I have another photo just like this – taken three years ago. Same place (Nick’s Seafood Restaurant on Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney), same time of day and same man. He was smiling then…
Wouldn’t you get sick of shucking oysters day in, day out? You’d so have to love your work. Look at his hands, they look red and swollen – oyster shells are not soft and smooth. And then there’re people like me, who interrupt his flow and expect him to look cheerful.
An oyster shucker – shucker is an interesting word. It sounds vaguely obscene, so I decided to look it up to see how it came to be. The shuck is the outer covering such as a husk or a pod. In the case of an oyster or a clam, the shell is known as the shuck.
Removing the oyster from the shell is known as ‘shucking’.
The person who removes the shell is therefor known as the ‘shucker’!
Wonder how many millions of oysters this guy has shucked.
Now that I think about it…spending all day in a fabulous restaurant, the air thick with delicious aromas, looking out over a picturesque harbour with luxurious launches coming in and out, thousands of people passing, eating, laughing, enjoying themselves. It’s actually not a bad way to spend the day.
Beats sitting in front of a computer eating only a vegemite and cheese sandwich for lunch.