when life gives you hot dogs... make pizza?

Our internet has been off and on, and it seems like whenever I want to blog its off.  Then it comes on and I have other things to do.  So this post is slightly disjointed and probably completely unnecessary.  Oh well.

It seems to have gotten a lot hotter in the last few weeks.  I mean its been hot since we got here, but Sunday was really the first day of super duper fry your ass on the concrete hot.  The Philippines held a Valentine's Day bazaar Sunday afternoon; we live within a reasonable walking distance and by the time we arrived Joey had soaked through his shirt and I had some really nice boob sweat going on.  But our unsightliness wasn't about to stop us from the smorgasbord of delicious Philippine cuisine.  That stuff is hard to come by around here so we ate a few months worth in about half an hour.  We also bought some raffle tickets - grand prize was a round trip ticket from Abuja to Manila, and since my friend Lauren just moved to Manila for the next several months for her job I figured it was meant to be that I'd win that ticket. Apparently not.

Anyway, I realize that I could have spent the last two months in the freezing cold of Des Moines or DC and that I'm probably not going to get much sympathy that its starting to get hot here, but its definitely gone from bearable to uncomfortable.  Nothing like sitting in the shade and dripping sweat.  Sexy.

This past Saturday we went to a Valentine's Day celebration at one of the local hotels.  They have a lovely rooftop patio and a Nepalese chef.  They served a huge buffet of Nigerian, Chinese, Indian and Thai dishes - no Pad Thai - but still pretty good. Its funny - its probably the ignorant American in me - but I thought Valentine's Day was just a commercialized American made-up holiday.  Not so.  Its a commercialized, international made-up holiday.  There were almost as many opportunities to waste money on Valentine's Day paraphernalia here as there are in the US. 

And speaking of Valentine's Day, it was a Happy Valentine's Day indeed.  We got the very best present you could ever ask for:

(Imagine it in your best "The Price is Right" announcer voice, because that is how excited we both were):

A new car!  Yeah baby, that's right, our car finally arrived!  The mere act of driving ourselves to dinner for Valentine's Day was romantic enough alone.  Which was a good thing, because when we got to the restaurant they were full (we didn't realize you actually had to make reservations in Abuja) and the host turned us away.  Luckily for us, some of our coworkers had originally planned to dine with another couple who cancelled, and so invited us to join their table.  Romantic, no.  Enjoyable, yes.  And I tried sweetbreads for the first time.  Not really by choice.  The restaurant serves a prix fixed menu and you eat what they put in front of you, which thankfully looked innocuous enough that I didn't need to ask what it was until the end the meal.   

Friday night we attended a play at the French Cultural Center.  The Jos Repertory Theatre performed "Madmen and Specialists," a play written by Wole Soyinka about the evils of war.  Cannibalism to be exact.  The play was a little heady and therefore hard to understand since much of the dialog was in Pidgen, but overall it was a very nice production and the outdoor venue was lovely.  Especially with the bottle of wine I stashed in my purse.  My only complaint is to the effectiveness of my bug spray. 

Two Saturdays ago we attended an Arts & Crafts fair.  We bought two paintings, one of which is apparently by a famous local artist, Ada Goodson.  We took both paintings to the framer and they're due next week; we're really looking forward to getting some color on our walls.

Anyway, that pretty much covers lately.  It actually rained once - which is a big deal here because its not supposed to rain at all between November and May.  We couldn't believe the downpour.   The best part was how clean and fresh everything seemed the next day.  Other than that, we've discovered some pretty decent restaurants and bars to keep us busy and learned that you have to check before you order pepperoni pizza.  Otherwise you may end up with cut-up hot dogs.