Just a quick one

Hi guys,

this blog has been down for a while, and I apologise for that, in this time i have moved back to Europe and have a new blog linked to this one called ‘Life of an Oil Girl’

lifeofanoilgirl.wordpress.com

Of course i am still here answering questions regarding living as an EXPAT in west Africa and all things restaurants, bars and things to do in Cameroon. It was a great hard challenging life changing experience and if I can help anyone I would love to…

Okay I think thats it my loves, hope to see you on my other blog, where I am writing about all my travels within Europe and around the world. I am living in Vienna at the moment and will be mainly writing from here unless travelling!

Until Laters

K x

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Long Time No Speak….

Well firstly i would like to apologize for not writing sooner, I thought this blog was a flop until I was sat in a cafe and heard to EXPAT girls talking about it. So I got the strength to boot the old laptop back up and start writing again, but its that same old problem where to start? Its almost been 6 months and times and weather has changed dramatically, Douala itself has starting blooming into an upcoming place to be and Im not saying that because Im trying to sell you on the place, brand new hotels are popping up everywhere with luxury you could only find in 5 star places….with sleek marble and turquoise water that in the heat make you want to fling yourself at them! Not the mention the cocktails are great too!

I dont want to overwhelm you as so much has happen so maybe I will copy my big sister who writes an important blog and do my A/Zs.

Im sitting here at my dining room table looking over the balcony with the white veil curtains floating in the wind just as you see in the movies, there is ALOT of big birds here ALOT! they quite scare me actually. So that was A ALOT see what I did there…..Before I get started I should say I have become quite an avid TV watcher over here such as Scandal, Revenge, Once Upon A Time etc and of course Game of Thrones hence why I have BECOME quite lazy with my BLOG and going out. Cause maybe its just me and im an ultimate COMPLAINER but it gets too damn hot in the summer so midday unless you are half submerged in crystal waters of LIMBE or Kribi or even your own swimming pool is too hot! I was in the supermarket Casino the other day and my step daughter Chloe has come down to Africa just like me she is a first timer, and while on the subject of supermarkets its not only Casino now….you now have the choice of Leader Price, EcoMarche ABZ and much much more,which im sure the drivers love. P.S The veg stalls on the side of the roads are amazing dont buy in supermarkets its smaller and RIIIIIPPPPP OFFFFFF. Although sometimes you have to be careful as I had pulled up to one of these amazing stalls with my driver to buy potatoes you never seen bigger potatoes here…..wow! and this dude comes to my window and offers me grapes for the pleasure of 5,000cfa which is around 10 dollars….so i think you can guess what happened next, if you have read my blog i dont get taken the piss of!

Anyways what was I saying Dining in Douala has become amazing, for example I have found the best pizza in Douala, for reals Ill attach the link to this post, the restaurant is called Cinq Fourchettes and this pizza rivals Dominos and when you are in West Africa this is amazing!!! Bar and restaurants seem to be popping up everyday bigger and better, TripAdvisor is my best friend here and if you do ever move here it will be yours aswell. There are certain places you can stumble upon that you sit down and think you are in the middle of a big city in USA or Paris, amazing…. Even though my time is coming to an END in Africa and I thought i would never be happier to leave, as some places you never truly settle and to be honest I havent, its like a jigsaw puzzle that fits but you have to force…our next place hopefully will be a perfect fit for a lil ole singer songwriter like me! I find myself looking around me thinking myself lucky as I breath in the dusty fumes and watch the hustle of the city streets below me from my balcony or walking around that I will miss this….so FORGIVE me Douala when I FIRST got here I never truly did give you a chance you are a truly fascinating city that is slowly going to become a major hype…so on the record now I wrote this in 2014 and dont say i didnt warn you that its pretty epic.

I thought I would be GLAD to be leaving and dont get me wrong I am….not working for me and being a stay at home GAL isnt me, and probably never will be, you do depend on a lot of people here and if they let you down your STUCK but have no fear youll still enjoy experiences you will not have anywhere else….   so where are we now in the alphabet, im going to probably do this in three parts as amazingly enough I know people are still keen to read this blog, thank you again for your emails and support this year and with this blog and I hope when I start another one when I leave I hope I take you guys with me and you keep following my adventures.

