Dear Mums,

I just don’t understand…

Since becoming pregnant, I’ve run into many women (occasionally men, but mostly women) who have seemed to revel in exclaiming all the known downsides of being a mother.  Of course, this is done without me asking any advice or wanting to know about their birthing experiences. Or life as a mum. Or their marriages woes. Or…um.. anything.

  • Sleep now, because you never will again. Ever. No seriously. You may as well just slit your wrists now (okay, the last part was implied).
  • I’d rather die than go through labor again. (This is usually said with a grin that screams something like, “Sucker. You’re eff’ed.”)
  • There goes your figure. Hah, good luck getting that back! And your who-ha, good Lord, she’ll really never be the same. My husband… (this is usually where I escape, screaming, into my own mind)
  • My husband said he would help, but men just don’t get it. You’ll be on your own until your kid can survive on his own. Then your husband may be interested in helping. But probably not. He’ll probably start cheating on you too.
  • I labored for 72 days, yes days, but I was tough enough not to take medicine :proudly puffs up: You look like you’ll want to be medicated though. Hm.
  • My nine year old hates to do homework. He hates it. He hates me. We battle for hours. I cry every day from 2-3:30, knowing that the rest of my day will be hell-on-Earth. Then I take a pill and get Mommy’s “special juice”.
  • Etc. etc. etc. ( I realize that et cetera isn’t actually a bullet-point worthy addition, but I figured you would take that opportunity to think of the worst unsolicited advice you ever received. Feel free to leave that advice in the comment section. Sharing is caring.)

So why is it seemingly appropriate for them to announce the negatives of a given situation and I’m supposed to just smile and glow (don’t get me started on the pregnancy glow thing) and be happy for the sage experiences of those that bred before me?

It’s acceptable to announce the negatives of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, without being asked, but I have to bite my tongue when it comes to all the other well-known negatives of a given situation?

I say nay. Here we go:

  • Oooh, divorce huh?  He’ll have another woman within two weeks. You? Well, you’re of “a certain age” so how do you feel about cats?
  • Yep. That’s terminal.
  • Yeah, hating your job is usually a side effect of not putting any effort into furthering yourself.
  • And hating your life is generally a result of your poor decision making.
  • Your health is failing? Probably because you’re obese and mock those of us that like to make healthy choices. Sorry-o.
  • Maybe you hate your kids because you have so many, in addition to a consistent tendency of choosing poor breeding partners.

Of course, it would only be fair to say these things when not being asked for advice on the situation. It would be best if you could deliver this unwanted “advice” when the other person is completely taken aback.  Like, in the grocery store. I’ve spent many shopping trips trying to avoid the stranger that is making eye contact with my baby bump. Because that’s when I’ve had the most inane conversations with women about my impending “doom” as a mother. I just want to choose a green pepper and be on my way…

So we can continue this way… OR:

  • OR we can all assume that the mother-to-be has read, at least once or twice, that her new kid needs to eat every 2 hours and the mom has figured out that she probably can’t just hit the snooze button on that one. She may have to get up. She may lose sleep. She has to train a new human that we sleep at night and are awake during the day. The process may take a long time. She may lose sleep.
  • OR she may be a different weight for a while or forever after the birth. And she probably knew that ahead of time and chose to forge ahead. (OR she has carefully ignored the advice of everyone that suggests she eats an extra 1500 calories a day, just because she’s pregnant and may not gain much weight at all.)
  • OR her husband/partner/fella’ is actually interested in fatherhood and while he may need guidance and probably won’t care for the kid like she would, will still make an effort to be part of the team. Not all men are the same. And if a man is forever being yelled at and belittled for his parenting skills, perhaps he is less inclined to help out and to learn the preferred way of doing certain parenting chores. :shrugs: Just sayin’.
  • OR maybe medication is her choice. And she believes that advances in labor and delivery have been made so that women don’t have to labor for 18 hours in pain. It is also her choice whether or not she’s going to breastfeed or bottle feed her offspring. As is whether she hopes for a natural birth or is requesting a c-section.  And all of these things are personal and should not be brought up 1. In mixed company. The word “vaginal” tend to make men act weird 2. If you and the knocked-up mum aren’t extremely close. (Really? Did my hairdresser just say vagina to me?)

