Life becomes more routine after almost a month – it has now been longer than any other period of time I’ve spent abroad.
I have been unfair in calling the meals expensive – one can get a healthy buffet for about $3 plus $1 for a drink. As yet I haven’t tried out any pricey places that might serve more exciting fare. I stand firm on my opinion of the monotony of the food – but it can’t be said not to be nutritious or filling, and I have yet to get sick from eating anything even in rural towns. Yes I make a big deal about food – and my roommates and family can attest to my occasional fussiness :). This past weekend I happily joined a Zambian friend in his apartment to watch football (I’ll use the more widely used term for soccer as long as I’m not in the US) and eat lunch. The guy, Greg, has a Japanese wife and is really worldly – we connect pretty well. I had some ugali, rice, tender meat, cooked vegetables, and real chile peppers that Greg had brought up from Zambia. One of the best meals here so far.
This evening I made beef with bell peppers and onions, beans, and raw sliced tomatoes. The tomatoes here are small, beautifully bright red all the way through, and delicious with a great firm texture. Not always what you get in the US. I had my friend Greg over and his young son came along, and we happily cheered Japan’s victory over Denmark. Unfortunately I didn’t impress them with my food – his son apparently found a weevil in one of the beans. Frustrating as I had carefully sorted through all the beans before cooking them, tossing out pebbles, stems, twigs, bad beans, and other detritus. Not sure if this happens with beans in the US as my parents have always cooked raw beans – I’ve only done it from the can. Oh well they said they liked the meat.
Apparently the nice houses I ran by a couple weeks ago cost about a quarter of a million US dollars. This from another American staying at the apartment who has been here about a year.
Even though I only have 16 channels here at the apartment, I enjoy the TV more than I do at home. In part because it is a conduit of Western culture when I’m alone here at the apartment, but also because in that 16 channels is more stuff that I actually want to see. No shopping channels! A music channel that actually plays music videos all day long, from America, Europe, and African stars. 3 sports channels, currently playing either the World Cup or rallies across the Australian Outback. I get both Animal Planet and National Geographic Wild, which I know makes Dad extremely jealous. CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera feed the news, and I even have a couple of channels that play off-beat American movies and for some reason, sci-fi in the form of Caprica (apparently replacing Stargate SG-1, sorry Carilli). Rwanda has a national channel, but it is usually in Kinyarwanda or French. Sometimes I watch French game shows on TV-Monde – they are entertaining even with minimal understanding.
The American victory over Algeria the other day was extra sweet because I obtained some sour cream & onion Pringles beforehand! Oh processed joy.
Take care everyone.