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Thursday – Pad Thai in Abuja

January 26, 2006

Suzanne and I spend the morning going through the photos, adding to the ones we’ve already pulled out to put together a representative cross section of pictures for the Nigerian office and head office to use until she is able to get the remainder to us. (She leaves tomorrow morning to spend a week in Cameroon with Sight Savers, followed immediately by a last minute booking to take over from another photographer on the WaterAid supporters’ trip to Burkina Faso.)

We go into the office to have a formal debriefing with Jonathan and Sam. (Bankole is still in Lagos, where his wife and son live, finally seeing a doctor about this chest cold that just will not go away.) Jonathan begins by thanking us all for coming out and going to the dangerous places we’ve just visited. We are, he says, quite courageous. Really, I think. I’m glad I’m hearing this after rather than before the trip. I thought the Delta was where all the problems were, but no, apparently there’d been some major violence in both Bauchi and Plateau just before Christmas when the government bulldozed some illegal communities. Yikes. What you don’t know really can’t hurt you.

We ask Jonathan if he knows of any restaurant within walking distance of the hotel where we might go for dinner that night. He tells us there is an excellent Thai restaurant nearby, the hotel can direct us. We set off at 7pm. It is, of course, dark and no NEPA (the hotel has a generator) means no streetlights and, more importantly, no traffic lights.

We need to cross one very busy road. Luckily Suzanne points out that we have to look the other way just before I step out into a rush of oncoming traffic. At one point Duncan legs it half way across the road. Suzanne and I, in a leap of faith, dart after him.

A couple of minutes later we make it the rest of the way across. We are shocked by the prices on the menu at Thai Chi. The most expensive meal we’ve had in the bush was about 400 naira. The minimum main course item here is 1700. Quick mental check. Bloody hell, it’s only about seven quid. Having Pad Thai in Abuja is somewhat surreal.

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From → Nigeria

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