Casey looooves playing football, which is soccer as we know it in the USA. He’s like a kid in a candy store when he gets to play football. That’s good though, since it’s a really good workout and he gets to hang out with his friends. He’s played twice since I’ve been here, and it’s quite fun to watch! I’m fairly easy to entertain too, so plop me on the steps with my camera and I’m good to go.
Saturday, November 8th
Of course, the first step is getting there. Most of the “football players” stay at the designated pilot compound, but Casey and I are 10-20 minutes away at a regular hotel (depending on traffic). Usually he rides his bike to the compound, but since another pilot and I were going too, we opted to take a keke instead. A keke is this three-wheeled vehicle below. Some people don’t like riding in them, but we don’t mind. It’s cheap and fairly quick since they can go around cars in smaller spaces. We had to take two kekes in order to get to the compound that day because traffic was so bad. The highways are set up very inefficiently (in my opinion) because you usually have to go past the street you want and then make a u-turn. And when the traffic is really heavy (which is most of the time) it takes forever to get anywhere! So it was quicker for us to take a keke in one direction, get out, walk across the street, and pick up another keke on the other side instead of waiting in traffic to make a u-turn.
So this picture shows our second keke. A woman was getting out of it as we were getting in. It worked out well.
The guys play in the middle of the parking lot, and this truck was sticking out much further into the “field.” They put it into neutral and pushed it out of the way.
Warming up in a circle. Everyone is a pretty decent player too, so there are good passes and entertaining goals to watch. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment.
I like how Casey is leaning in the next two photos. Kind of funny!
Bring it in! They were tired! You can’t tell how sweaty these guys get, but it’s a lot. Trust me. Whew!
They were kind enough to listen to me and pose for a group photo! Those are the steps that I sat on to watch them as well.
We came back to our hotel and Casey decided to go for a swim. He enjoyed it!
Sunday, November 9th
We decided to treat ourselves today with good food! And ice cream! But I’ll get there, I will. First off, we walked to the end of the street, hopped in a keke, and took a 5 minute ride to our favorite store, Goodies. There is a bridge we have to cross and underneath it is a huge jungle area. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but it is deep and green and probably extremely hard to get out of.
Casey snapped a picture of me inside the keke. It’s almost fun like being at Disneyland and sitting in the two-seater cars to ride Snow White or something. Almost.
You might remember Goodies from one of my many previous posts. It’s owned by Middle Eastern people and has tons of American products that we are familiar with. Casey was thrilled to find his favorite cereal here! Basic 4! They did not have this cereal when we lived here a year ago. They have remodeled a little bit and have many new products that I would have loved to have when we lived here. Alas.
We went upstairs to the new restaurant to order lunch. Sometimes their English vocabulary isn’t the best in Lagos, so it always cracks me up to see how they spell words, such as “broasted chicken.” Is it braised? Is it roasted? Is it just spelled wrong? They have new placemats with a new motto too: “When it’s that Good, it’s Goodies.’’ It’s catchy though!
Anyway, Casey ordered a yummy frappuccino, which he usually orders at Goodies. Then we decided to try a chicken fajita (spelled “fahita”) and a “fish burger.” We were pleasantly surprised!! We’ve had chicken fajitas at another restaurant and they never come in tortillas, so it was normal to get this in a sandwich roll. The flavor was delicious though with chicken, peppers, onions, and cheese. They put mayonnaise on it which was unnecessary, but I would gladly order it again. Casey’s fish sandwich had a wonderful piece of thick, breaded fish with tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato, and sweet pickles. He could have used more tartar sauce, but the flavor was still very good. We were quite happy to get such high-quality meals! We also found out that Goodies delivers, so we look forward to ordering something when we’re back at our hotel. Nice!
After that, we walked across the street for some ice cream at COLD STONE! Yeah! You might remember that we’ve been to Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone before in Lagos, but it’s about an hour away in Victoria Island. When we lived here last year, we heard that they were opening up a Domino’s Pizza in Ikeja/GRA which was close to our apartment, but we didn’t know when it would actually open. As luck would have it, they opened up right after we moved back to the US! I was greatly disappointed, but I had to remind myself that we have Domino’s and Cold Stone in the US… so life wasn’t that bad, right. Just unfortunate timing. Anyway, Casey has been able to enjoy good pizza and ice cream for the past few months now, and he’s been anxious to take me to this location. [It’s within walking distance of our old apartment! A long walk, but still capable of walking to it. Amazing! I need to let it go that they opened up this location right after I left.]
