Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On a Rainy Day...

Sniff sniff , snuffle snuffle and a good week to everyone out there. I just broke down with a cold from a combination of a typically rainy Calabar weather and the almost sleepless nights spent working. Thank God I didn’t have to pull any stunts on set this time around. I am desperately looking for anything loaded with vitamin C before my condition gets worse.

It did get worse because I write this section six days after I wrote the first paragraph. I’ve been like a middle aged woman going through the tumultuous hot flushes of menopause. One minute I’m baking hot, desperately reaching for the air conditioning knob and the next, snapping it off. Right now my concentration, as my flu abates, is to be very careful when clearing my throat or laughing out loud in public, lest a gob of phlegm rockets out of my throat unto someone’s face or mouth. I am in Port Harcourt now. This means that I have been in the South South region of the country for close to three weeks now. The longest I’ve spent in this part of the country. The rains here are unbelievable! If I were to compute the total sun hours there have been in the period I’ve been here I would come up with less than ten. The rest, night and day, rain! Rain, rain, rain. Oh and, the rain just increased fourfold as I type now. I’d love to say I hate it, especially with the cold it’s just given me, but I love it. It seems to give it a character of its own and its inhabitants are in perfect harmony with it. It has a sort of cleansing quality to it and seems to bring out the vibrancy in its people. I know I’m sounding rather like one narrating a documentary but it is true. I feel very reluctant to leave this city but a guy gorra work for im bread so… It is a nice place. Had to wear a fisherman’s hat most of the time though 'cause… ahem!

Right now I’m seated at my cousin’s desk, he’s self employed, ravishing a breakfast of bole( grilled plantain) and fish in palm oil tomato and pepper sauce. Hm! What can I say? For those who haven’t tried this simple yet sumptuous ‘poor man’s’ meal, chai! Please, try it, spoil yourself a little; you deserve it, honestly, you do. I tear open the plastic bags in which my feast is ensconced, letting out the trapped clouds of steam and dive straight for the shy succulent grilled yellow skewered plantain halves puckering up at me, desperately trying to hide in the dark recesses of the folded plastic. Deftly I catch one, looking longingly at all the other pieces I’ll be devouring in a few seconds, mop up as much sauce as I can, remembering to save some for the others, and cram it into my mouth closing my eyes and waiting for the searing heat of the crunchy red peppers and the steaming morsel, both fighting for supremacy over who will be the hotter. My eyes and nose smart in acknowledgement to the fiery delight below as they run down my cheeks in salty unison. The juicy tartness of the semi ripe plantain suddenly awakens me as my teeth mash the soft flesh asunder opening them up to more wanton ravishing… And I’m not onto the fish yet. Hmmm! Bole and fish. Try it Port Harcourt style.

I had agreed with Nkem to write a piece about my work in Calabar but I was afraid of losing the magic I’m experiencing in this city and decided to capture as much of it as I could. I will write about my time in Calabar next week so please bear with me. The dank weather of the South South region of the country with its incessant rains has exacted its toll on my body but it has given me much more than it has taken. It’s nice to appreciate a place for what it is, to seek to know why its people love it so much and then perhaps one can go away learning something different to take away with him and add a little more colour to his life. Have a great week everyone

12 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you were ill, man but I'm glad for you that you are feeling much, much better. I love Bole and fish but mannnnnn those ladies are always cheap with the sauce!:)

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  2. That rain situation sounds like Seattle rain, oh how I love to hate it too, but hey, it makes these regions what they are.And the description of that meal hmm, I can only close my eyes and imagine the hot cool pleasure it gives the taste buds. Awesome writing.Sorry for the flu and quick recovery.
    Christine Asiimwe

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  3. Kalu! see the way u described the food and the masticating process, one would think it was more than Boli n fish oh. lol...

    Sorry about the cold, but glad u r feeling much beta n able to appreciate the beauty of PH regardless...

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  4. Hope you get well soon and that it is not swine flu!

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  5. Great blog, very descriptive. I just discovered your blog very recently and I must say I really enjoy reading it. Thanks

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  6. Hmmmmmmm, U are really enjoying. Infact PH is my next place of visit. Honestly Ive been longing to be there. The fresh fish and other echetaram echetaram. But as in the rain, I think is de season. But be careful b/cos of Pnemonia (lol)

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  7. Nicely written piece. Clearly you are foody! But that's in itself is not necessarily a bad thing.............Well expect for your (delicate or not) waist line. Look forward to the next post. I hope it has some sun it though!!

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  8. Nicely written piece. Clearly you are a foody! But that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing.............Well expect for your (delicate or not) waist line. Look forward to the next post. I hope it has some sun it though!!

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  9. formerly stealth readerAugust 17, 2009 at 11:40 PM

    wow foody....................i like dat word and etchetaram etchetaram (am guessing that its et cetera lol). flu season sucks....yeah. well to me rainy season is the best there is second only to winter. theres is just something about the rain............i doubt i have these sentiments because of overindulged moments reading romantic novels or watching singing/dancing in the rain....old classic tnt/tcm movie,i have a love affair with rain lol disturbing? i know. hmmm d boli sounded like u were having a luv affair with her:)

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  10. need some fire to make u well..not just bole!luv u lots...

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  11. those bolis, fishes and hot sauces will definately kill any re-occurrence of the flu. glad you're much better...

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  12. Nna na wa o, see the way you dey speak grammar on top of just boli+ fish.
    You for sori small for those of us who no too go school

    Anyway, you have a very interesting blog...ansshoudl I say much more interesting job.
    Let me go and read more.
    Ciao

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