Posts Tagged With: food

Wanna eat some exotic food ?

After Tania’s request, I thought I’d post this picture that dates back from my first month in Congo.

Following Tania’s suggestion (once again…  – she’s the first girl on the right), we went to some restaurant in order to eat some exotic food, which is here called “viande de brousse”. Read : crocodile, snake, porcupine, antelope, etc…

When we came in, there was a very weird smell in the air, but we decided to forget about it and get some food, as we were all hungry and curious about how tasty all of these meats were.

Unfortunately, we quickly noticed a mouse in the bread, which immediately disgusted us. We stayed in the restaurant, but we were all feeling.. hmm… fuzzy/dizzy and ill-at-ease because of this stupid mouse. As a consequence, we barely tasted the various meals, although we had paid 10000 XAF !

So I had the opportunity to taste very small pieces of snake (boa) and crocodile. I clearly prefer the latter, it was very good and actually tasted like chicken. Some of the species that were cooked in this restaurant are said to be protected, so I wonder whether I’ll ever do this again – just a matter of personal choice, I guess.

It’s definitely an experience one may try, but I assume we didn’t get in the right restaurant…

After all, that’s a kind of funny and memorable experience (thanks Tania!) that we all share. After all, it was somehow cool !

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Categories: Everyday life | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

What you think you need but don’t need to bring in Congo

Warning : This article only reflects my personal point of view after my stay in Pointe-Noire from January to July. I have no idea about the climate during the rest of the year (including the presence of Mosquitoes). Moreover, I have no medical skills, so this is in no way a medical advice : ask your doctor in any case !

Before leaving France, I have been told various stuffs about Congo, and in particular about what I should bring to protect myself from tropical diseases. Well, none of these advises were really useful. That’s why I thought I’d write an article about what you don’t need in Congo.

1. Meds against Malaria

I’ve heard various stories about Malaria in Congo. Some people say it’s easier to get sick because of it when going in the countryside, others say it’s easier to get sick when in the city, since mosquitoes may have bitten someone just a few hours ago. Unless you’re only travelling for a few days, I believe it’s not useful to take meds. I stopped taking them after two weeks, as most people working here do (I’m talking about expats). These meds are curative treatments, not preventing ones. I’ve heard they’re kinda aggressive towards your liver (Malarone). Also, they have quite a lot of side effects (apparently you can even have hallucinations because of them !). Of course there are various brands and types of treatments, so the best thing you can do is talk with your doctor.

2. Stuffs to protect from mosquitoes

There aren’t that many mosquitoes in Pointe-Noire. In my honest opinion, the probability that you get bitten by a malaria-bearing mosquito is very low. As I told earlier, I’m never taking meds nor using protections, and I haven’t been sick because of this disease in 6 months. You can open your windows (better close them before the sunset though, because mosquitoes are more present during the night) without any fear. Note that “sick mosquitoes” are supposed to be those living at night. Edit : Obviously there are some mosquitoes at night. The purpose of this article is only to curb the general alarmist comments you could find online. There’s definitely no reason to be afraid.

Obviously, you don’t really need a mosquito net either.

3. Stuffs to disinfect the vegetables and fruits

A big laugh at this. Com’on, maybe 90% of the fruits need to be peeled. The rest are either cooked or can be simply washed with clear water. I believe it’s efficient enough. I’m sure you’ve got more risk to get sick when travelling by train or subway at NYC or Paris than when eating one of these tomatoes you buy on the market.

Just make sure you’re cooking your meat enough if you buy it at the market, because obviously it’s not like in a French supermarket. However, you don’t need to be afraid of stuffs in general.

4. Long-sleeves clothes

What the hell ? Of course, if you’re planning to live next to a swamp it may be useful. And of course it may be better if you’re going into the jungle. Usual security. But you don’t need this in the streets. Even at night, unless you’re afraid/allergic/terrorized of/to/by mosquitoes

Edit : a note about malaria. I’ve been discussing with a doctor at the hospital here in Pointe-Noire, who had been doing a thesis about this disease. I’ve been explained that there are several types of malaria, and that the one present @ 99% in Pointe-Noire is the less dangerous one. You cannot get sick again and again, a few years later, if you’ve been infected once. I assume this should be confirmed, but I want to avoid situations like this : during the trip between the airport and the hotel, on my arrival, there was a mosquito in the car and I really got afraid of it. In other words : no need to be overly scared of these insects.

Categories: Everyday life | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

[D+132] – More news from the Market

Bananas, sweet potatoes (and regular potatoes underneath)

More news from the Market. I’ve just came back from some new shopping adventures. I’m not going to extensively talk about prices, but here’s what I got for 5300 XAF (EUR 8.00 ; USD 10.00; or for José 140.5 pesos). I slightly haggled over the prices, but not so much :

I was about to mention I had paid 2000 XAF for the cab, and that it was half the price of my food, but I realized I am not sharing enough information on the town itself. I mean, did you know there were plenty of cabs in the streets, and that it’s common to use them ? Did I ever tell you where the market is ?

Oh boy! I am a bad blog writer !

I promise I will post very soon an article detailing how the life is organized here in Pointe-Noire. You will know everything !

Anyways, let’s get back to the Market. I’m not going to post great pictures from it : I had brought my camera with me and people were feeling very uncomfortable, which is totally understandable. It’s like you’re coming here for holidays, and ohhhhhhhh look! there is a market let’s take pictures of this attraction. That’s not what I’m thinking when taking pictures, but that’s how many people feel it.

However, during this first “visit” to one of the most active place in Pointe-Noire, I had taken a few pictures and I had shot a stolen video, from which I extracted some low-quality images. Sorry for the bad quality.

Oh and some people are eating caterpillars. It freaks me out but I think I will give them a try if they’re well-roasted…

Categories: Everyday life | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

That Glass Of Milk

That Glass Of Milk…

Oh boy ! That glass of milk !

I haven’t been getting any Calcium intake for four months. Except a little piece of cheese, twice. Oh man, when I realized this yesterday I immediately felt the lack of Calcium in my body, in my bones.

Cheese is too expensive – let’s drink MILK ! 990 XAF (a bit more than 1€) per milk carton : the price is good. I usually hate milk alone, but this glass was so tasty and invigorating. You have no idea.

“Bref, j’ai bu un verre de lait” (pun at the attention of my French ‘fellowers’).

Categories: Everyday life | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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