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12th May 2006 | 19:21

The people here (in the hotel) are friendly, quick to smile and greet you. The porters have a slightly queer habit of leading people to their rooms by the hand.

There are some characteristic local dishes: one that turns up in the hotel buffets quite frequently is mostly shredded spinachy greens, lightly cooked - actually all the veg here is nicely crunchy. There's also a stodge that looks like mashed potato, but which is made from cornflour, and a green beany stodge. The meat is traditionally overcooked and badly butchered, and frequently goat.

Last Friday we went to a local eatery which did the local food in the local way, with local timing. We left the hotel at 20:00ish and ate at about 22:00ish... According to one of the African instructors, "the Europeans have the clocks but the Africans have the time." The meal there started with a fairly simple soup, which was described as "bone soup", i.e. it was essentially just stock. Later on I tried the goat. It was OK, compared to the beef and chicken.

Yesterday we went to a tourist trap called "Carnivore". The meal was almost entirely barbequeued meat. (I am consequently even more vegetarian than usual for the next few days...) I ate lamb, pork, beef, chicken, ostrich (which was the best by a long way), crocodile, and camel (nasty). They also served us a cocktail called "dawa" which is apparently Swahili for "medicine". It was lime, vodka, and honey, with ice - so not that different from the whiskey, lemon, and honey that we drink hot.

I still haven't seen very much of the place. However we are going out tomorrow morning at 06:30 for a quick safari, which I am looking forward to. I am currently having a wee dram with the other whisky drinkers before an early-ish bed.

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Comments {3}

The Uitlander

from: uitlander
date: 12th May 2006 20:20 (UTC)

There's also a stodge that looks like mashed potato, but which is made from cornflour

Commonly known as meallie-pap or maize porridge. Think of it as runny polenta :-)

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 12th May 2006 20:33 (UTC)

It's not porridgey at all - more like a particularly thick mashed potato.

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The Uitlander

from: uitlander
date: 12th May 2006 20:47 (UTC)

Thats the stuff! You can make it porridgey if you like it that way, although most indiginous people will find that disgusting. The preferred texture is usually like lumpy coarse grained bread dough, or so I was taught in Lesotho. Its pretty much the African 'national' dish.

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