Of course, all of this is null-and-void if the mum-to-be has asked your advice or wants a retelling of your birthing experience. If she’s asked, then by all means, grab out your scrapbook that contains pictures from everything from the pee-stick to your episiotomy scar.

Sincerely,

Extremely Pregnant and Not Looking for Advice. No really, I’m good. But thanks. I appreciate it. Sorta.

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A bushel? A bunch? A Whole Lotta Bananas

Initially, this was going to be a very simple Facebook status alerting my friends and family about The Hubs’ recent kill. True hunter/gatherer that he is, The Hubs proudly came home a few days ago, toting a large, black plastic bag. He gives it to me without a word- just a proud grin.

Inside the bag…

Bananas.

I know, I know, whoop-dee-do.  But apparently these bananas were straight off the tree and are from a different area in Nigeria, known for their yummy ‘nanas.

Okay, so I have bananas now. Not like bananas, but bananas (please read that with a deep voice for emphasis. Thanks).

I know that in the US, when I buy bananas (which isn’t very often. They’re rather low on my foods-that-are-enjoyed list), that a couple must get eaten, then a majority of them will linger and start to rot. I’ll vacillate between pitching them, suffering through the agony of eating a soft banana, or throw them in the freezer for future banana bread.

Future banana bread never happens. When we moved from Houston, The Hubs through out an embarrassingly large amount of blackened bananas.

But, when I buy bananas in Houston, I buy a small amount…5 or 6, maybe.

When The Hubs moved into caveman mode, he hunted down and bagged a ______ of bananas.

Here’s where my original status came in. I was going to talk about The Hubs bringing in a bushel of bananas and me having no idea what to do with them all. Then it all went downhill.

Bushel?

Bunch?

Because, yes, there is a bunch of bananas, as in a metric-crap-ton of them. But is it an actual bunch of bananas?  The internet experts are undecided.  Bushel is correct. Bunch is correct. So no matter, how I say it, I have 40 bananas that must have an ultimate purpose.

 

On a side note, I had horrifically anxiety-filled moments in which I had to bring the bananas out of their black bag, peel back (pun intended) the newspaper they were wrapped in, and clean off the bananas. I’ve seen tv shows. I read stories. I knew that the chances of me finding a snake or tarantula hidden amongst the bananas was terrifyingly high.  I don’t know if they have tarantulas here.  I refuse to learn.

I didn’t know I had so many thinks about bananas.

 

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Fishin’ with Dad

When I was a kid, my dad would take me fishing occasionally.  We were members of a Rod & Gun Club (just the type of membership every 8 year old girl dreams of) and they stocked their lake with fish.  So we would go down to the lake every now and again to try our hand at catching those fish.

My dad was a big man.  Let’s face it, let’s call him what he called himself. Fatman.  Like Batman, but with less calisthenics.   So there we would sit on the bank of the lake, a rotund man and his scrawny kid.  I doubt he remember to put sunscreen on his blonde haired, freckled, paled eyed kid.  And we probably didn’t bring water to drink or healthy snacks.  Articles were not written in Parenting magazines, calling parents to follow my dad’s lead.  I look back and am surprised that I’m still alive.

Somewhere around hour three or four, after not a fish was found, Dad would start to get frustrated and probably curse a bit.  We would dig a hole in the bank, so the worms in the container would stay cool and living. And when Dad wasn’t looking, I would take out a lucky worm, dig a little hole with my pinky and send the worm on his way to freedom.  Since nothing was biting the lines, we certainly weren’t going to need all the worms anyway.

On this particular trip, Dad brought his camera with him.  More often than not, he wanted to bring a camera, but generally forget. This time, the camera made the trip with us. Bound and determined to get a picture of me fishing, so he could send it to Grammy, he had me pose with my line cast.  A real angler, this girl was.  Camera ready… and nothing happened. So he would fiddle with the camera, and try it again.  Again nothing.

