Wednesday, 30 May 2007

6 flower crabs and a homosapien

After the TV crew left, there was cleaning up to be done in the preservation room. The remaining crabs had to be preserved as well for exhibition purposes as instructed by Siva. Times like these, I really miss Danliang.

I met Kelvin before I had a chance to finish with any of the crabs and he gave me a few pointers to begin with. A container of 70% alcohol was prepared for me with some guides on where the soft spots of a crab are, and I'm on my own.

The fishy smell was really horrible, but that soon faded as I got used to it. Makes me admire my grandma a whole lot more for the frequent chilli crabs she used to cook us. Anyway, I found a pair of gloves, the syringe and the needle and started injecting away.

It was creepy doing that to six dead crabs. Before, Siva said more was better than less in order to prevent the rotting of the insides of the crab. So I think I flooded the the crabs with alcohol. The needle was hard to work with sometimes. It got stuck and it wouldn't allow the alcohol to flow out. For whatever reasons. That was probably why I had alcohol spurting out of the syringe and all over my shirt. I should have been professional like Joelle and worn a labcoat.

When Kelvin got back, he told me never to force the syringe if it got stuck. That was probably another reason why alcohol was flying everywhere.

Besides lessons on the techniques of preservation learnt, I've also discovered soft sports of a crab. It's via the mouth, the joints, and the back part of the carapace. Basically skin's what you find at the joints.

The experience of alcohol surging through crab meat and the distension of the claws was totally cool. But it left a mark of my hands. The stench of alcohol and dead crabs, yet again. Sigh. More scrubbing and soaking my hands in body shop bath foam to get the stench off!

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