My hands smell like fish today

My hands smell like fish today.

I started to volunteer serving lunch on Thursdays at Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission (SBRM) when I started my residency here at Asian Arts Initiative, and two weeks ago I started to help out with food prep.

I was interested in doing this because SBRM doesn’t buy any food for their meals, instead, they use what is donated to come up with three meals a day for those who come through their doors. I was curious to see how the kitchen works with what is available to come up with meals.

So today I de-boned over 30 cans of salmon for lunch, and we had salmon stew over rice.

Today I also conducted a workshop for the Asian Arts Initiative staff that were interested in participating in Dish. We did some brainstorming, and some of the questions that we came up with to ask our elders were really interesting, like:

“why did you come here?”

For an immigrant kid, this is a BIG one. How different would my life be if my parents decided to stay instead of coming here? All the issues, obstacles, and prejudice we face as an immigrant and a minority would not exist, but what would we lose?

I think I’m going to try lemon juice on my hands when I get home.

But then again, I do kinda like how my hands smell right now.

(This post was originally posted in Asian Arts Initiative's blog during the artist's residency in 2017]

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