Dad sat back down (not any easy task for a man of his great stature) and started to move dials and buttons and whatnots on the camera.  He set it up, snapped a photo, and decided to try it again.  With great effort, he once again stood up, got me posed and…. nothing.  Not a click, flash, or film advancement to be had.

It’s not often in life that one is privy to an obese man doing a tribal dance/ tantrum, but that’s what ensued.  Hot, inevitably dehydrated, and frustrated by the inconsistency of his camera, Dad issued a few curses, did a foot-stamping, arm pumping primal yelp and threw the camera into the lake.

Plop.

Then very calmly, he said, “It didn’t work very well.”  I released the rest of the worms into the wild and we went home.

Never was a fish safer than when my dad was on the hunt.

And the fish laughed as we drove away... (Pic from Dailymail UK)

And the fish laughed as we drove away…
(Pic from Dailymail UK)

 

Today is 8 years without him. He has missed a lot over the years, and I know that there will come a point where I will have more years without him than with him. And my words can never fully illustrate how big his personality was, but when I’m writing a real whopper of a fish tale- that’s when I feel him most.

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Pregnancy Meltdown

“And I’m going to go back up there and and I’m going to show him these sweet potatoes and I’m going to tell him that :incoherent due to tears:…. Mean.”

Everyone enjoys a good pregnancy-meltdown story well. In fact, I enjoy stories about people having meltdowns over rather mundane issues, so I figured it was only fair to share with you my complete and utter collapse this evening.

As you guessed- it was the sweet potatoes. It was the sweet potatoes that I bought this afternoon from the local produce guy, henceforth known as Produce Guy (Not good with naming. You can see why the kid is still without a handle).  On Sundays, I spend hours trying to find uber healthy recipes, using locally grown produce and products that I know I can find here.  It’s time consuming and frustrating. {See yesterday’s post for specifics}. Not to mention that while I haven’t really had many cravings (more on that in a moment), I’m weak-willed when it comes to food suggestions. So, if I see a recipe for lasagna, that’s exactly what I want, even though the cost of ricotta cheese would set us back about a semester’s worth of tuition for The Kid.  You say Fruit Loops, I say yum.  The cravings don’t last, so I don’t really need to act on them, but meal planning is downright painful.

Tuesday’s meal consists of Sloppy Joes (The Hubs- poor man. He wants Sloppy Joes. What he doesn’t know is that it’s made with 1/3 lb of ground turkey and supplemented with zucchini, eggplant, quinoa, and carrots.), oven baked sweet potato fries, and a veggie tian that I’m testing for a dinner party later in the week.  Do I need sweet potato fries? No, definitely not. That’s more than enough food for the two of us. Do I freaking want them? YES.  This is a true-blue craving. I need these fries. I need their crispness, I need their Vitamin A, I need them tonight.

But when I start to cut up the sweet potatoes, they are rotten completely through.  Only one part of one potato is healthy, and by that point I would be insulted to go through all that work for three dinky fries.

I’m rational. I’m an adult.

I sit on the floor of the kitchen and cry.  A lot.  Much like an emotionally disturbed child, I bawled over my ruined sweet potatoes.

I’m rational. I’m an adult.

I texted The Hubs and told him that I need the driver to bring me back to the produce stand because I’m going to bring those sweet potatoes with me and show them that I’m tired of them giving me rotten goods just because I’m an oyibo (foreigner/white person). And I know he’s doing it on purpose and I’m not going to stand for it anymore.

The Hubs is really rational. The Hubs is a true adult.

He tells me that I can’t do that.  He had the audacity to not even be outraged when he saw the picture of the uck that was supposed to be our sweet potato fries! He didn’t even champion for me.  Where’s that white horse, huh? Nothing.

I’m rational. I’m an adult.

