Sunday, March 10, 2013

3699 My foundations are shaken

Sunday, March 10, 2013

He who controls the present controls the past.
He who controls the past controls the future.
-- Orwell --


When I was in Morocco, at almost all the the spice, vegetable, and fruit stalls in the bazaars and medinas there would be a vat of yellowish black shiny gloppy goop that looked like new motor grease.  I finally asked the guide, and he said it was the famous Moroccan Black Soap*.  It's made from olives, argan oil, maybe a little eucalyptus globulus oil, and sometimes other minerals, and you get it in a jar.  It's traditionally used in the Moroccan steam baths, there's a particular way to use it, and it's supposedly wonderful for the skin.

I decided to look it up online and buy some.  The least expensive of the same brand names were found on eBay.

The experience has left me shaken.  I asked a seller a question, and now I am no longer sure of my mental abilities.  (Not a difficult task these days.  Lately I can't remember anything, and I'm not sure of anything.)

She had listed the soap as:  "Moroccan Black Soap ( 250kg Jar)"

I don't know metric all that well, but 250 kg seems wrong????

So I sent her a note:
The title says 250 kg.

Being American, I am confused. According to my conversion chart, that's 8,818.49 ounces, or 551 pounds - over a quarter of a ton (a quarter of a tonne**). That doesn't seem right.

Can I assume it's actually about 8 ounces, or .25 kg?

This is her response:
The jar weighs 11.4 oz. 250kg = 8.8 oz. The comma is really a decimal point. So you are getting a bit more than 250 kg. Hope this helps

Ok, who's nuts.  Me or her?  (She or I?  And where did she get that 11.4?))  Isn't 1 kg equal to 2.2 lb?  Did I do something wrong?  It's certainly possible.  When I was buying beads, sizes of beads are listed as mm or cm, and I have diligently translated it to inches using conversion factors, and have often been surprised by the size of the beads I get. 

I did not buy her soap - it was one of the most expensive listings.  It would be fun to buy her soap, save the emails and then complain to eBay when she sends me less than a quarter ton. Or even less than 11.4 ounces.

Please reassure me I'm right.  I'm serious.  She really knocked me for a loop for several minutes.  I mean she should KNOW!   And I've been so "off" lately....  She actually scared me.


*....which is not at all the same as African Black Soap, which is made from palm oil, comes as a bar rather than goop, and has different good qualities.

** A tonne is 1000 kg, or 2200 lb.

If you would like to educate her, the listing is here:

I bought this one:   Note that it's 250 gm, which is 8.8 oz.


the queen said...

She MUST mean gram, not kilogram. I still have to think when asked how many cups are in a quart, so I dont judge her.

~~Silk said...

I suspect most people have to think about how many cups are in a quart, but
a. They usually get it right, and
b. If someone else disagrees, they'll think about it again or look it up, and
c. If it's important to their business, they'll make sure they're right.