Do you see those moves? That style and spin? There is only one person who has that Thriller move, those Billy Jeans - its him, Michael Jackson! Believe me or beat it!
Thinking its a beautiful way to honor death, I take a photo, and then I hear yelling. A Nigerian policeman is running at me screaming that I cannot take a photo and he needs to see my camera.
Yelling back, I tell him I am respecting the dead, and he should have more respect too. I then I show him what I am photographing, the poster. He demands to see my camera. Just before we were really going to get into it (I was not going to give up my camera) a woman got off a moped and jumped into the debate.
Continue reading "This Photo Almost Got Me Arrested in Lagos, Nigeria"
I'm always amazed at the view - those endless shanties that spread out into the horizon. That all that humanity can live so close together. Its not the vertical living of Hong Kong, but Nigeria doesn't have Asia's organization either. All those people you see while approaching Lagos International are scrounging for a living in the midst of African chaos.
Continue reading "Landing at Lagos Nigeria International Airport LOS"
So I am often asked why I run across Africa. And looking at the obstacles in my path, you have to wonder how crazy I am. In Africa, any street that is paved, is usually high traffic, forcing me to run on the road shoulder. There I follow the well-trod path that others also take, being vigilant for the common leg-breaking hazards like these...
Continue reading "Running the Abuja Obstacle Course"
Like Washington, DC, much thought and planning went into making Abuja, FCT a model city. Because of this, and a few other factors, I've come to enjoy Abuja - one of my African favorites - while also recognizing that when there, I live the "Abuja Bubble" lifestyle.
Continue reading "Living the Abuja Bubble Lifestyle"
And getting to the Abacha Barracks in the Mogadishu Cantonment outside of Abuja did seem like a drive to the ends of Africa - or at least the taxi driver bitched the whole way like it was. Once there, I was a little confused. We pulled up to what looked like a simple Nigerian market. There was nothing to make it look different than any other market. But I was told to walk into the middle.
Inside the Abacha Barracks market is a whole other experience. About 50 fish sellers are arranged in a circle with bars facing the circle of fishmongers. These fishmongers do not sell raw fish for you to take home however, they sell the best croaker and butterfish for direct grilling and eating right there.
Continue reading "Best Grilled Fish in Nigeria: Abacha Barracks"
And I do not mean a Chinese here or there. I would say that about a third of the flight is Chinese - not Asian, not Japanese, not Thai, Cambodian or Indonesian. Not even "Overseas Chinese" from Singapore or Hong Kong, but full on mainland Chinese who very much look the part.
Chattering away in putonghua, with the mannerisms and dress of middling businessmen, they are an uninspiring lot at first glance. But by the second or third take, I start to wonder what they're doing in deepest Africa.
Continue reading "Chinese in Nigeria: Where Do They All Go?"
Again I recheck my person and my luggage and then it hits me - I've left my phone in the airport waiting area. I was so absorbed in composing emails to all my Kenyan contacts, letting them know of my impeding arrival, that I didn't hear the first call for my flight.
When I finally did, I scrambled to the jetway, leaving my prized possession, my per-diem-paid-for N95 superphone behind, alone and vulnerable on a random seat. Where I now realize it must be sitting, just waiting to be found by its new owner.
Continue reading "Surprising Nigerian N95 Honesty"