I sink back to the floor and cry more. Then I start having one of those imaginary conversations where you tell the person what’s up. Those are always the best. I am one powerful broad when I’m having my imaginary conversation screaming session at Produce Guy who has ruined my dinner life.  And I demand replacement sweet potatoes or else I’m taking my business elsewhere.  Produce People fall all over themselves getting me the perfect examples of starchy-goodness.  I tell them that from now on, I will choose my produce- they will no longer choose it for me. When Produce Guy dares to rebut, I cast him a withering stare and shut him down. I walk away smartly and thus end my imaginary conversation…while I lay in the fetal position (on my left side, of course) on the kitchen floor.

Then I cried some more.

 

Sidenote:

The Hubs- kind, sensible, loving, sometimes stupid man that he is, commented on dinner.  “Hm, I’ve never had Sloppy Joes like this before.”

Remember…rational…adult.

I cried on the couch for an hour and ate mini-marshmallows for dinner.

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What’s for dinner?

I don’t usually whine (extended pause for close family and friends and especially The Hubs to laugh and wipe away their tears. {Don’t you think that tears that are created while laughing should have a different name? Something happy? Chears. I laughed so hard, I cried chears.  Let’s make this happen})

Okay, I don’t usually whine, but I’m at a point where I’m struggling to find meals here in Nigeria. Not in the world-famine type of problem finding food.  On a side note: The Hubs and I never, ever throw out food here.  Think back to your childhood. Where did your mother say there were starving children? Yep. Exactly.  Hence we are devoted leftoverians.

Here’s where my problem lies:

  • Convenience foods are out (Fine yes, I’ve read the articles. I know that convenience foods should be out anyway, just based on the fact that they are full of lab-grown death particles or whatever. But dammit, sometimes a girl needs some Kraft Mac n Cheese) because the prices are generally exorbitant.  Like…. I have to draw the line at paying $8 for Kraft Mac n Cheese, only to find bugs loafing about in my noodle box.
  • Local goods are easy enough to get and the prices are beautiful, but uh, I don’t know what to do with goat-flavored bouillon cubes and yam flour.  So the items I’m familiar with are being shipped in.  There’s no guarantee that an item will be at the shop you last saw it and then you’re also saddled with the additional problem of trying to remember where in Hades you saw Panko bread crumbs, because you know you did.
  • Meat is expensive and people are of varying opinions regarding the quality of it.  The long-timers tell me that they used to be able to choose their own chicken to have killed, in front of them.  Yeah… not sorry I missed that opportunity.  Most of the meat is imported from South Africa and is good quality.  But it is one of those things in which a recipe calls for 1lb of meat, I’m going to use 1/3 lb of meat and substitute the meat for a veggie (don’t bring this subject up with The Hubs.  He’s a bit cranky about the meat scarcity).  Apparently it’s an unconscionable* act to create Sloppy Joes and replace most of the meat with zucchini innards.
  • Most non-fresh foods have to be created from scratch…an act I have the time, but not the skill level for.  For example, I was looking at an oatmeal, caramel, and apple cookie that is supposed to be divine.  It calls for chewy caramel candies.  Knowing that I would struggle to find those (I assume), I started looking into how to make caramel. Holy gravy, Batman.  They want me to have a flak-jacket, safety impact goggles, recently updated will, and a vat of ice water on reserve for when I inevitably burned my flesh off of my body and into the caramel.

Yes, I know. I don’t really have problems. I just don’t have dinner.

 

 

*  My housekeeper  got really concerned and asked me if I was in pain and if it was the baby.  Apparently I was making a really strange face while trying 6 or 11 times to figure out how to spell “unconscionable”.  She didn’t know how to spell it either.

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This is your brain. This is your brain on progesterone. Any, um.. you know, thingys?

If you haven’t heard the news, and I’m sure you have because my fan base is pretty much limited to my Facebook friends and I’ve become rather obnoxious on there about this whole thing: I’m pregnant. Yay!