Happiness is hard to find sometimes when you are in a place that you constantly see poverty and struggling, but it really brings you HOME and realize just how lucky you are, there are girls maybe six or seven begging for 50 cfa which is about 10 pence, just to be able to take home and eat or feed their sick family. They are so cute and find air conditioning and phones fascinating. Could you even put yourself in that position for a second? I know I couldnt. Chloe coming down here was a real eye opener for her and constantly gives what she can to help out the needy and the poor, Im impressed at her confidence and caring attitude as to be honest I thought she would find it scary and difficult like I did when I first arrived. So KUDOS Chloballs amazing girl, with a heart of gold, who cant bear to see anyone without…. she has overcome so much here in Africa and only been here a month.

In Douala you need to keep your wits about you in general the locals are lovely people who always smile and will talk to anyone who is willing to have a conversation, but mainly what amazes me is how INVENTIVE Africans can be, there are trucks, bikes and cars for way before i was born or maybe alot of us even reading this were born, running as smooth as a brand new cadi! They dont look like much but my parents always told me its whats on the inside right? Another awesome invention is Saneli bikes that are also Taxis in rainy season they add umbrellas and mud guards for the comfort and cleaniness of the 3/5 passengers on the back of the bike. Yes that is 3/5 passengers on a bike made for 2….but hey ho! You would be amazed at what they can turn the simplest things into to get a job done, sometimes I just stop and watch as man or woman make yet another useful tool to help them in day to day life living and working on the streets of Douala.

I know JAY walking is a big thing in the USA and you can get a serious fine, or sometime if you do it more than once you can go to JAIL. I havent physically seen the JAILS here but I have seen the JAIL trucks and the courts, its not a pretty sight, imagine when you see a truck filled with animals heading to somewhere we wont mention and you see them pressed against the chained grills of the truck, thats how the transport the people who are detained to the Judge and Jury, and believe me you smell the truck before you see it, you cant imagine what the conditions are like inside those brickwalled Jails, so what im saying is dont be getting into any trouble anytime soon guys if you are heading to West Africa…

K is going to be for Kirsten my name,,yeah I sat and thought about it K…mmmm couldnt work anything out, and anyone reading this who knows me will be like of course…self obsessed much aha! Ive been to Africa I have lived in Cameroon and lived here for a year…and you have to give yourself KUDOS as its not all rainbows and butterflies and Safaris this is real and this is as raw as it gets. So anyone coming here should know that its not easy but it can be done and not everyone can say they have been given an opportunity like this…

Limbe is a beautiful small town about a 2 hour drive from Douala depending on Traffic. In 1999 there was a volcanic eruption that made the debris travel 16 kilometeres showering Limbe and neighbouring towns like Buea and Muyuka. The eruption lasted from the 28th March 1999 to April 16th. This town to this day still has flaming rocks and a lava river passing through it. It is the great Mount Cameroon. Back to Limbe Ill get back to the interesting Volcanic eruption in M and V. Limbe is a beautiful seaside town where they take rigs to be fixed and serviced but also has some of the finest beach resorts, but all the beachs are black sand, so needless to say you get rather muddy. I went to Seme Beach for the day and its beautiful, the pool is natural lake with diving boards and a bridge over it, imagine a natural lazy river that you get in water parks around the world. You can also horse ride on the beachs and they do a lovely buffet lunch that gives you so many options you dont know where to start. So if you do move to Douala of visit leave a day out to go visit it is so amazing and a great day for familes and people of all ages.

Mount Cameroon is a feat in its own right. It looms over the small towns that surround Limbe and you can climb it but it is 16k and you stay over night at the peak, Myself, D and Chloe only climbed 2k up and down and that was tough, as it is volcanic rock leftover from the debris of the eruption in 1999 which debris travelled 16k makes it a hard and awkward climb, it certainly gave me a few battle scars and VERY sore muscles the next day but the view from half way up was insane, the orginal crater from back in the day is now a dense rain-forest which you have to cross to get to the peak, by that time after a full lunch I think I will have to return and try again another day. but if you are a fan of geology or volcanos or just enjoy a good climb, Mount Cameroon is a beautiful challenge with serious rewards and sore at the end of it, but think of it this way, once in a life time and when your done soak yourself in the clear waters of the Hotel Seme Lake!

My last letter of this post is sadly not the happiest…my N. I dedicate this post to Nairn O Donnell, Chloes brother and D’s son who sadly passed away last month tragically at 17, we travelled back from Africa to pay our respects. So Nairn you are my N and this is my dedication to you, I never knew you truly but RIP angel! Always in our hearts and minds.

