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Briefly describe in not more than 120 words, how the writer's grandfather made fishballs. Adopt the writer's point of view.

 
As I walked down the line of food stalls, occasionally jostled by mischievous children and busy hawkers, I tried to decide what to take for lunch. I had to hurry as I had urgent matters to attend to at the office. I stopped at one of the stalls and glanced through the menu. The hawker served a delectable array of dishes like wan-tan mee, laksa and my favorite fishball noodles. "Uncle, a bowl of fishball noodles, please !" After placing my order, I looked for a place to sit.

"Two dollars !" the busy hawker muttered as he placed the bowl of fishball noodles in front of me.

"Not as delicious as Grandpa's," I grumbled to myself as I sank my teeth into one of the fishballs. Fond memories of my grandfather, who sold fishball noodles, came flooding back.

"Don't run about ! Come and watch Grandpa make fishballs." Grandpa would call out to me. His was not an easy life -- a rigorous routine awaited a the start of each day. I recalled how I was always awakened by the sound of Grandpa's clock at 4 a.m. every morning as he got ready to buy fish from the market. Grandpa was always particular about the type of fish he bought. He would only buy herring fish and Japanese fish as their meat is soft and hence, suitable for making fishballs.

Making fishballs started at 6 a.m. every morning. Grandpa would first clean the fish by removing the head, bones and organs. I would often run away complaining about the pungent smell of the fish organs and only return after all the fish had been cleaned. Next, the cleaned fish were split into two with a long, sharp knife, followed by the scraping of the meat from the skin. "Not even a tiny bit of skin must remain or else the fishballs will not be an ideal white," Grandpa would explain in a serious tone. The meat was then slipped through a machine for softening before being shaped into balls.

"Grandpa, when can I eat fishballs ?" I would often pester him as I could not wait to gobble down a few.

"They have to be soaked for about three hours, dear, to dilute the salt in the balls. This will make them firm and tasty," Grandpa would reply patiently as I was his pet.

A quick glance at my watch jolted me to the present. "Oops ! 2 p.m !" I said to myself. Realizing I was late, I grabbed my handbag and rushed off, abandoning my cold, unfinished noodles.

 
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Answer
 

Grandpa woke up at 4.00 a.m. each day to buy fish for making fishballs. He bought only herring fish and Japanese fish as their meat is soft and suitable for making fishballs. Upon returning from the fish market at 6 a.m. he would clean the fish by removing the heads, bones and organs. Next, he sliced the fish into two before scraping the meat from the skin to ensure that the fishballs would have a white appearance. The meat was then softened by a machine before being shaped into balls. Finally, Grandpa soaked the fishballs in water for about three hours to dilute the salt in them, thus making them firmer. ( 118 words )

     
camouflage   the use of leaves, branches, paints and clothes for hiding soldiers or military equipment so that they look part of their surroundings
     
assimilate   to become similar to
     
ward off   to prevent something unpleasant from harming or approaching you
     
 
 

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