Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Out With The Old, In With The New

That phrase always get stuck in my head eversince I heard it.

Yes, this is the time when lots of expats move out of Lagos and I can't believe how many expats are leaving. Some are going back to their home country and those that are moving on to other places, lucky them! Really miss living in our own house. Living in this apartment building is alright. There are pros and cons to it. To share a common bus among the kids to go to school is even horrible in a way that when your kids get into a situation with another, it's not good! Some neighbours I don't really see them though we all live under the same roof. Some, we see them ALL THE TIME! My husband would tease me and said, "Ah, you are good friends with our this neighbours so and so..". I had to correct him saying that good friends and neighbours are totally different! Good friends are good friends. Neighbours are neighbours. There's a difference to it. Believe me, I am not too keen with some of them. 

So I say, adios to the "old" and hey, hello to the "new" if there's any other new expats coming in!

Best thing that happened today was I got the chance to meet some very important people. I saw Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, Leonardo Da Vinci, Cleopatra and the list goes on. Jealous much? Relax, there's nothing to be jealous about because the 3rd Graders were doing their Notables presentation in the gym today. Each of the kids had to choose a notable person, someone who has made valuable contributions to society, set/reached personal goals and achieved personal greatness in their field. Our oldest son became Nelson Mandela :) Thus this morning, they had to dress and play the role of their notable.

Cool Cleopatra!

Leonardo Da Vinci  :)
I came out from the gym and went straight to our youngest son's classroom next as they were having a mini year end party. These cute 1st Graders gave us, parents, a short but really cute mini concert. Each of them received a certificate and a really nice farewell wooden frame from their teacher. I can't believe that our boys will be in 2nd and 4th Graders come August. They are growing up way too fast!

That was my Wednesday morning. Busy but good. My luggages are calling me. I'd better get back to packing. Have a nice, cooling rainy day, Naija!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

What's Up With That??


Yes, that's how and when my Tuesday starts in gloomy-looking Lagos. Not good. Freaking power outages woke me up! The generator has been very unreliable the last few days if not the past week. It is not a shocker really! I don't mind the power outages happening and the blaring of the UPS machine during the day but in the middle of the night? A few times throughout?!!? It makes me a grumpy b**** the next day! Almost one year here, the power outages somehow ALWAYS gets to me!

In a few days, I will not miss all these wahala.

Living in Africa is an experience but not everything is as smooth as butter that's for sure.

One's told that to survive in this country, one will need to get out every now and then. Leave, rejuvenate and take a deep breath in. Damn straight! Whoever told us that is a damn real genius! Damn, damn, damn genius. Did I just repeat the word "Damn"? Damn it!!!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Obe Dindin

Wondering what the heck is that??? Have a sit and I'll explain though this will sound very familiar to the locals :)

Obe Dindin is one of the dish that I had when I went to a local restaurant called Yellow Chilli on Friday.

Entrance to Yellow Chilli

Calm and decent decor inside

Yes, it is a local Nigerian restaurant here in Lagos. They serve local fare and some not so local. Apparently, it is quite a popular restaurant and lunchtimes pulls in a loyal crowd of professionals. I went there with a few of my girlfriends as we want to check it out since we heard rave reviews about this restaurant. It is not a big place and perhaps Yellow Chilli seats only about 50-75 people probably. Upstairs they have a lounge area/bar with a cosmopolitan ambience that is more for after-work-get-a-beer and hang out kind of place.

The food was quite good and I was impressed. Started with of course, a spicy chicken pepper soup. Nigerians like their food pepper as they say and so do I but not my friends. Wussies!!

More food came out after the chicken pepper soup. Obe Dindin followed by Seafood Okro Soup. The servings are quite large if you are not a big eater. It's best to share with friends. I had to pack mine up as I had to rush to school to watch our youngest son receive an award in school (yes, I'm a proud Mama!).
Chicken Pepper Soup. One of my fav Nigerian dish.

Obe Dindin (Beef Stew)

Obe Dindin close-up

My Seafood Okro soup with pounded yam
Overall, I am quite impressed with this place and put this restaurant on your list to do if you are here in Lagos, Nigeria. It may not be your kind of scene/taste but be a little adventurous and try it! You might find yourself coming back here again and again.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

How To Behave Badly

OK, this blog i'm writing is going to sound bitchy, grouchy and probably tasteless all at the same time. I don't freaking care. I don't know but probably I am just tired. It's only been almost 2 days since my husband left for a business trip and won't be back till late next week. I am already tired. Tired looking at the surroundings around here. Tired dealing with people's bullshit around here too. It's just that some people are just simply unbelievable! Ok, maybe I should just say this out loud. Correction...some parents are just unbelievable!