So we came here to treat ourselves to some good quality ice cream. Yum! Casey got his favorite cake batter with brownies, and I got my favorite mint chocolate chip with brownies… mmm. We could not have been happier. I would say that it’s the little things that make one happy in Lagos, but ice cream always makes me happy in any country, so I guess that cliché doesn’t fully apply here :)
Oh and Domino’s Pizza delivers! That’s great! Unfortunately Cold Stone doesn’t deliver… wouldn’t that be grand?
I have been meaning to show you our hotel, but I haven’t taken many pictures yet. The funniest part is the staircase. We are on the third floor, so we have to go up a few flights of stairs. But it’s like a dollhouse! These are Leanna-size staircases and Casey is a giant. I don’t need to bend down at all, but poor Casey needs to be careful so he doesn’t hit his head. He said that he’s actually hit his head a few times when he forgot. It’s quite whimsical in a way because the staircases are narrow, the ceiling is low, and the stairs themselves are all different heights, so it reminds me of Alice in Wonderland going down the rabbit-hole. You never know what to expect.
While at Goodies, we found our absolute favorite candy: Sour Patch Kids! They are truly hard to find outside the US. Only this time, they were made in Britain by the brand “Maynards” and were in an unusual soda-pop flavor. Of course we had to try them. I was a little disappointed to be honest. The flavors were just okay, but not nearly as good as the original flavors. And the texture was more rubbery and waxier than we’re used to. I’m not sure why though. They weren’t passed the expiration date so I don’t know if they manufacture them differently or if it was just a fluke thing. They were still fun to try though.
I can just see my mom thinking “look at all the sugar these kids eat!” and Casey’s mom thinking “I hope these two are brushing their teeth regularly,” but I assure you both that we’re taking care of ourselves! I only blog about the interesting things like candy and ice cream, but we do eat nuts and rice and steamed veggies. But who would want to read about that? Hehe.
Tuesday, November 11th
Casey worked on Monday so that is when I wrote the previous blog post. Other than that, there is not much to say about that day.
Yesterday was more eventful because we went to The Office! It’s always a big deal when we go to the office because we have to get transport and wait around and search for people and get papers signed and whatnot. We had to go this time because I needed to get my Arik Air tickets purchased and confirmed. First, we only have one week left in Lagos before we head back to Valencia on November 19th/20th. We bought my ticket coming here which is why I didn’t fly with Arik Air, but going back I will want to fly with them to have the same flights as Casey. I needed to fill out a discount ticket form which gets me a discounted ticket, as you could infer. They’ve recently instated this discounted ticket policy so that’s quite nice for us. Secondly, I am coming back with Casey for a month in December-January, so for that ticket I needed to fill out the family travel form. This gets me a free round-trip ticket. I am entitled to one free, round-trip ticket per year.
It sounds like a fairly easy process, but everything takes longer in Lagos. We had to get the papers, fill them out, and then hunt people down for signatures. As I’ve said before, they love leaving a paper-trail in this country, and they love having management sign paperwork for no obviously important reason. We just have to get “approval” from management for these tickets, when management really could probably care less about it. I don’t know. It’s a weird system. So we spent a couple hours walking back and forth between three buildings trying to see who was available to sign or who could sign in place of someone who wasn’t there! Oy!
Finally, we got what we needed and had to go to the bank to pay for the discounted ticket. Luckily, there was a branch within walking-distance of the office. We also stopped off at KFC for lunch! We’ve been to this location by the airport’s domestic terminal many times. It’s still good for a quick, filling meal.
After we ate and paid for the ticket, we went back to the office to show them our receipt from the bank and to get a new receipt from Arik Air. Efficient, huh? It was a long process but we did get the ticket at a great price, so that is ultimately what matters. (Here I am filling out the deposit slip at the bank.)
And then… Casey’s favorite part… more football! He has a What’s App group on his phone which includes all of the pilots who care about football, so they can easily text each other and see who wants to play that day. We went back to the hotel, changed, and quickly went to the compound to join the game. Fortunately, this time we had an Arik Air driver who could take us and pick us up.
Casey had fun changing the colors and effects of these photographs.
He’s been using the same soccer ball for a long time now, and it finally had enough! The outer layer was falling apart so he ripped it off and retired the ball.
And that’s that! You are updated! Casey is working today but should return fairly soon. I’m just relaxing here and keeping myself busy. Thanks for all the recent comments as well! I love them!
P.S. I forgot to mention that the third Q400 aircraft finally arrived last week! We’ve been waiting for that plane for years, and that’s not an exaggeration. Supposedly the fourth Q400 is expected to arrive this month, so we’ll see!