Thanks for reading guys and stick around for another post soon……..

K x

Sober!…..Click here to donate!

Sober!…..

Sober for October….well what can I say. What an amazing cause! Not just for the health benefits and putting down the bottle for a good cause. It is for the people who have fought and are fighting the bitter war against this bitter twisted disease.
I dont really have a story. I have lost relatives to cancer, like one relative who passed away this summer from throat cancer, he fought a long battle and without the help from charities like this, he wouldn’t of been able to spend precious moments with his family and friends, and have the strength to carry on for so long.
My Granny has fought and beat cancer twice, what an amazing woman huh? She has always pushed me and supported me no matter what, I love my Gran and I dont know what I would do without her. She was fighting it long before we did campaigns like this one and there weren’t donations and fundraisers on such a big scale. She is my rock and such an inspiration to me, she never gave up and currently she is sunning herself in Spain. Why not? So I am giving back… this is for her, to show that there is hope even when hope is probably the last word in your vocabulary.
I am not going to beg, plead and knock your doors down, but I CANNOT promise I wont be annoying on social networks sharing this link and maybe hinting and donations. I dont have a sad story, or a sob one, but more a restoration in hope, I have watched people struggling with losing their loved ones to this vicious disease we have named cancer, and I cant imagine what it would be like if they didnt have the support of charities like Macmillan.
for some people their fate is sealed and they cant fight a losing battle,maybe heaven is running out of angels? Macmillan help people live their lives to the full and show that such a little can go SUCH a long way…so DONATE!
So guys before I bore you anymore. Please donate a couple of pounds, most of you wouldnt even think before spending money on a takeaway or a bottle of wine tonight, so you can spare a few pounds/ euros/ dollars. Just think how good your KARMA is going to be.
Every penny counts, and every penny you donate gets us all one step closer to punching cancer in the face and making sure it never gets back up.

Thanks for reading this guys. Thanks for donating….

Travelling in STYLE…..or so I thought…….

Air France has been awesome to me so far, their twitter has helped me book flights, cancel them, change them and even check in online and just help me in general. Also amazing flights..but I was so disappointed to have to write that its all changed, my opinion on AirFrance and the customer service online and at the help desks havent but the inflight experience I am about to share with you is something I hoped I would never write. This all sounds a bit dramatic but you guys know me by now so I feel I can be myself which is DRAMATIC! 

I am back in Douala after a break in London, which was amazing, stayed in some awesome hotels and saw some awesome things, I dont miss living in London after being back I realize the hustle and bustle is just too much for me and how the Londoners cope with the traffic and travel KUDOS! But I do miss Western food and I did have my fill…..anyways I am going to crack on with writing about AirFrance…

Remember guys I am doing Sober for October in aid of Cancer Research so please please donate, I know it is cheeky using my blog for help but its charity and think about how awesome your karma is going to be once you donate even a few quid o r dollars etc….so in advance I thank you so much here is the link!

https://gosober.org.uk/profile/kirstenmackay 

Just click and instructions are on the page! 

 

AIR FRANCE

 

Air France if you are reading this I apologize for having to do this, but I wouldnt be much of a travel blogger if I didnt…..

To Whom It May Concern
I am a International Singer/ Songwriter which means I travel an awful lot around the world, I am currently working out of West Africa, I also run a highly read travel blog about my adventures from working and exploring around the world.
After running for our Flight on October 5th and being stopped and searched by security causing us to miss our flight to Paris, hence miss our connection to Douala…we are now eventually home after Sky Priority changed our flights no questions asked and with a fast no charge service. What could possibly go wrong? The flight was pretty packed so we would be sitting seperatly not bad at all right, and probably some nice business man would switch with us.
We headed to yet another hotel, we had had an amazing time in London but again it does knock it out of you living in hotels, we were tired. You forget how much the hustle and bustle of Central London takes its toll, especially when you are used to West Africa.
The alarm buzzed in our ears at 5.00am the following morning and we hastily showered and walked through the tunnel linking the Hilton and Heathrow Terminal Four to check in for our flights. That was simple enough, we were told that both flights were at full capacity so we were unable to change our seats. Again no problem.
We eased through security with no issues unlike yesterday and boarded the *flight number and time* to Paris. It was boarded quickly and we were reversing away from Heathrow bang on time, with exception from a large man snoring next to D the flight was plesant. Until landing, we came in and heard the roar of the landing gear attempting to come down. About 4 metres from the ground the plane accelerated and swooped up back in to the dark skies of early morning Paris, and a bustle of activity sounded around the cabin as people looked around confused and dazed asking whats happened…after circling for about 30 mins we eventually landed. It was an aborted landing, which was exciting but it had also given us only 20 minutes to change terminals and rush to our flight, we did have time for a quick munch in the lounge before rushing to the gate, to be told it had been delayed, we walked away and kept a close eye on the screens which said it was not boarding untill 11.10, it was 10.30 we had plenty of time, or so we thought turns out they hadnt bothered to change the screens, only the one above the gate which lucky D noticed which stated it was Boarding…lucky us! This could of been more serious, we could of missed another flight due to a fault not of our own, screens need to be kept up to date.