Yes, yes, I know everybody's different. The way each of us discipline our kids are different. I am not being judgemental or anything.

Our youngest son came home from school yesterday with tears in his eyes. The bus dad told me that there's this stupid boy who also happened to be one of our neighbours downstairs, purposely tripped our son as he was on his way to the school bus. Of course, our son fell down, scratched his knee and also scraped the right side of his waist pretty good! His mom couldn't accept the fact that her children have been behaving badly. She even had the cheek to tell me that our kids have been bullying this son of hers. WTF?!? So I banned their kids playing with mine FOREVER!

I'm not saying our kids are angels. They have their good and bad moments too but to have other kids bullying our kids, MY kids is totally not acceptable. At least she said sorry but I am positive she didn't really mean it! Don't let this Mama Bear get angry because it is not going to look pretty otherwise!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

I Can Be A Gym Buff Too

Today, I finally stepped on the treadmill and today I finally went to the gym after so many doggone years! I am not a pro. All those machines at the gym SCARES me! I don't know why but they look SO freaking intimidating to me. Was there for only 30 minutes but hey it's better than nothing. Slowly but surely. Maybe a gymaniac in the making!

I made a bet with myself that I will lose 6kgs come June 4th. Can I do it???????? We shall see. I need my body to be bikini ready! Don't laugh!!!!

Maybe I'll make the list this year o_0
There's a lot of noise and movements in our building today. Lots of families are moving out the next few weeks and I don't mean just move out to another building but for good! One of them is my neighbour next door. They've been here for about 6 years or so. The movers have been packing them up since this morning.
It was interesting when she told me that in the beginning all these expat wives that came here looked all nice and dolled-up, pretty-looking but now they are leaving Lagos looking very haggard and old. Shit, I  hope I don't become like that!

To all those leaving, I wish them all the best in their future endeavours. I don't know if I should feel jealous. I certainly am not jealous when I am leaving Lagos myself. Nah, not for good. Just for the summer. I'll see you when I see you, Naija.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

My Mother's Day Weekend

It's Saturday, May 12th 2012. Tomorrow, in the United States, we celebrate Mother's Day.

There's a "garage sale" going on at the boys' school today. So I started my day going to that. It was just ok. Not a lot of stuff and well, you guessed it. Things were ridiculously expensive. For a garage sale! I remember those days when I/we held our own garage sale in the United States. It was tiring but heck, I had a blast! The atmosphere's totally different there too. I can easily purchase a purse there for as little as $2. I REALLY had my eye on one of the faux red snake skin purse at the sale today. It was georgeous but for a price of N8,000 (US$51), it was bloody hideous!

Even if it's BBQ sauces and books, I was happy with my purchase. Kids happy with their Pokemon cards AND candy of course!
With five screaming rambunctious boys in the background and house looking like a pig's den by the end of the day, to have a quiet, peaceful, stress-free Mother's Day weekend is looking very gloomy for me!

My heart melts though when our 7yrs old son came home from school with this for me yesterday....

I will pretend that this weekend is just like any other normal weekends in our household :) As I am writing this blog also, the Goodies delivery man kept on calling me!! He's lost! He went to another building instead of our building. Argh, M-O-R-O-N!! Yup, ordered some pizza for lunch for the boys.

Now, I will make sure that I have a nice dinner out tonight. At least, there will be three boys less at the dinner table.

Happy Mother's Day to you and to me.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hello World!

I know. I have been A.W.O.L lately.

The last few days, my life as an expat was pretty much challenged with the fact that I received a worrisome news that my dad was hospitalised beginning of the week. Much to my relief, he was discharged from the hospital today and is at home resting. To my friends and family, thank you very much for your well wishes. He had been complaining of heart/chest pains in which the doctors found his arteries clogged and they had to close up two holes in him with "balloons". Don't ask me. I have no clue the medical term for it.

My dad is ok and in about 5 weeks time, he will need to do the same procedure for the second time round. At least, I'll be there when that happens. His oldest daughter will be there by his side.

I have been without a phone service the whole morning today. Not the first time that happens. I've convinced myself to switch to another mobile phone service provider. Yup, that's right. Back to Nigeria-related wahala. It's pissing me off. It's a tell-tale sign for sure that I need my holidays soon. Few more weeks and I am oh definately so counting down. It's going to be a fun summer. Last year, we spend our summer here. It sucks. Not this year, baby! Not this year.

Monday, 7 May 2012

THE Complainer

I just read an email circulated to us regarding one of my neighbour who have "lost" her beloved chair.

This is what she wrote...

