Tag Archives: Craig Bellamy

Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy

That’s a fat wean you’ve got there

fat-kid4

I’m with Sam and JJ in a restaurant. A man comes in with his daughter, she’s around seven, I would say, and a little chunky. Sam says ‘that’s a beautiful daughter you have there’, the man smiles.

“Hello sweetheart! You want to keep fit, eh? Not eat so much or you will end up veeeeeery fat.”

The man doesn’t smile.

 

Foreigner top trumps

When I run in Bo, all the kids shout puh mei, which is white man in Mende, I’m told that it literally translates as stranger. In Makeni, the people are Temne so they should opoto which apparently derives from early Portuguese traders in that area. From Porto.

When you run near south east Asians, they all shout Chinese, as they seem to win the battle for rarity points.

 

I’m here all week, try the cruin cruin

Ernest Bai Koroma is temne limba so I guess he gets annoyed really quickly and then spends hours apologising…

 

Well, it is a massive imposition

I hate when people in work make a massive deal about asking for something really small. I feel like saying, come on guys I’ve been here for six months surely you’ve worked out by now that I’m not a total dick.

Mister Sow comes into the office, I love Mister Sow he’s a really funny guy. Mister Sow at a police roadblock is just amazing, slowing down then shooting off shouting ‘fuck off’. It’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. He’s asking if he can put a water in the fridge and asking it like it’s a really big deal. Why don’t you take a cold one out of the fridge instead. ‘Oh, thank you Mister Gareth, thank you so much.’

Come on guys.

 

Chinese whispers

An activist of the environmental action

I went to Makeni with Sam and our Provincial Salesman, I, Jospeh Jenewai. They came to cheer me on but slept in. Sam said that he saw someone that might have been me, but in my wildest dreams I wasn’t going that fast that you wouldn’t recognise me.

Anyway, I do like Joseph he’s very typical of salespeople that I’ve met pretty much everywhere. But, even so, I do like him. Gift of the gab. Standard in his line of work.

He started telling a story that he had heard on the BBC News the day before, I was only half listening but I heard something about a monkey protesting in the UK, which isn’t impossible I guess, in a zoo, throwing stones, surprised it made the news all the same.

Then I heard him say that it had set fire to itself.  It had got itself some fuel and…

I’m sure that this was all completely unconnected to the previous day’s news that a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka had self-immolated in protest at the killing of cows.

 

Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy

Hi, I’m John

Hi, I’m Gareth

Oh, you’re the guy that got his head burst open at the Gaelic football!

Really? Still?

 

A beginners guide to eating monkey…and human.

monkey stew

 

Sam’s not a man to make a wahala

I’m going to see Fanta because she had something to eat and then she drop.*

Was it something that she ate?

Well, either that or she’s pregnant.

 

* Was sick

 

If it takes one man an hour to paint the fence, how long would it take two men?

One hour.

Louise comes round the house and cooks and cleans for us while we’re at the factory. She comes round for asks us what we want, takes the money for the ingredients, does the shopping and cooks dinner.

All very nice.

Whatever you ask for the ingredients cost 30,000 leones, OK we’re not painting from a very broad palette here but even so there must be some price variation. Surely.

Especially when there’s a variation on the number that she’s cooking for…

So, I’m just on my own I ask for jollof rice. 30,000. But it’s just for me. Lemme say 25,000. But it’s just for me, Louise, I can go to a restaurant and get a plate of fish and rice for that. 25,000.

Which is exactly what I do. Country Side. Fish and rice. By the pool. Lovely.

And that’s fish and rice, groundnut and cruin cruin are only 7,000 in there. And only 4,000 at Palamino, where I could definitely go as I haven’t yet used up all the antibiotics that I brought over.

I just don’t get it, obviously there’s a little bit of creaming from the top, but surely by not being reasonable you’re killing the goose.

Now if it’s only two in the house we don’t bother asking her, next stage is to replace her with someone who can cook for less than it costs to go to a restaurant.

