Saturday, September 23, 2006


I am convinced that one of the main drivers of success in the 21st century world is the spirit of competition. It could be the desire to do better than one's neighbour/colleague, the desire to earn to more than the competition; whatever it is it is more than just about an individual, it has to do with humans being social animals.

Without that spirit, only a very small percentage of people would do extraordinary things. It is my belief that the majority of people would be more or less satisfied with whatever mediocre result they achieve if they did not have the information that someone else once did better to drive them.

Although competition can be dangerous if it not tempered by a reasonable mind, I sincerely believe that one of the main drivers of innovation is competition. And of course it is rightly said that necessity is the mother of inventions, but that is a whole new topic.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sushi mania or how to enrich your life......

I LOVE SUSHI. I just love the taste of the salmon smothered in wasabi and ginger, and the Sushi rice, yummy!!!! I first had real Sushi (by that I mean non-vegetarian Sushi) in 2004. Before then, I had once or twice had a cucumber Maki. The raw Sushi had a certain fascination for me, but I was fine with it being eaten by other people. Just not by me. Then I went and moved abroad, and adventurous as I have always been, things got out of my control. And so I found myself at dinner with Joe and family, and guess what a rare treat they had ordered for us - real Sushi. Okay, its probably not fair to sound like an innocent, I also like red caviar which convinced most of my African friends that I was from another planet. It was not all bad though; they always brought me any caviar they received as gifts, ensuring that I had a steady supply without necessarily spending too much money on my bizarre taste. Its probably a good thing that I do not live in America, because I also love Pate, and I just read a few weeks ago that restaurants all over the US were banning the product due to cruelty to ducks by those barbarian French people (oh puhleez, I bet its only because the French do not support Bush's war in Iraq). So, anyway, back to my gist, since we were on a visit, I decided not to complain too much and just eat as little as I could get away with (that comes from the ethics of not wasting food which my darling mama drilled into me mercilessly). I started off with the cucumber and avocado Sushi, delicious. Then I decided to be more adventurous and so I took tentative bites of the Salmon Sushi, and, surprise, surprise, I liked the taste. Then I tried the shrimp Sushi and found it not bad at all. The caviar Sushi was also very nice. Surprised that it tasted so nice, and feeling smug with myself for having tried at all, I thought that was the end of my Sushi adventure. Na so Sushi hunger come grip me at the beginning of this year o. I vaguely recollect it being as a result of reading Marian Keyes Sushi for beginners. All of a sudden, that Friday evening after work, I dragged CK. to the local Sushi bar. It was so nice that we went again and again, and the rest, as they say, is history. Now I know all the names, Sake Nigiri, Sake Maki, Tempura Maki, and Shashimi etcetera, etcetera. They already know CK and I at the local Sushi bar as it has become one of our favorite places to go on Saturday morning for brunch. The only funny part of this whole issue is that the only Nigiri Sushi I enjoy is the Sake Nigiri(which is Salmon topping atop vinegary rice). I have tried other types, but they just don't taste as good. This obsession is so bad that no week is complete without my eating Sushi at least once. I even had a Sushi dinner for my dearie and I, and I am proud to say my Sushi didn't taste half bad- and at a fraction of the cost. I'll let you into a secret though - these types of obsessions come and go with me quite often. I have been affected with Plov mania, Lamb Shahi Korma mania (it was so bad that I borrowed cookbooks and tried unsuccessfully to recreate the taste), Tarte FlambĂ© mania, Akara mania, Pelmeni mania, Puff puff mania, Russian Pancake mania, Doner Kebab mania, Pate mania, to name a few, over the last few years. Even listing them all has exhausted me, whew! What a good thing it is that there is so much more food to discover out there. My Sushi mania has been the most expensive of my food related manias though. I can't wait until my body decides it has gotten enough, so I can move on to a cheaper mania, like... Gari mania! Oh, I forgot, I'm in Europe and Gari is almost as expensive as Sushi here. Oh well, maybe I’ll be lucky and crave bread next.

Seriously though, I do not know why I am prone to manias. Take my book manias for instance, I have almost every Agatha Christie book published, and have read/bought practically every Anthony Trollope book I could lay my hands on. Okay so, I should not compare these two writers, yet, that exactly illustrates the illogical nature of my manias. Once it catches me, it is like a fever attack and it takes a while before I can act rationally.

The only thing I have found is that every single one of my fixations has enriched my life in ways I could never have imagined.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Coming out

Admit it, when you read the title of my blog, you thought I was gay and coming out.
Sorry to disappoint you, the thing is, I am actually a Yoruba girl, who has never quite fit in. Although I grew up in Nigeria, with some brief interludes in the U.K., I have always had a different outlook on issues. I am Christian pentecostal, without liking all the noise and asheju of the typical Naija Church. I love hymns, probably due to my girls only Anglican school education. I love Bach, and will go to the theatre whenever I get the opportunity(schlepping some poor friend or the other along), and I think Pushkin is cool. I like people who look nice and when in the mood I can really make some effort over my appearance, but most of the time I just cannot be bothered, as long as I am clean and neat.
Apart from that, I think I am polite to a fault- which is not standing me in good stead in this "step-over-as-many- people-as-you can-as-long-as-you-get-what-you-want-world". I do not like b.s. I prefer people to say it like it is, no pretence, which is not a very helpful trait if you are Yoruba- we have the reputation of being the most diplomatic people you can imagine.

Since I am normally one who shies away from change, I have amazed myself with how well I have adapted to living outside Nigeria. Yet, I am still as Yoruba as I ever was. How can there be two different mes? Or am I just a normal person in the 21st Century? In this century where because the world has become a global village, we grow up exposed on an amazing level to different viewpoints and cultures. Although maybe its more right to say I am a product of the eighties and nineties, because all young Nigerian kids seem to be exposed to nowadays is hip-hop, an over-dose of insincere religion and materialism on a whole new level.
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