I have vowed that this will not become a Mommy Blog. Well, not a Mommy Blog in the sense that I shared the best homemade Play-Doh recipe (Just reuse it. Junior doesn’t care if the colors melded together. And if he does, then use it as a teachable moment about respecting one’s belongings or something. Chill, Mama, chill.).  It will become a Mommy Blog in the sense that The Child will probably play a fairly prominent part of the blogspace, as I’m really only creative enough to write about things that are happening directly around me.

One perk of this whole thing is that I walk a lot now, so that’s good.

I walk to the kitchen to get grub 6 times a day.

Walk back to the kitchen to put the fork I dropped on the floor in the sink.

Walk back to the table.

Walk back to the kitchen to get another fork.

Walk back to the table.

Walk back to the kitchen because I forgot the fork that I was going to get the first time around.

Walk back to the table.

Walk to the loo.

Walk to the table.

Walk back to the kitchen to reheat my food.

You get the idea.

I used to think this concept of “baby brain” (essentially when a knocked-up gal resides into early-onset Alzheimers, often times complete with a mild loss of ones faculties… apparently sneezing is dangerous business when there’s some major extra poundage sitting on your bladder) with utter and total bullshit.  It’s not.

I often forget those things that you use to describe things so people know what you’re talking about instead of staring at you as you snap your fingers and say “it’s um, you know, that thing, um. Damn. Um” until you give up and you’re left staring at each other, unsure of where to go from there.  You know, those things: words.

I can’t write anymore. Steel Magnolias is on and my tears are blocking my view of the screen and I’m starting to do that hysterical sobbing thing where you start to choke on multiple viscous fluids and can’t breathe. Why does she have to die? Why? And why does she have to look better in a coma than I do on my glitziest day? Why?

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Limping Along

I’ve found my breaking point : 6 months in a hotel.

I take that back. It’s not living in the hotel. If I had moved here with the understanding that I would always be in the hotel, that would be different. Like… I wouldn’t have moved here. Because who lives in a hotel by choice?

It’s the promise of having an apartment… If only…

If only…

  • We had a couch and a bed.
  • We had cardboard to make into a couch and a bed.
  • Someone would give me the furniture maker’s phone number. Apparently I was described as being a ‘wild card’ and no one is volunteering the information. I just want to chat! Honest.
  • The man who made our curtains didn’t choose a terrifying fabric for the bedroom when the fabric I chose ran out. I don’t know what happens to people who live in a completely red rooms. Probably nothing good. But the light coming through the fabric casts a blood red tint. Red Room. Red Room.
  • The Hubs didn’t have the heart of a saint with his “well honey, the man has a lot to do… blah, blah, etc etc.” I know he can get tough. The man was named The General by his family when he was a child. Maybe if he finds me huddled in the corner of the hotel room rocking back and forth muttering “here’s Johnny, here’s Johnny”, he’ll jump on board my frustration-train.

The limping along from this post’s title comes from this: I really have very few responsibilities here in my Nigerian life.  In the hotel, I have to send laundry down to be cleaned. When it’s returned, I have to clip plastic tags off all the pieces.

DSC_0191

And minus the fact that counting The Hubs’ dirty underwear before shipping it off to the laundry is not on my list of pleasant things I look forward to, that’s all the effort I need to put forth to get clean clothes. I know people who would punch a puppy if it meant their lives could be that simplified.

So where does the limping coming in?  I’ve lost any motivation for anything.  Dirty (alright, gnarly. Gnarly laundry happens a few days weeks- yes, weeks- after dirty clothes have been waiting patiently to be laundered) is spilling out of our closets and I have a bag of clean clothes that need the little tags to be clipped off.  I’ve tried skipping that step, but The Hubs said that when he stands up during a business meeting and starts twisting around because he’s being stabbed by a plastic laundry shank tag, it can be a bit detrimental to the overall demeanor he has been working hard to express to his colleagues. After The Hubs begs me to remove the tags 3 or 12 times, I feel like it’s my wifely duty to oblige.

See that back wall there? There is enough room in there that I won't need to do laundry for at least 2..er.. 3 weeks.

See that back wall there? There is enough room in there that I won’t need to do laundry for at least 2..er.. 3 weeks.