 

What were you doing ten years ago Sam?

Always worries me that when Sam meets a friend in the pub he greets them by shouting “SOJA”.

 

Zen burgers

All the white people eat at Sab’s. It’s a small café that sells European and Lebanese food- schwarma, falafel, burgers, fried chicken that sort of thing. Most importantly it’s air-conditioned to a fridge like temperature and has a toilet that actually flushes.

I try not to go too often, it’s not expensive but within my slightly fictitious budget it is- a really large burger that has loads of coleslaw and chips in the bun is 20,000, so that’s less than five bucks, less than three quid.

But if I’m having a frustrating day and I’m over heating sometimes I just feel the need to leave my oven like office get on a bike and treat myself.

My standard order is a falafel, a vanilla milk and changing the channel from the WWF or a movie to Al Jazeera. It actually feels like my little bubble of calm.

And if that isn’t the name of a really shite book it certainly should be.

 

Go on then, just a little one

People keep trying to get me to try the monkey soup (stew), apparently it’s a really sweet beef (meat). I’m quite tempted but I’m definitely not doing it. Not quite sure why, is it endangered round here? I’m not sure. Is it because they’re cute little guys and a little too much like us? I can’t answer that either.

I guess I am tempted.

But not quite tempted enough.

 

Sole food

There’s evidence that a lot of humans were eaten during The Great Leap Forward. What seems even more tragic was that there were cases of people eating their own families. Nan’s popped her clogs get a fire going, that sort of thing.

Anyway, the story goes that the real treat is the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

In case you were ever wondering…

 

Play till it gets dark…

Match fixing

Played football with the lads on my street. It’s not exactly a ‘true’ surface and I fell over pretty early on  (5 seconds in) trying to execute a Ronaldo style step over. There was quite a few people watching and there was a bit of a silence as people weren’t sure how the puh mei was going to react to having a bloodied knee. Someone even popped over with a scrap of paper to clean it up.  Not much good but I appreciated the sentiment.

Later found out that they reason that so many people were watching was that they were gambling on the game. I was told it was 500 Leones per goal but I couldn’t work out exactly how the gambling was working- next goalscorer?!- anyway I’ll make sure that I try as hard as I can next time.

Might even have a wee flutter myself…

 

Back to my youth

When I was young I used to cross over to the park and play ‘til it got dark. I was fifteen minutes away from repeating this little childhood episode when the ball went down a hole and we couldn’t get it back.

Eh, Bo!

 

Scouting for boys

The Craig Bellamy Foundation is quite a big charity over in Sierra Leone. Sadly there’s a bit of a conspiracy theory that he’s doing it with the ulterior motive of making money from the kids down the line. He’s surely not.

My understanding is that he came over with a friend some time ago and was so moved by what he saw that he resolved to help. He pumps millions of pounds of his hard earned into an academy where kids from the age of 12 go and get properly fed and educated as well as getting top level football coaching. The first graduates should be joining clubs in the Sierra Leone league this season if they can ever get it started.

This is the time that they choose the next batch and I went to see some under 12 games with a local lad that works for the foundation. I think I unearthed a future star as well; he hadn’t been scouted before but he was calm and composed on the ball, beat a man lovely and took a good free kick. I’ll find out in a few months if my scouting is up to par when they decide who gets the much coveted places.

 http://www.craigbellamyfoundation.org/

My dad claims he played in wellington boots, I don’t believe it

The under 12 leagues in Sierra Leone feed into the Craig Bellamy Foundation, the teams seem well organised and have proper coaches. They play 8 a side games on half pitches and get a decent crowd watching. The teams mainly have decent kit (although one team’s goalkeeping top was a Spiderman pyjama top!) and most of the boys have either decent football boots or help salone boots.

However, one of the little boys played in jelly sandals with socks under so I spent the game really hoping that he would score a goal.

 

It’s nice to feel safe

So, the guy at the nightclub door’s got a machine gun that should make me feel safe.

Right?!