Chemicals Buying!

So, thursday I went down to the University. I was given a space to work in, and some chemicals. They’re not specifically slag, and I’m not sure that they contain CaO therefore any cement I make would be geopolymeric in nature and not specifically CSH based like I do back home. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

The one guy took me to buy chemicals. I got a 50 pound bag of NaOH, and it came in a plastic garbage bag. Seriously. The same stuff that Tyler Durden uses to burn a hole in Jack’s hand in Fight Club gets sold in garbage bags here. Back home, it’s like buying Pepperidge Farm Bread. There’s like 37 levels of packaging between me and it.

But it doesn’t stop there! Safety is definitely on the back burner here. Gloves don’t exist. When I was shown how to use the XRD, the guy smoked like 12 cigarettes. I saw a bottle of Sulphuric Acid, which wouldn’t be weird, except that the bottle was a 1-litre glass coke bottle. There are a lot of vats of unlabelled goo everywhere you look. It’s sort of refreshing, actually.

So before buying chemicals, I went to lunch with the guy whose lab I’m using. He took me to a restaurant he really likes. We walk up to the cook and look in the bubbling pots, and he points to what he’s getting. I say I’ll have the same thing, which he tells me is “the leg of the cow.” Great, I thought. I like beefs. It wasn’t.

It was the knee of the cow.

Now, look at your knee. Do you see a lot of meat on it? No? That’s for good reason. The knee is 100% fat and gelatin. The cook brings over a plate, and it’s pretty much a big glob of yellow goo sitting on a bed of Garbanzo beans. And the joint bone.

It was delicious.

For a fleeting moment I wondered if the guy was trying to gross me out. He wasn’t: it’s delicious to him, and he thought I like delicious food. And that was super nice of him. But for anyone out there with malevolent intentions: you are going to have to get up pretty early in the morning to gross me out. You’re going to have to get up early one morning, then eat a giant pile of methanphetamines and stay up for five days and then try and gross me out. You’d better be the author of a couple of ginkwork cookbooks before you try and gross me out. This Indiana Jones business doesn’t phase me.

Though, the fact that the pile of spiced fat was delicious certainly helped. If it hadn’t been so tasty, maybe I would have been grossed out. But who knows? All I know is the score:

Aaron 1, Cuisine 0.

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4 Responses to Chemicals Buying!

  1. Bethany says:

    Holy crap, I can’t believe you ate that. I guess not knowing you at all has something to do with that. But still, I just thew up a little in my mouth.

  2. sakulich says:

    I trained myself in the chinese restaurants of Philadelphia for coming to Morocco… jellyfish, sea urchin, boiled frogs, all of the nastiest parts of the nastiest animals. So cow knees are nothing to me!

    Also, it really was tasty. You’d think it’d be heavy, but it was actually sort of light?

  3. Bethany says:

    As someone raised on Laotian food (incl. domesticated animals, testicles, half-boiled eggs and anything with tenticles) allow me to answer that with a dry-heave.

  4. Holzerman says:

    Sounds like you had some weird cousin of Osso Bucco.

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