Life, Football, Technology and Vespas…

Lagos – Week1

I have been here now just under 2 weeks and to tell you the truth – so far so good. The noise and chaos of VI takes a little getting used to, but overall there is not too much to complain about. It takes me about 30-40 minutes to drive to work and back in the mornings and afternoons and only once have we we been stuck in bad traffic. Because I do not have to actually drive, I can sit in the car and use my EVDO connection, so this makes it a doddle.

I have been sampling some of the local cuisine, much to my wife’s disgust and it is actually quite amusing to hear her reaction sometimes. The food is actually not bad – 134 million people can not be wrong.

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The picture above shows something that I had for lunch last week. I am not entirely sure what it actually was, except from the snails (those big things on the left). To be brutally honest, they were bloody disgusting. The rice stuff and the brown sauce was actually quite nice – very hot and spicy! I actually only ordered it because it came served in a big banana leaf.

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A colleague of mine decided that he was up for the fish and the efiriro – what ever that is. Again – the food tasted very nice. Never thought that I would say it, but catfish is not THAT bad. It’s not the greatest fish in the world to eat, and as long as you are eating the fillet part of the fish and not the head and whiskers, then it is allright.

Our other colleague was not as bold as you can see from his lunch:

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What you would not believe is even after all the crap I have been eating, my stomach has been holding up extremely well. That all changed on Friday. I ordered a simple BBQ chicken from the hotel and approximately 4 hours after eating it, I have been running back and forward to the bowl every 214 seconds. Saturday 20th June 2009 is a day that did not register with me, as I never saw it.

Last Friday we opted to hit the town in the torrential rain. One thing you notice is that Lagos only comes alive after 11 p.m. Just as you are planning to tuck in for the night, somebody will be hatching a plan to go on a bender. We eventually ended up a at place called ‘The Grotto’ in Victoria Island. It might sound a bit dodgy, but actually it was very good. The live band was awesome and the atmosphere was wild.

One of the things I have noticed in my short time here is that everything is a negotiation. No never means no. The term ‘no’ in Nigeria seems to mean maybe. And this logic was being applied in the club. I witnessed on many occasions a guy asking a girl to dance and she knocks him back. In any other country this would be your typical ‘crash and burn’ scenario. But this does not deter him one little bit. He keeps on her case until eventually she gets up and dances with him!

I am slowly but surely starting to learn how to get things done around here. Nothing seems to happen either on it’s own or without very specific instructions. An example of that would be in the case of the cheeseburger a colleague ordered today in the hotel. Looked lovely except that that is all it was – A “cheese” burger. No meat, just 4 slices of cheese with salad on a burger bun!

These two weeks or so have actually gone fast in one way, but I am now really looking forward to seeing my family this week. Living out of a suitcase in a hotel is not much fun. Can’t wait to be out of here and in our own apartment.

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One response

  1. I am on my first visit to Lagos (I am a Zimbabwean living in the UK) and about to go out to a local restaurant with our driver to eat bushmeat so I looked it up and found your blog. Thanks for the info; I will let you know how it goes!

    July 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm

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