop had no courage to lay in Nescafe because it was expensive under the influence of the rise in American dollars. Khalil said that he believed there won’t be customers for Nescafe in Kumishtepe. It is true that people in Kumishtepe do not have the habit of drinking coffee. Foreign culture is not coming in, except for the Persian culture, as it’s an area where there is no non-Turkmen living in and where people are conservative. It seems odd to say that Persian culture is “foreign”, but this is the situation for Turkmen people who have different cultural views than the Persians.
I wonder why Khalil has bought so much cacao. He probably thought that I could use it for a chocolate cake? Or, he might have bought everything cacao he found at the shop. The chocolate named “HISS”, which looks exactly like Kit-Kat, can not be used for a cake because it has some wafer inside. I baked a carrot cake after all, but with all that, we’ll be high on so much cacao for a while.
He said that they didn’t have plastic wraps and bought an aluminium foil. The length of the box were sixty-four centimeters (!) and it was fixed by a stapler. As I guessed, the foil were lightly rolled and was kind of twisted (and so little). Every time when I see these products or their packages, I think of the magnificence of Japan, which is a country represented as “technology”, and the quality of their products. Their high standard for quality control is remarkable.
I tried to wrap the cake by “wrapping technique in Turkmen standard” and brought it for celebration but when I placed it with everybody else’s, mine showed up poorest in comparison with others lol …CONTINUE »»»