on eating in niamey...

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Africa » Niger
September 27th 2005
Published: September 27th 2005
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a typical meal day for us:
bread from the guy at the end of the driveway with jam, butter, nutella, or peanut butter
tea with condensed milk

bissou and soumana make our lunches and dinners everyday except sunday
they do mostly american things, only one or two truly nigerien dishes
tuna melts for lunch and pizza for dinner
hummus and pitas
couscous and sauce
lots of salad
beans and rice is a big favorite

today we went to yazi dogo's house, the afore mentioned super famous nigerien actor who appointed our nigerien names who just got back from the states where he got eye surgery and can now see colors...we all ate on the floor around big plates of rice and a brown veggie sauce, with lamb for the non-vegetarians, and ate with our hands.
connecting back to the journal entry on going to the bathroom, it's a must to eat with only our right hand because traditionally people wipe with their left.
technique for eating with your hand varies; some people get really tactile and roll it into a ball with a skilled smush of the fingers and then a flip into the mouth
i go for a more subtle, smally bite system, pushing the food off my fingertips with my thumb.
it was really hot at first, for us at least. we were all wincing at the hot food as yazi and illia and the others toughed out the pain and just ate. at the end of the meal we rinsed our hands in a little bowl of water and had bananas for desert.

street food:
harolded as dangerous, i'm eating a lot
if it's hot, i'm ok
fried dough
fried corn/rice cakes
balls of breaded spicy chicken
brochettes(chicken on skewers)
rice with a baobob leaf sauce
corn which is more like popping corn but still on the cob

sides of meat cook right on the street which i have not tried
there are wheelbarrows of sugar cane

last night when we went to the "tree bar", guengeney, we wanted an infamous omellete sandwhich. but when laraba asked the guy surrounded by STACKS of full egg crates and mountains of baguette, he said there weren't any...we ate fries instead


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