I discovered the true meaning of “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” when our medical staff did a field trip to Skua, the used goods building on the edge of town. Often when people are leaving Antarctica they jettison unwanted clothes, personal items and even food that just won’t fit in the suitcase home, and it gets sorted and shelved in a place named after a rather aggressive scavenger bird called a skua. I hit the jackpot when I came across an unopened 9 pound tub of crunchy peanut butter and claimed it before anyone else spotted it. It was only 5 months out of date, which is way more current than most of the medications in our pharmacy, and I dispelled any concerns our physician expressed about aflatoxin by eating a few spoonfuls and showing up to work still breathing the next day. It’s like town sanctioned dumpster diving, and some folks even come down with very little and plan to outfit themselves from the treasures of skua. I decided to draw the line at used piercings though, unlike the posting below that was offering top dollar for a resale on a nose ring.
The local culture here has some interesting sayings, and my favorite so far is from a woman’s perspective. There are far more men than women, and perhaps some of the women come down hoping to find a mate among the pickings, similar to the penguins who pair up by the millions. However since this place tends to attact an unusual breed of folks, the women have a saying that the odds are good, but the goods are odd. At the same time since there are so few women, I’ve heard some guys talk about how a woman who might rank a 4 out of 10 in the real world could be scored as a 7 at McMurdo, and probably a 9 at the South Pole where it’s even more isolated. I’m off the market of course and love talking to Pat every day who ranks a 10 globally in my book but it’s fun to watch it all like a fly on the wall.
Off to cook up some chicken for a birthday party at “Hut 10” that we’ve reserved for the evening. Hope your peanut butter is fresh and your ranking is high.