Monday, March 26, 2007

Day 3 in Lagos - February 2007

Bob and I went into the office in the morning but them left at lunch to do some shopping. basically we wanted to get an idea of what we could by here in Lagos (food, electronics) and the cost of such items. The first place we went was the new mall called The Palms. In the mall there is a movie theater, a grocery store, a Walmart type store (everything from electronics to furniture to dishes), a cell phone store (Celtel) plus about 12+ other stores. There is a food court and a few restaurants.

In the Walmart type store called Game, we found that electronics are a little more expensive than in the states but we can purchase the items (TV) right when we get to Lagos as opposed to waiting for the items to arrive three months later in our sea shipment. We will be shopping for a TV, a DVD player, a microwave, a few UPSs and transformers (convert 110V to 220V).

We went into the grocery store and found that we can get chicken breasts, minced chicken or beef and pork. It is packaged very similarly to that in the US but it does not look quite as good, the presentation anyway! Many of the vegetables in the store are very expensive because they are imported. A head of iceburg lettuce is about $11. A small container of strawberries is about $6. Large potatoes are about $10/lb. Frozen vegetables are significantly more expensive and canned vegetables are 3-4 time the price in the US. We do not plan to pack too many canned vegetables because we are hoping that our steward or cook can get fresh vegetables at the market for much less money than in the store.

For lunch we went into one of the larger restaurants. It was and italian restaurant but I don't recall the name. This is the first time we really noticed the number of times the power had gone out in an hour and a half. We noticed the power outages here because there was rather loud music playing in the background that would suddenly stop as the lights went out... and then everything would start back up as if nothing happened. The place was very modern and the service was very slow, which I hear is common at most restaurants in Nigeria.

Here are some links with more info on the Palms, the new mall in Lagos.

After lunch we went to Lekki Market a market that is mostly visited by expats or tourists. There is some food, meat and vegetables, sold there but the majority of booths contain various crafts. There are tons of beads made in many different West Africa countries. I bought some wedding beads for a very close girlfriend who had recently gotten married. Congrats againg Mr. adn Mrs. Tran! I also bought some glass beads, made in Ghana I believe, for my mom and for some other dear friends that threw a going away part for Bob and I (I will write something about that soon). Thanks to Leslie, Lucy, Shelly and Yvonne! I also bought some wood carvings, carvings out of various densities/hardness of wood as gifts for another very close girlfriend Marcia and my nephews, Jake and Brody. I was a bad friend and failed to get something for Heather another very close friend... I owe her big! ; )

Lekki Market

Wedding Beads

On our last night in Lagos, we ate dinner at a co-workers apartment/flat in the complex that we will likely live in. They have a cook who is from Benin, the country just west of Nigeria and he is trained in French cooking. That night we had indian food which was prepared from a cook book and it was excellent. The flavor, the presentation and the chocolate mousse dessert was yummy! I think we got the most important tip of all that night... bring chocolate (chips and baking) in our luggage as it is not easy to find here. That tip may just save our lives!

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