Once on the flight *Date flight number and time* to Douala, we were seated quickly and served champange or juice, whatever you decided.
After trying in vain online and tweeting, to change our dishes from fish as for some reason AirFrance LOVE serving fish, nothing against them but they should give more options for starters. We found a stewardess who was very friendly when we told her that we dont want fish and cant eat it, then the steward came along asked if we were brother and sister, quite offended as we are husband and wife and also none of his business as it doesnt affect our appetite i found it quite rude as if we were being judged for not wanting fish like we had to give an excuse or reason.
We settled down and got comfy reading the inflight magazines and deciding what to buy from duty free. At 11am the orginal time the flight was to take off our glasses were cleared and we prepared for take off. However little did we know we were no where close to leaving Paris. D asked for another drink and we were refused being told everything was shut down in prep for take off, we assumed we would be leaving with in five ten minutes. Two and half hours later, not even a bottle of water or some light snacks, with only ocassional apologly from the Pilot and some attendants, we pushed back. However im sure the AirFrance flight attentdants enjoyed the delay as they had time to ignore the customers and giggle and gossip in the galley, only occasionally moving out your way if you needed the bathroom to which they audibly sighed as if YOU were inconviencing them!
The flight eventually pushed back and we soared to the skies starting our journey to West Africa, I was tired after the early rise and was looking forward to my full flat bed seat and a good sleep after my meal, little did I know this was going be the WORST flight I have ever had in Business Class in my whole lucky life of travelling in this style.
I kept my head phones on as the drink and food trolley approached I smiled at the stewardess as she placed a tray infront of me, with Salmon and Scallops! I leaned over to her and stated I dont eat fish, politley I reminded her that I had told the staff this earlier , she then looking annoyed took the tray back, whipped off the two plates and slammed the tray infront of me offering me bread. Now remember I had already alerted two cabin members of mine and D’s food preferences. Is there no communication? I asked for an extra bread roll and settled down waiting for my main, on the other side of me Dave was having the same argument with the Steward who had taken our complaint at the start of the flight, did no one listen to the customer? we were pretty miffed and stressed as we tucked into our bread and butter, as there were no other options for the starters except fish. Our main came which I have to say was a loevly chicken dish, I have no complaints I cleared my plate.
After the tray was cleared away I had a quick Earl Grey Tea and tried to recline my seat as I needed a good sleep so I was fresh for landing. I pressed the dial that puts your bed out full it made a sound and started going back until it made three clicking noises and started to rise back up. Great, I looked over at D and he was reclining, I was so jelaous, I asked to be moved but as the flight was so busy they couldnt, there was no more they could help, again I felt like I was the one in the wrong. So i settled in for the most uncomfortable 4 hours of my business class travels. D being a gentleman he is stayed at the same level as me, meaning we both had no sleep, the reason you pay extra for business class is so you have a peaceful comfy flight and get waited on in polite nice standard. Both D and I left the flight with very sore backs and very very tired.
I did all that I could do to make myself comfy and watched countless movies, while the other passengers slept as I shifted constantly as parts of me got pins and needles and became numb, the lights of the cabin eventually came on and they brought round snacks and offered tea and coffee, I ordered a tea and selected a cookie. I waited for half an hour as other customers got their hot beverages and snacks, still nothing. I looked down to the galley and all the stewards and stewardesses were there having a gossip and a giggle. At this point I was angry fed up and was not up for another argument. So buzzed the button reminded them about my tea and asked for a pen for my landing card, both requests were taken on and IGNORED, the staff just went back to the galley, so they didnt miss the gossip. I probably would of got better service in economy.
The only good thing I can say is our luggage arrived, being a world traveller I understand that when you have a tight connection sometimes your luggage doesnt arrive. But I was plesantly suprised after the disastereous flight that our luggage came through in one peice. So AirFrance I thank you for that! If you could address these issues above as I am a very good customer as is my husband, we would be very grateful. This was the worst flight ever, I would even go as far to say we will choose another airline to fly back with if this is not addressed as I will not pay to go through that again.
I am not one to complain, so I thank you in advance as your company has been nothing but helpful and well amazing up until this point…I am disappointed I have had to write this.

