Wednesday, November 9

the time i ate some heart on the side of the road...

Upon starting our independent research projects, we had been advised by roro that is rather easy to unintentionally exclude oneself from malagasy culture by only staying in vazaha areas and only eating at vazaha restaurants... and that it is important to make a conscious effort to surround yourself with the people and the culture.  So, scared that we were being too 'foreign', ivana and i decided it would be a good idea to get brochettes for dinner one night......................................

brochettes are delicioussss.  every day in mahajanga when ben and i would walk home from school (and occasionally soph would indulge as well), we would stop on the street near our neighborhood to have brochettes from our favorite lady.  the scene looks like this: a tiny bench with a little "charcoal hotplate" (in the words of ben) in front of us with a malagasy person cooking little pieces of meat on a stick.  they give you also a cold, watery, pickled salad of carrots, tomatoes, etc. (which we technically aren't really supposed to eat bc of contamination) and loads of sakai (hot sauce).  each stick is usually 100 ariary - 'ariary zato' - or in us dollars probably around 5 cents. 

but the thing about brochettes is that it is safer for some reason to eat them in mahajanga than it is to eat them in tana.  but this man that has a little stand right near where we are staying in tana has been asking us every day to come eat his brochettes because they are "clean and really really good"........... so, why not? "let's do it malagasy style", is my new motto. 

so ivana and i enter into the tiny little enclosed hut on the side of the busy, dirty, dark, dankkkky tana alleyway.  the hut had three tables in a space that should have only allowed for one, and was lit by a dangling bulb hanging from makeshift wooden rafters.  "pretty legit", was my first impression, as compared to many other gasy eateries i've seen thus far in my time here.  the man starts describing what options he had, and stupidly i interject: "deux de chaque type" (two of each type)... obviously feeling adventurous at the time.  so a few moments later, we are presented with a beautiful display of brochettes.. there was shrimp, zebu, and some other things........ i thought i heard the man say "coeur" (heart), but i brushed it off, thinking it was an impossible possibility. 

we started eating the brochettes with full confidence.. until i bit down on the weirdly tasting, chewy meat that was so obviously not shrimp or zebu beef.  definitely heart.  but heart of what???? there were five types of brochette, and so the heart was the third one i tried.  the fourth was definitely soemthign i don't want to even know what it was... then we were given a metal plate of grilled chicken that looked appetizing until we figured out it was the anus of the animal.

this is what the brochettes look like

it wasn't a terrible experience at all, just really interesting. soooo, i guess you could say we're doing it malagasy style for sure.

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