Experience is a Doorway, Not a Final Destination- Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, February 24

Headless Chickens and Romanian Seinfeld

In high school I spent one month in Romania working in an orphanage. During my time there I worked regularly in a soup kitchen but was commissioned, one day, to go with my friend Rachel to pluck headless chickens on a Romanian farm.

When we arrived at the farm, we were greeted by a dusty yard full of farmers with knives. I turned the corner just as one of them dropped a chicken and it ran headless into the fence - over and over again until it twitched in a pile on the ground.

My job was to remove the blood clots from the necks while Rachel made sure all the feathers were off of the outside.

As I am reading this, it sounds a little disturbing. Then I remember I eat chicken every week. Duh.

After the chickens were plucked, they were gutted and handed to me to remove the clots. They kept every part of the chicken and the guts were used for soup. Yum.

I can't remember how long we worked in that small room that was lit by kerosene lamps but we were at the farm for at least half of the day. There were few things on the property that hinted that the farm made it into the 20th century.

I was reminded though that this was 2000 when we were waiting for our ride back to the orphanage. The farmers had invited us into their home and the television was stationed in the center of the room under an enormous antenna. Rachel and I were surrounded by silent Romanians who were transfixed on the television screen.

A Seinfeld episode was playing and Jerry and George had been discussing something inconsequential. The Romanian translation scrolled on the bottom of the screen when, to the amazement of the farmers in the room, someone in the episode mentioned Eastern Europe. As soon as the words fell out of the character's mouth every Romanian who was present shouted and jumped up out of their seats in joy. It startled me.

I guess they were excited that people in the West know that they exist in the 21st century.

P.S. There was fresh chicken bones and meat in the soup the next day. I was proud.

1 comment:

Susan Murray said...

considering giving up fowl after this read. I have to comment though on what a world person you are at such a young age.