Abacus, is a calculating device was very commonly in use around Europe in the Middle ages, as well as Arab and Asia. There are a lot of mental math tuition centres in Malaysia, claiming to teach young children the skill for doing mental arithmetic at speed using imaginary abacus once they have mastered the process with hours and hours of practice.
I was eager to get to Abalone, which was described in AJ Jacob’s The Know-It-All book as having 5 a**holes, more elegantly described as ” five to nine holes remain open to serve as outlets for the snail’s waste products.” I now have a new insult whenever I come across anyone being particularly ‘butt-munch-ey’ as being an Abalone.
It is a Chinese delicacy, one which I have never acquired the taste of along with sea cucumber, jellyfish and tripe. They come in cans, and can be acquired fresh in fancy restaurants. It looks awful – like some face sucking alien thing. I really don’t know how the people of yore decided that it would be the kind of food fit for an emperor.