Sunday, July 22, 2012
UMBC Day 02 - Crab Feast Dinner
After breakfast at The Grits, we got the bus to go shopping. First stop was Best Buy (my favorite store ever). Guess why! We spent some there checking tablets, PCs and other gadgets. We had about four and a half hours to walk around. Some of my classmates agreed that shopping malls are very much the same all over the world. This similarity breeds congeniality and makes us feel at home. As a result, we become more relaxed and interaction becomes smoother, an ideal situation to get to know one another.
The climax of the day was The Crab Feast Dinner at Dr. Joan Shin's place. We first took a ride through very nice neighborhoods with lush green gardens and beautiful houses. After we went through a beautiful little town (sorry, I forgot the name and google maps was not that helpful). Then we finally arrived at Dr. Joan Shin's home and we were kindly received by her, Teresa, Adriana, and the program assistants. Before getting to the much awaited crabs, we could try some delicious finger foods. Some of us almost forgot that there was something else to eat later.
Finally we were invited to the basement. Surprisingly we were told we did not need any plates. At the basement there were two large tables covered with brown paper. On the tables there were also wooden hammers (one for each one of the guests). Having realized what for and how they were going be used, I thought to myself "This is going to be messy."
At the head of each table stood two white cardboard boxes and inside them, we guessed, famous crabs. The boxes were open and just like paparazzi most scholars with cameras on hand took lots of photos.
Flashes gone on and off, Dr. Shin did the honors of guiding us through the process cracking the crabs open and extracting the meat. It so noisy and so fun. I have to confess I was not the most skillful person in opening the crab, but I really enjoyed the experience as everyone else did. Some scholars suddenly became experts in the task and were very soon bragging about establishing a new recording of being the who ate the biggest number of crabs. It was definitely a messy, and fun experience to all of us. It makes us think about how different cultures can be. The ritual of breaking the carbs looked at the same time primitive and extremely sophisticated. Definitely a life changing cultural lesson.