The laundry is spilling out everywhere, the stuff from the US that The Hubs (who returned from the US last week) brought back is sitting all over helter-skelter (except for the Doritos… because I already ate those in a moment of crying-induced-mindless-eating), I have a slice of cake that has taken up residency in the mini fridge and has turned psychedelic colors over the weeks, and there are 15 shoes in the middle of the room- conveniently placed so that I can trip and swear and stagger over at least 3 of them every time I move.

Maybe I have Almost-Apartment-Hotel-Livin’-Blues.

DSC_0193

My birthday plant was so sad, it killed itself.

Recently, a number of my mommy-friends have been spreading a hilarious blog detailing the fact that by the end of May, mothers are just not the same able-bodied, sound-minded mothers they were in the beginning of the school year.  Sound like you? (http://jenhatmaker.com/blog- Check out her blog…after you finish mine. I’m shellfish like that)

This is clearly my problem. It’s the end of the school year. I’m tired out. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I actually had kids too.

So I’m going to ignore the mess, the clutter, and the smell and lay on the couch and read Harry Potter and watch Gilmore Girls.

Poor Hubs. Here’s Johnny.

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Mighty Mega Meltdown

If you are my Facebook friend, then you may have read that I had a full- on meltdown a few days  back. It was pretty epic. There was even silent sobbing in an empty bedroom. I could have been a PSA for something really tragic. I was huddled on the floor in a completely empty room, in full meltdown mode. Generally, if I am going to be involved in a PSA, it’s something much happier…like reminding people to wear sunscreen or to love puppies.  This, on the other hand, was something closer to “Please remember to take your mood stabilizers or you could end up in a barren room bawling like a small child” type reminder for the public.

Curtains.

It all stems from curtains.  Our curtain man, known as Curtain Man, spent a number of days putting the curtains up in our flat.  That wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem, because I had spent 5 weeks waiting for the curtains to be made. At this point, I was fine with the curtains taking a few days to be put up. I figured that since I had to wait for the cotton to grow in order for the curtains to be made, I could wait a bit longer.

The problem was this: Three out of four of the curtains that I chose were wrong, so Curtain Man and I needed to have a chat.  But after waiting for 6 hours for him to show up, I was pretty much done.

Add to that this was the first time I had my stewardess and driver in the flat, just sort of waiting around, it added to the awkwardness.  I am way over my head when it comes to house-help.

Between frustration from the “he’s on his way here now” for 6 hours, strangers in the house (who I’m sure where laughing at me), and  no food (save some Altoids), it all lead to the aforementioned meltdown.

 

And on a whole, I tend to be fairly emotionally stable. I mean, sure, I cry at commercials and books and whatever else, but it’s not tied to any true sadness or frustration. However, Nigeria and I may be breaking up now.  With 6 months in the hotel, which is 5 1/2 months longer than we were told we would be in the hotel, I think Nigeria and I are breaking up. Too many tears. I’ve lost perspective.

Furniture Guy promised furniture today. He looked us in the eye and said that it would be ready in 2 weeks. Well, that was 2 weeks ago.  The news this morning? No furniture is going to be delivered today.

I don’t know what the flight schedules are today. I need a flight out of here.

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There’s Rice in my Bugs

“Oh, it’s simple! When you boil the rice, all the bugs just simply  float to the top of the water. I skim them off and keep cooking. My kids never know!”

With a group of ladies, a comment like would usually leave the speaker surrounded by an appauled audience and a guarenteed topic of gossip in the future. There may have even been a furitive glance or two from the guilty chef.

But we all know that being an ex-pat certainly changes things.  In fact, the truth behind the bugs is that all of the women agreed that little buggy friends are in everything and you either deal … or you don’t.  The bugs don’t much care.

Yesterday, I tried to explain to the staff at a store called Goodie’s what salsa is. Have you ever tried to explain salsa? Throw into the mix that, generally, no one can truly understand what I’m saying. Must. Develop. Nigerian. Accent.

