So, I spent a few days in Athens to attend a Levantine Ceramics Project Workshop on Cypriot ceramics. This was a very rewarding trip since I got to see people I usually only see in Cyprus, as well as meet some people who I have never met in person. Plus I was able to take Saturday afternoon and do a little sight-seeing. I had the chance to visit some sites that I had not been to in quite a few years – such as the Acropolis. Not surprisingly, it rained every day I was there. As I found out later, it was sunny in Cyprus while I was in Athens, so the rain must be following me. On the bright side (get it?), despite leaving Athens during a thunderstorm, it was sunny when I landed in Larnaca – no more rain yet.
I flew back to Larnaca Sunday afternoon. The goal for the week is to make sure that all of the important artifacts that are going into the catalogue for PKAP II are properly described and illustrated. Everyone is leaving Thursday, except for me who is leaving in the early hours of Friday morning, so we basically have three full work days, and maybe a half of a work day on Thursday if we need it. The hope is that we avoid the usual frantic reshelving of our material that typically occurs at the very last moment because we are trying to finish something up. Things look pretty good so far, but it is only Monday, so we will see.
In other news, a few things have happened. There was some excitement at the hotel last night, the hotel elevator got stuck with some people on it and the fire department had to come to rescue them. Rumor is that there were too many people on the elevator at the same time and overloaded it. As a result, the elevator was out of commission for about a day until the repair people showed up.
Larnaca continues to get busier and louder each night as we approach the Kataklsmos festival. There are more and more tents springing up each day and the waterfront is nearly covered with tents on both sides. It should be in full swing by the weekend. While the noise makes it harder to sleep each night, it is a nice after dinner thing to do – stroll down the closed off street watching people and the games going on.
As for potato chip research. First ,I tried Lays Maxx Deep Ridged Salt & Vinegar Flavour chips. I like salt and vinegar flavored chips so I expected that I was going to like them, but the question was whether the deep ridges would somehow add to the mix. The result, I liked them since they tasted like other salt and vinegar chips. The ridges, well….I could not tell if they added anything or not – so most likely not. I gave them a – ******* (7) – the same I gave the other salt and vinegar chips I tried.
Since I have fallen behind in my research, nothing new there, I also tried Frit Ravich Onduladas Jamon Chips (Ham Flavoured). Being from the south, I like pork products – ham, bacon, barbecue (the pulled pork version), ribs, etc., so I was expecting to like these. However…..they did taste faintly like ham, which is good, but were very salty and had a slightly strange twang to them. Bill described the taste as a nitrite taste- which is a very scientific appraisal of them. So, they get a – ** (2). I am disappointed, I had high hopes for them.
Believe it or not, I also have a third chip to evaluate. I also tried Frit Ravich Mediterraneo Chips. The cover shows a tomato, some cloves of garlic, a red onion, and some parsley (flat leaf variety). The taste was…..different. I could taste the garlic, but it was not overpowering, so that was good. There was also a parsley taste, but it tasted the way a jar of flash dried parsley smells, if that makes sense. The chips were also a little stale, or at least not crisp. The aftertaste was also not great. So, I give them a – **(2). I seem to be grading all the chips this year fairly harshly and so I have to question of my taste buds are changing, or I am becoming a cranky old man, or if the flavors I am trying are becoming so exotic that they will be hard for me to like. I will have to consider the question of research bias.