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Adventures of a Retired Armchair Traveler
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Sat, Oct. 13th, 2012 02:40 pm

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2012 11:36 am

Cossas

Last week, I had a colleague in town from HQ, who had visited in May and was drooling in anticipation at the prospect of returning to Le Roi du Cossa, a local restaurant with a Portuguese slant whose primary menu item is cossa cossa, or freshwater prawns. The restaurant offers other dishes, but the only reason to go there is the cossa, which are offered in several manifestations: Royal (large) or medium, with butter and garlic or butter, garlic, and pili-pili (hots); and with rice, french fries, or fried plantain on the side. The only proper beverage accompaniment is local beer. 

We went all-in, some of us with the Royals and some of us with the mediums (quantity varied accordingly). A good, greasy time was had by all, and many beers destroyed. 

And the next day, my colleague had the runs. 

He was the only one of five of us, and we did our epidemiological research, comparing what each person had consumed. We could not comfortably settle on the culprit, since at least one other person had eaten the Royals, drunk the Tembo, gorged on the extra pili-pili.

I was never satisfied with the inconclusiveness, but I will tell you that he had also been drinking Nescafé at the office, and when I went to get some the next day, a temporary hire was there hosting lunch for a workshop. She heated the water for me, which she put in the electric kettle directly from the faucet. (Yes we have a large, obvious water cooler right there with safe drinking water.) Given the standard procedure of boiling water for 10 minutes, and given the drawbacks of electric kettles, which turn off just as you reach the boiling point, once I made my coffee, I let it sit on my desk till it was safe to go back and throw it away. 

My colleague, meanwhile, took Immodium, and I will go back to Le Roi du Cossa.

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