Saturday, April 25, 2009

Guest Post - Live From Nigeria

So, My Baby Momma (MBM from here on out) somehow got the idea into her little pea brain (j/k) that it would be cool if her hubby did a guest post on her little slice of the internets. Of course I read her posts, devouring every single syllable of every single word because that is what a good husband does. Right? Anyway, I couldn’t imagine writing anything about food because the only thing I know how to do with it is eat it. MBM then came up with the bright idea for me to write something about the food in Nigeria, which is where I spend half of my life bringing home the bacon (pun intended). So, I’ll tell you a little bit about the food, which will be a tad bit gross, and a little about what it’s like to live one year out of the last two in a war-torn, third world country.

I work in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, which is the epicenter of the oilfield in this country. It’s also where most of the shootings, kidnappings, and other militant related activities take place. To say it’s unpleasant would be an understatement. I get up at 5am (11pm MBM time), have my morning chat with MBM on Skype, leave for work at 7am, work from 7:30 – 4:30, and return back to my apartment usually by 5pm. After that, it’s another phone call to MBM, 45min on the elliptical machine, shower, dinner, one final goodnight (for me) call, and off to sleep. Rinse and repeat the next day. We have to travel to and from work in bulletproof vehicles flanked by heavily armed mobile policemen, MOPOL for short. Needless to say, without the internet & Skype this job would be next to impossible for personal reasons alone. Being able to chat with the family back home is what makes it tolerable.

Now I guess I’ll get to the boring part about the food (I’m only kidding foodie folks). Nigerians eat things that often smell so horrible and look so unappetizing that I often lose any desire to eat when I see it. The foulest smelling thing I have encountered so far is their fish. Our office personnel often bring it in for lunch and heat it up in the microwave. Our small coffee / kitchen area will then reek of the most awful smell you can imagine. It’s usually served on a bed of heavily seasoned rice. The whole dish looks and smells disgusting. I’m actually getting nauseous just thinking about it!

They are also known for their wide varieties of pepper soup. I have not and will not try this particular dish either. It is of course some type of soup with some type of meat and lots of peppers. The meat can be fish, goat, chicken, beef, or any other living creature they can get their hands on including DOGS! Dog pepper soup even has its’ own name… 404 Pepper Soup. If you're intrigued about the concept of 404 Pepper Soup you can read more about it here. There are no pictures (thank goodness) but they do describe many details you probably don’t want to know so proceed with caution.

Now that you know what I don’t eat (and there too many more to name) let me tell you what I do eat. I have a cook / house cleaner that prepares my meals daily and goes shopping for me once a week. He was trained by a good friend of mine who just so happens to be a full-blown coonass from South Louisiana. Louisiana is where I used to call home so my cook, Bruno from Benin, fits right in.

When I first got here, he prepared different dishes all the time. Spaghetti, pasta salads, grilled shrimp, grilled chicken, stuffed cabbage leaves, you name it, he can make it – Cajun style! However, since I’ve met MBM and her extravagant ways of cooking I’ve blown up like the Pillsbury Doughboy so I’m trying to eat healthy while I’m here. Most of the time it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. My diet this particular hitch consists of oatmeal in the morning, whatever Bruno cooks for lunch, and vegetable soup with one boiled egg (protein) for dinner (picture of the soup below). Everything is homemade. Even the chickens have to be deboned after they are purchased as deboned chickens are hard to come by and very expensive when you do.

Ok, so I think I need to end this now. I don’t want to get a butt-chewin’ from MBM for rambling on and on and on. Clearly this is the longest post ever on GabesBabyMomma so she now has something to work towards.

I hope you all enjoyed my ramblings and continue to visit MBM on the web as often as possible. She really enjoys knowing that you all are out there, reading her cooking & baking ideas, and sharing your ideas and opinions in return. If you’re really bored, you can check my corner of the internet located here.
My Daily Dose of Pepper Vegetable Soup




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13 comments:

Barbara Bakes said...

I enjoyed your guest post. I can barely get my husband to read my blog. Good luck to you!

Linda said...

It was nice to read about another part of the world. Gosh, stay safe. And I wouldn't eat the food either...good way to go on a diet! But it makes us appreciate our country more. Thanks for doing a dangerous job.

Cheryl said...

I love it! What a great post, very interesting, you should have him guest post more often. I love to hear about other countries. And thank you Baby Daddy for serving our country!

Gabe's Girl said...

Thanks, ladies and to my awesome hubby. He always amazes me. He works in the oilfield, not the military, but people often mistake that since he does work in such a dangerous situation. It is an easy mistake to make.
We love him for all that he does for us. He is amazing.

Christina Kim said...

Baby Daddy, you're the man!

Life with Kaishon said...

What a great husband : ). How often does he get to come home? I would miss mine. I think. I do really, really LOVE having the whole bed to myself though...

I will keep him in my prayers!

Megan said...

What a great, informative post. I too mistakenly thought he was in the military - but now I know!

The food sounds, um, different - perhaps Andrew Zimmern would pay you a visit? :)

Melissa said...

What a neat post! The 404 pepper soup sounds gross!

Weezer said...

Yo Mama certainly enjoyed your ramblings!! Yum, pepper soup. Without dogs, of course.

Mermaid Sweets said...

What a great post. Must be such a hard job. My husband works in Nicaragua a lot, we are very familiar with skype and longing. Stay safe.

Carol Peterman said...

How interesting to hear about your life in Nigeria. It's too bad the dangerous environment prevents you from being able to experience more of the culture. It's good you have someone to cook meals to your liking. There is outstanding cuisine all over Africa, but I would pass on dog pepper soup as well. I hope you occasionally get to vacation in other less dangerous areas of the continent to experience the stunning beauty, friendly people and delicious food that Africa has to offer. Keep yourself safe. I am sure there will be tasty desserts waiting for you when you return.

gorgeousmama said...

What would have been nice is if all of the 'horrible food' section was true! from what you have written it seems like you very much dislike Nigeria and you are really only there for the oil industry. I lived in Nigeria for 20 years and just like I found in America different people eat different things that sound like poison to others. Let's get one thing straight...not all Nigerians eat dog and different tribes have different delicacies.Being well travelled, I live in the UK now and would not touch some of the dishes portayed as delicacies with a barge pole. The French eat maggot-filled cheeses and frog (yuk!) and lots of duck eggs filled with almost-fully formed duck go down well in Asia. American food is genetically modified and really lacks normal taste so you can't be really missing it. What a horrible and untrue post! You need to travel more and find good things to portray in Nigeria...and another thing - leave our oil alone!

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