Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is the one - the wonders of the word Fuck

Language is such a fabulous thing, and this narrator is one of the best I've heard - he's vocabulary, he's accent and punctuation perfect setting for this hilarious delivery.



Got this by mail sometime ago, lost it in that maze of mine that is the HD in my laptop... a chance encounter and decided to post it for posterity.

While the guys is obviously teasing the poor woman, I got to say that I find it terribly amusing!

One more I need to find and post

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quick one

Accra, on the way home after a week on the road.

Lagos was productive, a set of reasonable meetings, I am becoming comfortable with that city now - familiarity breeding confidence!

I was witness to a marathon while I was there, organized by GLO, on of the celular networks here. Quite a spectacle to watch. Have pics!

This was at approximately the half way mark of a half marathon - 16km, fatigue kicking in

As time progressed, the number of walkers increased.

A marathon from the back!

Waiting for my connection. It seems that the last time I went by, I had not got an exit stamp on my passport. An eagle eyed immigration officer picked up on that ad began to set the ground for the offer of grease. Having a couple of hiurs to spare I decided not to corporate and very politly asked that they go onto the matter, that I did not mind waiting. I do, but dammit if I am going to get shaken down for this!

I was past through for exit.

It will be nice to be home again, thought I knwo that withing a few days I'll get the itch again. I need to go to Niger quite soon, the next trip then.

Before that though, I want to take a break, a few days off to go explore Burkina Faso - Bobo Dioulasso is the second largest city, about 350km away. The surrounding area offers some places of interest.

Till later...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Balogun Market

My passion takes me to places few of my countrymen go - the teeming, vibrant bustling market places of West Africa. Dakar, Freetown, Conakry, Accra, Kumasi, Ouagadougou, Bamako, Niamey,Lagos, Kanu, Lome and Luanda.

A wholesaler - Lagos, Nigeria

These Markets sell everything - foodstuff,clothing, shoes, branded rip off fashion wear from Asia, stationary, consumables, household appliances, goats, chickens, guinea fowl, cattle, camels, everything.

The Market
Madina Market - Guinea Conakry

I walk the streets, the alleyways, talking with importers who bring in goods by the container, wholesalers, distributors, the table top sellers who sell a packet at a time... anyone in the chain.

Madina Market - Guinea Conakry

During the wet months the path ways are flooded,mud squelching with every step; in the dry months its the dust and the flies buzzing around and always people, so many people, buying, selling, carrying, wheeling and dealing - Young men with muscled torso's, proud Allahji's and the Mama's who are the kings and queens of these places,the old and the young, everyone trying to make a living.

Sani Abacha Street
Sani Abacha Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Lagos is no different, its not only an industrial center - it is also a city of markets - shopping - buying and selling - trade and commerce. Its estimated that 60% of Nigeria's currency is outside banks, the level of trading so high The major market centers on Lagos Island include Jankara, Balogun, Isala Eco and Sandgrouse markets.

Life goes on
Luanda, Angola

Bargaining is the name across Africa,and nothing gives me as much pleasure as sitting down with a seller of art be it a painting or masks to haggle amicably over the price of something that has caught my eye. Even as I walk away with my prize, happy at the price I paid for it, I know that I was bested nevertheless by a merchant who's ancestors have been doing the very same for generations. Should you find yourself bargaining, remember a few simple things - a) The initial price is most likely than not twice or thrice what its actually worth. b) Keep in pleasant and smile, its all fun. c) Neither you nor the seller should lose face,so be sensitive.

Madina Market - Guinea Conakry

I plunged into Balogun this morning to spend the next two hours walking around, cajoling reluctant shop keepers to give me some of their time - where survival is based upon making a buck, not everyone likes to waste time talking to some dude in spectacles who offers only incessant questions, albeit with a smile!

The retail market
Kumasi, Ghana

Exhausting work, the heat and humidity physically draining as keeping my wits about me was mentally so.But truth is, I love it, with a passion, with an enthusiasm that is as fresh as it was when I dived in for the first time four years ago.

Hard to believe!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Your Brain is 47% Female, 53% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Images of Ceylon

A must look at

Images of Ceylon

Whoever P de Silva is, wonderful collection.

To my collection

I've added five new albums of African music - making an effort to collect as wide a range as possible!

Fela Kuti - The Best of fela kuti

Considered to be on of Africa's greatest musicians. Pioneer of Afrobeat he was also active in human rights and politically vocal - the later resulting in his commune being attacked by a 1000 soldiers, who assaulted him, losing he's mother who died as a result of being thrown from a window and the burning of his studio, music and instruments.

He's style of music is a fusion of traditional African chants and rhythms, funk, jazz and psychedelic rock influenced heavily by African style percussion, vocals, and musical structure, along with jazzy, funky horn sections. Sung mainly in Nigerian pidgin, this allowed a wider audience to enjoy his music.

"Zombi"was a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military at the time. The track was a smash hit with Nigerians, so much so that it infuriated the government, setting off the vicious attack against the Kalakuta Republic, he's commune.

Youssou N"Dour - the guide(wommat)

A Senegalese singer and percussionist instrumental in shaping popular 'mbalax' music in Senegal, a blend of traditional griot percussion and praise-singing, influenced by Afro-Cuban and Haitian kompa arrangements.