“It is tomatoes (say Toe MAH toes- that helps them understand) and onions and a sauce. And they’re diced. (Karate chopping action). Chopped. Small pieces? And you dip chips into it. (Chip dipping motion) And it’s hot. Well spicy because it’s usually cold. Um..”

And then we each spend a few moments blinking at each other.

Life at the hotel makes it a different ex-patriate experience completely. First off, we have no bugs in any of the food we eat. Try reading that with a straight face. I could barely type it without chuckling.

On Sunday, I went to the buffet. I ordered pasta (By the way, I walked up and Pasta Guy winked at me and started making my order. He forgot to add sauce, but you know, it was ncie that he remembered me…sorta).  So I cut myself some bread, brought it to the table and sat down. A few minutes later, I went to retrieve my pasta. I brought the pasta back, and my bread was gone.  I went to cut myself some bread again and brought it back. My pasta was gone.

I believe in the power of comedy. With that being said, I decided to carry my bread with me while I ordered my pasta again. Wouldn’t want to give the other guests too much to chuckle about.

 

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Obama, Goats, and My Siblings.

Strange McStranger: “Are you a doctor?”

Me: “Oh, um, no.”

“Oh, your shirt says Muscular Dystrophy.”

“Oh, no, this is an organization I volunteer with.”

“Ah. Are you American?”

“Yep…”

“How’s Obama?”

“Um, he’s good.”

“He’s black.”

“Yep. Sure is.”

:Exit elevator:

I hate the elevators here and would gladly take the steps, if the steps were illuminated and had hand rails… or rape courtesy phone… or came equipped with pepper spray.  The stairs are creepy and the elevators are awkward. Nigeria is not helping my social skills, at all.

 

It’s National Sibling Day!! Well, according to Facebook, so who knows. I have siblings. I started with 1, then ended up with 4 and I’m the youngest of the group. It’s quite a story, in fact.    However, I have the benefit of being the youngest, but they didn’t know I existed until I was nearly 13 and they were well beyond their traumatize-your-little-sister phase. Never once have I been locked out of the house or attempted to be sold to a neighbor kid for a pack of baseball cards. Ok, I have no idea what siblings do, in fact.  However, I can teach you all the rules of playing board games by yourself.

I do have to state, for the record, that my siblings probably wouldn’t like me nearly as much as they do had they grown up with me.  There’s a little self-awareness for you.

 

My best expat friend and I went to the store today. We were supposed to go to the orphanage so I could cuddle little kidders, but the driver forgot about us. Or the office forgot to tell the driver. Or…something.  I’m not amped up about it now, but for the hour and a half that we sat in the lobby, I was fairly heated.  So, when a driver did show up, neither of us were just going to send him away.

Being an expat, there are a lot of gray areas.  I’ve read that a good place to get your fruit is from the side of the road. Underneath a nearby bridge is supposed to be the best.  Um… I’ve never bought anything under a bridge. Ever. Do I just walk up the stand and start picking stuff out? Is there a protocol?  And good grapefruits ( <— That’s called Teacher Cursing. I’ve got plenty more where that one came from.), I really don’t want to haggle. I hate haggling, but it’s a standard here.

So, we decided to go to a nearby store and peruse.  We’ve been living off hotel food for months now, so the whole cooking aspect has not occurred yet.  This store is fairly similar to a US shop.  One benefit of this trip is that I learned that there is a separate scale to weight your fresh fruits and veggies, before you bring it to the register. Who knew? And I’m going to ignore the fact that the cashier was highly amused at the poor oyibo who didn’t know how to shop. And I think she cheated me on my change. Why won’t they just provide the cashiers with change?? WHY?

I also learned that there are goat bouillon cubes available.  I’ve never had a need for goat flavoring. I’m not sure I ever will. But if I do, I know where to go.  Mmm goat.

 

My final rambling topic:

inflammable (2)

We saw this on the road today, and I instantly started mocking. “Highly inflammable… what is that? Water?” Laugh it up, philistine.  Did you know that flammable and inflammable are synonyms? I feel like I’ve been living under a rock.  A flame retardant one.

 

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