 

Until later guys x K

No Wahalas….No Trouble….

Hey guys again I am so sorry I have been so SCARCE on my blog

However the good news is that I am back, and also in the time I havent been typing my little fingers off, I have been exploring the beautiful hidden secrets of this shabby chic African city.

Firstly I will start more recently, last night we had the BEST TAKE AWAY EVER! So I found this place last week with my friend while D was away working…its called The Maraj…Lebanese owned, which is common in Douala its French and Lebanese food mainly with loads of Pizza and Pasta restaurants, but back to that later, this place is awesome. Imagine your local take away shop where ever you are in the world, I know I have readers from all over so I have to be fair. It is super clean you can see your face in the gleaming white tiles, you park just outside and walk in on your left is a sit down restaurant set up for fine dining with shisha available at every table if you carry on past the glass window and the rotassirie chickens and the fresh kebab meat rotating you will find a small cafe where they serve snacks and frozen coffee…or you can wait to pick up your take away…,, The menu is doubled sided with everything form Hommous, which is now my new favorite dish with freshly prepared Pitta to KFC Southern fried chicken. Also D is a major lover of Kebab so they cater for everyone. I am in love with the food it is all freshly prepared aswell, so you are in for a wait but it is worth it….if you want to know anymore on the subject you guys should know what to do by now, leave a comment or email me at kirstensm23@hotmail.com….

There is a new hotel that has just been opened up the road from me I am yet to explore it but it is called Starwood i think..but I will let you know more about that next weekend, as I am going Sober for October I will not be hitting bars for drinks anymore, just mocktails and waiting for the sun to come out and tannnnn! But if I am not being too cheeky Sober for October is a great cause in aid of cancer research, I know someone close to me who is fighting a long battle with cancer, so if you could spare a few pounds/ dollars/ euro/ cfa/ yen …need i go on…that would be amazing…here is the link THANK YOU!

https://gosober.org.uk/profile/kirstenmackay

I have discovered so many cute and quaint coffee shops in the different areas of the city with my friend and also a GREAT nail salon, well more a beauty parlor so ladies pay attention…It is situated down a side street in Douala, and it amazing….you are greeted by uniformed staff with name tags and taken through to a back room with comfy seperate sofas with flannels on either side….I got a gel pedicure the first time and I sat and relaxed on a big comfy chair while for 12,000 cfa they exfoliated massaged and soothed my feet and did a perfect french pedi. Its so fetch! So i couldnt resist going back to get my nails done…which again was amazing and relaxing, i felt revitalized.

I spent the weekend at Le Meridein this weekend and had a bit too much champagne, just before October please note… but now it is coming into summer all the expats are out in force and every weekend you smell the rich smoky smell of barbecues we have a really nice butcher here in Bonapriso, its French owned and perfect for all your meaty needs, and very clean, the meat it perfect Grade A, as you will struggle in certain supermarkets. Also on the subject of summer while I sit in the long await sun watching the rays bounce of the shabby walls that are now being repainted, summer here is like a fresh lease of life, all you see is people building and repainting the long damaged property by rain, everything seems to sparkle with a new light. It makes you fall in love with a city you started to doubt….and I did start to get fed up of waking up to the cloudy overkast skies…

I have to tell you another reason why I havent been blogging is because I usually do it via my phone but me and Apple have had a bit of a disagreement recently. You see I replaced my handset before moving to West Africa to be safe as I know there are no official stores…

So here is my story, I was using my new iPhone and downloaded all my apps, and was happily facetiming etc in Africa to my friends and family…then its started crashing I may note that I have not dropped this phone or put it near water or damaged it in anyway…so I think okay I will restore it and feel like a technician once I am done, it still keeps crashing, what the heck? So I contact Apple,

They were really helpful but apparently being in Africa they cannot help you, so be warned Apple lovers be prepared for a long wait if something happens to your phone, and do not trust the post here. On the subject of ios7 i know I am way behind but again being in West Africa it is taken a while to get to me, however I find they have completely destroyed Jobs vision, but making it faster and cooler in the process.

