At first these things are hard to get used to, but you start to develop a taste for these things. For example, I now find pintard meat (guinea fowl) be better than chicken meat, given the option between the two, I would take the pintard meat over the chicken. The flavorless igyam pille has now become my favorite dish; there are weeks that all I want to eat is igyam pille morning and afternoon. It is all about the sauce, the sauces here are AMAZING; using simple ingredients like tomatoes, onions, piment (peppers), local spices and greens, women prepare the ingredients in a large pot and they slowly simmer the sauces in charcoal fire for hours, then they add cooked meat or cheese. The cheese here deserves a whole article to itself; the cheese is made by semi-nomadic cow herders that travel throughout West Africa. Their faces are heavy with scars or tattoos, they have similar thin, long facial features, they are tall and skinny, and they don’t really socialize with anybody outside their group, to say the least they are very mysterious. But they make the best damn cheese I ever had anywhere in the world. Known as wagasi, these strange red circular mounds that can be found on the side of the road infested with flies or on top of a woman’s head who walks around town selling cheese. There are so many ways to prepare the cheese and after placing it in a simmering sauce for an hour it is to lick your fingers for, literally. For a quick fix, rice and beans are staple foods that can be found just about in every corner, but taste and the way they are prepare greatly varies and of course every plate comes with a fiery red sauce. Fruit is seasonal, so when it is mango season the streets are littered with people selling huge, sweet, delicious mangoes, there are also papayas, oranges, melons and pineapples.
When I first got to Africa I thought I was going to loose weight being out in sun, riding my bike throughout town. Yea right, I have actually gained weight, do you know what some people started calling me? Le gros, the fat one.