"We would like to report a missing chair.  We did not put a GPS tracker on our outdoor furniture, so cannot locate it.  It was there when I left the apartment and gone when I returned home hours later.  It may not know its way home but was a much loved piece of furniture with brown cushions and came in very handy to hold groceries when finding keys.  When you just wanted to sit and look at the sea for a minute and forget where you are!  There is no reward except in knowing that you have done a good deed! 
Thank you in advance."

It sounds like she's complaining and not happy. This is not the first time she did that. In fact, this is the third time she did that. Complaining. No, I don't blame her that she's not happy. The first time she complained via email was when she woke up next to a cockroach one morning and INSISTED that the "pest" people come and destroy that roach for her. If she woke up next to a rat, then that's different.

The second time she complained was when one of her gas bottled for cooking was missing.

Now, this. I like to complain too. In fact, A LOT! Who doesn't? It's only human nature to do that but to "complain" about mere things? Come on. It just irks me. A chair's missing, a gas bottle and waking up next to a cockroach are nothing compare to other problems people are facing in the world. If it's me, I don't care if I am missing a chair. So what? It's replaceable. So what if you woke up next to a cockroach? Just squash it with your hand or pillow even though it sounds gross! So what if your gas bottled's missing? Just call for another one.

All I care about right now is the well-being of my dad. Got word from my sister this afternoon that my dad was in the hospital. He suffered a mild heart attack I think. Or something clogged his arteries. Talked to my mom and thankfully, he seems to be ok. Will know more tomorrow. I hope he will feel better soon. Now, that's what I care about.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Crowd Pleaser

If you have not watched The Avengers 3D yet, all I can say is GO! It's quite a long movie (2 hrs 20mins) but it's worth it. Watch the trailer here.

It was my husband's first time watching a movie in Naija yesterday. I had to "force" my boys to come and watch the movie with me. The Avengers 3D did not dissapoint. It was great! We even get to keep our 3D glasses. We should get to keep it since we paid about US$80 just for movie tickets for five of us yesterday!!

The only thing I was not happy about was 45 minutes into the movie, people were still slowly crawling into the theatre. We were sitting by the aisle near the entrance/exit since it was crowded, so you could only imagine all these distractions while watching the movie. It's freaking annoying!

Despite all that, we had a good time and definately will be back to watch more movies there.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

You Need Help!

Some people just make you sick to the stomach! I don't know what is wrong with the world these days!

Last week, a 12 yrs old Malaysian boy was kidnapped while he was on his way to school. He was abducted and forcefully shoved into a car by two men near his school. In daylight! I guess it does not matter really what time these type of crime or ANY type of crime can happen.

The week before this boy was abducted, another Malaysian, a 15 yrs old girl was reported missing for 20 days. Her burnt body was found about 3 weeks later by a lorry driver at a palm oil estate next to a motorcycle that she rode the day she was last seen.

Earlier on, charred remains of another 5 yrs old Malaysian girl, missing since March 1, was found at a plantation in Nusa Damai, Johor.

After all this, I just couldn't read anymore news of this calibre. At least, the 12 yrs old boy was later released and found alive. Read about his case here.

Keep your children and family close to you. Anything can happen in the world. ANYWHERE. You never know what's next.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Public Holiday

Happy Worker's Day, Nigeria! Yup, today is Tuesday, May 1st 2012. I can't believe that it's already May! Time flies so fast! Today, the school is closed. It has been closed since yesterday.

Yesterday, it was a good day. Yesterday, I have four sons. Not all are mine! Since it was a school holiday, together with my friend, Amy and her kids, we decided to go to the theatre near our house here to watch a movie.

Kids loved the fact that we had the theatres ALL to ourselves!
Got FREE popcorn and drinks! Gotta love freebies! Guess it was their daily specials. We rarely watch a movie at the theatres here. It was not too bad. The theatres are clean inside. Dr Seuss' The Lorax movie's funny. I highly recommend watching it. You can watch the trailer here.

Mondays are always good as it is dosai day at the Cumberland hotel here in Lagos. The whole troop came here right after the movie to get our Indian food fix. Well, more like my weekly dosai fix!

Cheese naan bread. N1150 (US$7) for one. Burned my pocket hole!
At least I get to eat them. Home away from home. In Singapore, we call it thosai. Different name but same good stuff! Expect to pay N1,400 for a plain dosa. I'm telling ya, some of the prices for things around here are really "cut throat" (my S'porean slang for expensive)!!

Today, we gave our driver the day off of course. Nannies don't work when it comes to public holidays. So, I am the chef and maid today. Now, what shall I cook for dinner tonight?