Anyways thats all from me now as I am super busy I swear my emails havent stopped today, so guys please donate to a worthy cause Sober for October…link above and also email if you have any questions or leave me a cheeky comment.

Mwah

K x

Is That A Gun????

Stretching out in my huge bed, my muscles groaned and ached with working out yesterday. Also carrying the copius bags of shopping i bought Ill bet. Then I felt it, my head….they had decided to roadworks on my brian. OUCH! 

I padded through to the kitchen to make a cup of tea..my head was a bit sore, after being out at Les Banquettes last night, where does Rose wine disappear to? I guess when you are in a nice atmosphere you dont realize that you are enjoying yourself quite that much, The security guards must of found it funny watching me swag in at 1am. 

D went off shore for a week on Monday, and I am not going to say it has been easy, before he used to leave me for months at a time, but that was in more western countries where you are not depending on anyone else but yourself. It has been difficult but also very good for my independence. I shall give you a little fact about Apple, did you know in the whole of West Africa there is not an Apple store? You know how I know this….? My brand new iPhone decided to have a software crash so I was now stuck in West Africa with no phone, no way of getting a hold of anyone and I panicked! So that’s by the by, I fixed my own iPhone by the way and it wasn’t easy…it was frustrating a lot of shouting at my computer and contemplation of throwing either myself or the phone off the balcony. But if at first you don’t succeed try and try again. On the otherhand I had a brilliant week I made a new friend who like me her husband works away alot. 

On Tuesday I went to this brilliant little coffee shop in the centre of Akwa, looking at it from outside you would not think anything of it, as the city centre of Akwa especially when it is rainy looks tired and old, the noise and the pollution of the bikes and cars pushing for rank in the ever growing traffic doesnt help the atmosphere, but TIA. I looked up at the tall skinny building squished on the corner of the busy street and turned my nose up. The security guard smiled and opened the door for us, the smell of freshly ground coffee and warm croissants filled the air of this little cafe as we took a seat on an old american style table, The menu had everything on it from Pizza to Chocolat Chaud and I was spoilt for choice. My taste buds where already guessing what I was having and my mouth was watering shamefully as I selected a Cafe Au Lait and a warm crossiant while my friend got English Tea with a Pain au Chocolat. If you closed your eyes it felt, sounded and smelt like you were in a cafe in the heart of Paris. The service was quick and put infront of me was three pots , one filled with perfect sized sugar cubes, another with steaming foamy milk and finally a a dark coffee that smelt divine. Our mugs had little napkin swans in them, all and all the presentation alone was amazing. We sat and talked away the afternoon sipping on our beverages while the sun was in a constant fight with the clouds to break through, ocassionally hitting our eyes through the skyline. This place sounds expensive right? You would think with the amazing portions we received and the service, it would be alot, this whole experience cost us 4 dollars…yes 4 dollars. Can you believe it. I had to double check the bill….

After an amazing Tuesday exploring, we wanted to go shopping and see what Akwa was really like in the day time, try to experience the hustle and bustle of day to day life in West Africa. I was invited round to lunch at my friends house I headed over there and sat down to the most wonderful Thai lunch anyone could ask for, it was amazing, im learning how to cook it next week so stay posted on how that goes. after filling our boots with chicken and soup and other Thai food we heading into Akwa to go shopping. On the way there was a huge flood and the skies opened, the only way I can describe the rain is as if someone was pouring a bucket of water over your head. The streets filed with muddy water making the traffic awful, as we drove, nearly engine deep in water I notice the homeless and street vendors on walls sleeping through the chaos as the water rose and covered the pavements and the streets. We reached higher ground and entered our first shop…MANGO…well guys you know what a shop looks like this was like any other, sales, clothes and the latest fashions waiting to be tried and bought. After exploring other shops like ZARA and PULL AND BEAR we called it a day and headed to Saga AFRICA, which apparently is the go place for anyone in Cameroon as EVERYONE knows it, its really pretty inside and out, Africa meets an urban coffee shop with gold trim lighting and comfy rad plush seats. Again the coffee was delicious…

