Principles, Cheese, Scams & the BBC from Abuja

Submitted by Ambika Samarthya

As all of you know, I am deeply against the armed forces. However idealistic and naive it may seem I dont think military units should exist.

But I also have had an incredibly hard time in Abuja getting food that tastes good that doesn’t have fresh fish (meaning fish just killed out of the water in front of your eyes) or beef. So when my colleague invited me to a formal Italian event I was all for it. I could already taste the cheese and the pasta. It just so happened to also be a celebration of their armed forces.

I distracted myself from the videos on submarines and the speeches on how the armed forces are the highlights of a nation’s power with brie and blue cheese, along with a glass of beautiful red. It was worth it. I would do it again.

At the end of the night I shamefully stole a few blocks of cheese into my purse. My collleague said it was stealing – but that they wanted you to do it and it was part of Nigerian culture.

I had never stooped so low for food. In fact, it was so hard to get tasty chicken that wasnt peppered in soup that I have actually been open to going to Southern Fried Chicken! My brother thinks its a great turn of events I’m sure to see the anti-fast food, anti-meat chick nibblng away at fried chicken strips. But really when times are rough…

A friend of a friend is in town for a work/ fellowship project for 6 weeks. The gyms in Abuja cost anywhere from $15-20/ per visit (the annual fees are cheaper but doesn’t make sense for me).  And the cheaper gyms have strange insects in their outside dressing rooms and machines that don’t keep time that are only hanging by with one handle. Not good. So, [at her approval], I became this fellowshipper to use the Sheraton gym for free! As someone else, I also enjoyed the benefits of a great pool…

For those of you interested in my project and non-scams, I am happy to say I’m an official BBC world service trust blogger:


About ambiarth

A wine loving, nomadic filmmaker

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