Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Man-Eating Crickets, Avocado, Sugar Cane

So I got woken up last night by some scurrying and discovered a ridiculously large cricket hopping around.  For some reason I like to think that it was flesh-eating, but somehow I doubt it.  I am certainly an economist, because as I was falling asleep again, I was thinking to myself, "What effect do man-eating crickets have on development?  Is the USA's dearth of scary bugs the reason we're so well off?  But then why is Australia so well off? What about endogeneity--maybe development causes the no-bugs, rather than the other way around."
ANYWAY, you should be proud of me because I ate an avocado today.  I'm pretty sure that's a first for me.  There apparently isn't a Costco anywhere near here, so my usual buying a month's worth of food at a time in the form of cereal, bagels, and spaghetti probably won't work.  I also went to the field with the team.  Today I tagged along with Esther.  Instead of the usual finding the liguru (local chief) and having him show us where he thinks everybody lives, we just asked a bunch of boda-bodas hanging around town. (A boda-boda is a bicycle taxi.  The word for bicycle is pretty close to "bicycle," and the word for taxi is "taxi."  Put them together and you get "boda-boda.")  They rode us around, and for a while I played cowboy trying to keep this dude's cows out of his cassava so he could tell Esther where his daughter was. We found one of the focus respondents, but when we didn't have any significant financial reward for doing our survey she said she thought we were witches and refused to participate.  Then some dude gave me a piece of sugar cane and tried to convince me that you died if you swallowed the fibers. Sucking cane was a first for me, and maybe a last, because I could totally feel the cavities and gum disease forming while tearing into the stuff.
Good times.


  1. Was the cane not as good as the juice we had in Pakistan?

  2. it's the exact same thing, only minus the pressing machine, so you have to rip the stuff up with your teeth, which is difficult for amateurs.

  3. did you get splinters? I got splinters once. but I'm not an amateur, I'm a prima donna.

  4. Just for the record, I believe that taxi is "teksi" or - for plural - "mateksi." (confirmed at the Yale online Swahili dictionary) No difference in the consonant sound, but a little vowel shift.

    I love the cane juice (that Marcus mentioned): you can buy that on Zanzibar, much preferable to chewing the cane.