The weather may be muggy today, but it’s tempting not to stay indoors. So I decided to drive around and take photos of the town where I’ve lived for the last 13 years. Then I met Kevi and Santa. Here is the other story.
I took a stroll into the woods and stopped by a quiet stream to cool down. A dog was already there doing the same. Its kind lady owner allowed me to take a photograph of her dog having fun.
As I took the shot, my attention got diverted onto a couple at the shallow end of the stream. Their backs were turned to me and both were busy getting something from among the overgrown bushes in the water. This scene felt familiar. It took me back to a river in a town where I grew up. What I needed to do now was to verify a wild guess!
The woman noticed me and signaled that I follow a narrow path leading to where she was standing.
Whoah! I was right! The couple was gathering fresh and (oh, well, call it organic) watercress! I knew it!
Watercress is called tungsoy in my Ilocano dialect.
Here’s a flashback to my neighbourhood in La Trinidad, Benguet Philippines. Many residents plant watercress in a river for free! Then it was sold fresh and in bundles. By the way, for those who grew up in the same neighbourhood, they would know exactly what river I was referring to.
Back to the present: Where I currently live, watercress is packed and sold for making vegetable salads. Some people are not aware that it can either be sauteed or steamed.
The couple from Nepal spoke broken English but I was able to get their names; Kevi and Santa. They generously gave me a bagful of freshly picked watercress! From a stream where you’d never expect was teeming with such nutritious green.
Not unless you have the slightest idea, then you’d never know.
Thank you, Kevi and Santa. Watercress happened to be one of my favourites. I hope we’ll meet again.
Here is the first story in one day.