We called our driver as it was 5pm and time had flown by, although I looked around and the whole place had changed suddenly the horns didnt sound like a warning, they were more angry and the streets had filled up with grumpy looking people pushing there way home, I didnt like the vibe and was thankful we were heading home, my driver turned to me when I got in the car and said after 5pm here  in Akwa You do NOT go here, I was like oh is it dangerous? He said yes VERY! He wasnt happy with me or my friend, but in fairness this is how you learn I guess. I was looking out the window when all of a sudden two men with guns were striding down the rode….wait was that actually a gun…? I havent ever seen a real gun before and right by the car were two big M16s… I was scared to ask, needless to say after 5pm I will not be visiting Akwa again and will maybe do some more research into where to go after 5pm. I like Bonapriso so I think thats where I will stay

Until later 

Kx

 

 

Catching up….

Stepping out my front door this morning, everything was so different, today is when Douala comes back to life. Or so I am told from the countless amounts of people returning to the city and filling their shopping baskets with goodies and trinkets for the kids to take back to School in their lunch boxes. Its not muggy anymore and its not damp, it smells different and feels different, infact as I am writing this the sun is trying to break through the clouds that have shrouded over us for months. 

Its like watching a makeover show now, every street you drive down, someone is building something or rebuilding a pavement, cleaning out the overused rain drains or painting the front of the villas and flats, repairing the damage the long rainy season has put the buildings and streets through… The vendors have doubled on the street, making you eyes catch colours you didnt think you would see again, I know it sounds dramatic and I am from Scotland, so you may think why AM I complaining about the rain? Well this is the first time it has been the same weather, dampness and rain for as long as I can remember, but it is rainy season so thats what you get. 

Driving down the road this morning on the way to get morning messages and visit some people, I noticed all the restaurants, bars and shops open with all the new selections out and people bustling down the street on the way to something important, it was a nice site as up until now you did struggle to see anything but a few vendors and some workers covering their faces from the downpour whilst jumping over the ever growing muddy puddles and moss. 

All the EXPATS are back and it is now so different, its like the whole atmosphere has changed and Douala has become busy and thriving. I am so excited now to get out and explore all the different areas that have been closed off for months. 

Anyway I had to get that off my chest, I know I haven’t been writing in a while as I have been super busy planning some super stuff,  and also well of course living day to day life here and exploring…So I do apologize for not writing, but I have a list as long as my arm to start telling you about so I am sure I will make up for it….I hope…

So as some of you know, I started to drive over here, and have decided it isnt for me, being a new driver as it is, I am not as confident and here you have to be the best. Imagine driving a tanker in Central New York or London, you have to hustle and bustle pass the blurs of rusting taxi cabs, who dont mind what happens to you as they get the pay out, the other hundred cars, plus avoiding the bikes and mopeds speeding both sides of you not looking out for themselves, of course you are dodging the looks of the people selling stuff or begging on the street, because AGAIN if you hit them…well its not good. As you can imagine. Also the horror stories D has been getting into when he has just popped out to the supermarket are enough to put me off…What I have discovered here is that your horn is your best friend, if you dont use that horn you will not be seen or noticed and you can sit at a junction all day if the traffic doesnt let up, and if you are backing out on to the street, they wont stop you just have to play dodgems. It is a real talent in itself to drive here, and the many people that do it, please give me some lessons in being more bolder, I end up looking like a deer caught in a head light and panick. Wow way to make myself sound brave and adventurous . So thats my exciting news about driving, I got my license and I CAN DRIVE, but i wont be until maybe i get the slightest bit more clue to where I am heading to, so right now it makes a lovely ornament on my living room table.

If you are wanting to know where to get the best and I mean probably one of the best take out pizzas in the area that I have found so far, head to Le Meridien hotel, although order it an hour in advance they take crazy long, I havent actually tried other fast food joints yet, but now its summer there are so many open. The pizza in Merdien is woodstone oven and the toppings are fresh, it is proper Italian pizza, I have found around here that some of them dont use real cheese or they use sweet dough which isnt as nice. You can also sit in at the hotel by the pool side where they have a BBQ restaurant… its lovely and very relaxing…

I am going to pop out and have some coffee and write more….stay tuned and thank you guys for carrying on reading my blog…

x K