Youssou N'Dour is one of the most celebrated African musicians in history. A renowned singer, songwriter, and composer, Youssou's mix of traditional Senegalese mbalax with eclectic influences ranging from Cuban samba to hip hop, jazz, and soul has won him an international fan base of millions. In the West, Youssou has collaborated with musicians Peter Gabriel, Axelle Red, Sting, Alan Stivell, Bran Van 3000, Neneh Cherry, Wyclef Jean, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, Branford Marsalis, Ryuichi Sakamoto and others. In Senegal, Youssou is a powerful cultural icon actively involved in social issues

You may already be familiar with he's music if you have heard 7 seconds a duet with Neneh Cherry

Miram Makabe - The Guinea Years

Forced to quite her native South Africa and then the US to live in Guinea Conakry Miram Makeba introduced African music to millions of non Africans singing Zulu, Sotho, Swazi and Xhosa folk songs along with the new songs of a the multi-ethnic urban townships. Her repertoire include music from other regions of Africa.

The clicks of the "Click Song" is characteristic of the Xhosa language.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo - My Dream - African Sounds

A male choral group from South Africa singing in the vocal style of isicathamiya and mbube, they rose to worldwide prominence backing Paul Simon on his album, Graceland and winning three Grammy Awards.

A fine example of their backing is The Lion Sleeps Tonight

King Sunny Ade Mo Ti Mo & Destiny

Nigerian born singer performer of popular Yoruba Nigerian Jùjú music. Its primarily he's efforts that opened up opportunity for other West African singers who followed. The rhythm of his music is easy to follow,simple beats that are gentle to the ears.

King Sunny Ade live!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

I feel





don't know why

not the man I used to be

the day edges towards twilight

and so little to show

I have become all that I feared I would be

Riding an Okada in Lagos

The quickest way to get around the city is to hop on to one of these motor bikes ridden by daredevil's with scan regard for their own mortality let alone anyone else's!

Called Achaba's up North,they are a cheap efficient transport option if one is brave enough to opt for one. A new law requires riders to wear helmets which kind of takes a bit of the spice out of it; nevertheless, still fun!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wasn't too bad

The bed's smaller, but the wi-fi is ass kicking which is why I turned down an offer for a bigger room.

I am safe in my hotel room having survived a trip from the airport - which I have to say is so much better organized and streamlined that int was last time I was here!

My only embarrassment was tipping the chap who found me a taxi - he had one of those reflecting jackets and asked if I needed a taxi, quoted me a rate which was below what I expected to pay and walked me to the car too. So I tipped him 200 naira which is about a 140 rupees. He took it, with thanks - it was a little later, not 10 minutes that the driver tells me that the guy I tipped was the owner of the damn car and that in addition to this, a new Toyota Corolla, he also owned and ran three other cars and a SUV - the bastard!

More soon!

On the road again...

"On the road again
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again,
And I can't wait to get on the road again."

And I am on the road again! Left dear Ouaga at 8am this morning for a short hop across to Accra for a connection to Lagos, Nigeria - not my favorite destination, but, I'M ON THE ROAD AGAIN!

Right this moment, on my butt at the airport, another hour or so to go before I take to the skies....

Hate arriving there at night, dont know why the bloody travel agent did not put me on an earlier flight, the bastard.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thank you Dee

I cannot NOT make mention of this posting which for obvious reasons that you will eventually discover if you bother to follow the link, I have to record as being an awesomely wonderful post!

I am particularly drawn to the description attributed to me, one which I have to in all modesty confess paints me in a far better light than what I actually am - Not that I am disputing it vigorously!

I am honored by the reference and treasure it with a smile.

Thank you Dee

Buddha Bar

My eclectic taste in music has taken me to embrace such diverse sources such as Enigma, Enya, Aboriginal, West African 'Pop" and the sort that falls into that category of 'Lounge' and 'Chill Out' music.

Of the later genre, New Age music - relax and meditation - Cafe Del Mar and the Buddha Bar music series are close to heart.

The initial BB set of music was created by Claude Challe, who was then followed by a number of others with their own subsequent compilations.

Buddha Bar its self is a NYC restaurant.

The music is the kind of stuff you wanna listen to while sipping a drink, a prelude to and during sex - which reminds me to also suggest Enigma's Principles of Lust as being awesome music to have playing too. The range is eccentric, soft gentle strains followed by the occasional techno'ish type of dance music. Overall though, its the kind of music that you can sit back to and savor the pleasures of life - friends, family, a scotch or a well made Mojito and all things made of chocolate.

Sadly Buddha Bar is banned in SL for reasons I cannot fathom, fortunately the rest of the world is a little more tolerant.

My little player has been updated - thanks to Mak's {:-) - to include some Buddha Bar.


Friday, February 6, 2009

As time goes by

The weather is changing here gradually, temperatures moving up to the mid 30's as a prelude to the months of April and May.

Been following the news from back home... and listen appalled at the crass attitude of those in the seats of power - most notably the Defense Secretary and the Army Commander. Is what the have stated GOSL's stand or are they voicing their personal opinions?

Do people actually think that the elimination of the Tigers as a force is going to resolve the very issues that gave raised to them?

Has anyone stopped to think about the people caught in between, Sri Lankans who over the last two years have seen the death of friends, families, neighbors, the casualties of this war?

In 30yrs has anything actually been done to provide a solution to the askewed policies of state that discriminated against minorities? The war may end, the conventional one for sure, but will the issues be sorted out, I think not. Time after time one politician or the other hopped upon the gravy train, launched upon an adopted stand of nationalism - read that as ethnicity, because none of them are truly nationalistic, if they were, we would not be here in the first place.

This war, this recent thrust is a desperate attempt to win over the masses, to avoid accountability for a mismanaged economy, for corruption that is beyond imagination!

Today I hear that one runner for the up coming PC elections is a man accused of statutory rape, of kidnapping and holding people against their will, a man supposedly enjoying the high life at public expense.

Is there truly not hope for our country - are there no honest politicians anymore? Instead what we have are rogues, scoundrels, thugs, corrupt immoral people with just one thought in their mind and that to line their pockets at the expense of the people who voted for them - public servants indeed! Parasites!

Alas, poor Sri Lanka