It’s that time of the year again.
Your usual roadside traffic is going to be interrupted by the addition of something more sinister and less filling than the typical chapati/rolex, somersaulting chicken or chewy meat hybrid that purports to be from a form of livestock but is easily the lovechild of PK/Big G and oil left over from frying meat.
Brace yourself for bright lights and mabati installations that almost rival floodlight rugby or the ambience of an up and coming prophet/evangelist’s fellowship in a tiny field…
It’s nsenene season.
Grasshoppers are not for everyone. Not many people can fathom the appeal that lies in crashing down on a hapless hop-less hopper mere seconds after looking at its pleading face – (“Please human, I have a family counting on my hoppity hop tendencies to get by. . . have mercy, don’t eat a bread winner”)
Fewer still are excited by the prospect of having grasshopper sting stick out from between their teeth. (Is that a toothpick in your mouth or are you just happy to see me?)
However, on the other side of the spectrum lies the lot that would have no qualms about moving about with their mouths open hoping to grab these insects mid-flight.
That said, here’s a quick intro to the world of this, er, delicacy.
If one is going to go the way of the nsenene, one must catch and kill these little guys.
You can do this yourself by lying in hiding like a knock-off predator and jumping your prey as it makes its way to grasshopper proggie or wherever they tend to be going, but that also means you need to put the poor thing out of its misery.
You need to be humane about it, after all, you’re not a monster, just a person that’s going to eat it, so it might be better if you smack it on the side of the head instead of subjecting it to reruns of the early editions of Be My Date.
Once your meal-to-be is ‘not with us’ anymore, you will want to choose what you want to keep. Hoppers are not cows, so you won’t have the benefit of skinning the damn thing and using that for something (there are some dodgy looking shoes out there, so I could be wrong), you also can’t do much with their legs and antennae…
So you’re probably better off thinking back to those lessons in school where they said the main parts of the insect are the head, thorax and abdomen and ditching everything else the teacher couldn’t be arsed to teach you about.
At this point I’ll gloss over the cooking bit because any one of the chef types I’m friends with will likely call me out, “You forgot to mention that you should let it sit in Apple Mustard Marinade first then glaze it with teri-yucky… oh, you could also sauté some garlic and…”.
So let’s just hop on to the eating bit.
This is where it gets a bit messy. Yes, this part. Killing the grasshopper and dismembering it was a walk in the park compared to what you have to deal with next.
Now you have to stare at this thing dead in the face and prepare to eat it. That’s right; the victim comes lifeless face to hungry face with its murderer.
You’ll know it’s dead and looking down at you from grasshopper heaven, but when your eyes meet, that won’t matter. It will be like peering into an abyss, losing yourself in the guilt of it all, knowing that you ended a life that was so full of promise and hope.
People probably sang to your snack, “happy birthday, may you live to blow one candle” and you got in the way ike a Boda-Boda guy at the Shoprite – Lugogo traffic lights.
Looking at it looking at you Will. Mess. You. Up
… or not. I mean there’s no accounting for people’s consciences anymore, have you been to Twitter lately?
Having established that you really have no soul after all, you are now ready. Throw that little guy in your mouth and revisit science lessons with every chomp…
This story starts with aches and pains.
These can be attributed to tossing and turning through the night, but I don’t know for sure that’s what happened. You see, since I read somewhere (one of those stupid Google results you MUST never open when you’re sick) that it’s safer to sleep on one side over the other because it does things for blood circulation, I’ve tried to stay put when I lie down. It’s friggin’ uncomfortable, but hey… Continue reading…
“Don’t mess with Texas”. I’m not sure where I heard that, or who said it, but there’s something about the line that just sticks with you. No other state/country/locale invites you in a threatening manner. Heck, even France that would be perfect with the “F” word doesn’t let you in with a “don’t fiddle with France” declaration. Continue reading…
Here’s the thing. Ugandans are more willing to look the other way than most people. You can put this down to our friendly demeanor or our desire to make a quick buck… In any case, if it’s the money thing, it kind of makes it easy to smile and drop a hint, “isn’t there ANYTHING I can do to make this go away”. At this point the person on the other end of the conversation will look around and ask you to buy them a soda… or hand you a cream for that pesky STD. Continue reading…
When is jet lag not jet lag? This is not a self-existential inquest. For a couple of hours (say about 72-96 give or take) this really bugged me. I hadn’t bothered reading up on jet lag initially because; Continue reading…
You know what’s misleading? Bloody New York City weather in November. As I was approaching the airport exit, the sunlight came streaming through. Naturally, this would suggest warmth, heat, not cold… you get the idea. New York’s weather didn’t. Continue reading…
It’s possible that, up until this point, the biggest airport I’d encountered was OR Thambo in South Africa. Abu Dhabi wasn’t as straightforward to get around- I put this down to its size. It’s also probable that I’m just crap at finding my way around places, but I will not be the guy that fuels that stereotype. Continue reading…
“You sure you still want to come?”. My cousin’s message stared up at me from the cellphone I’d placed next to my suitcase.
As I continued my last minute packing, an angel and devil on shoulder exchange was in full swing. “Dude, you paid twice for a visa. Do you really want to back out now? Oh and let’s not forget the ticket” “Yeah, but is money really more important than life… than family?” Continue reading…
The queue shows no signs of letting up anytime soon and every time they let people into the voting area… they never return. That’s doing nothing for my confidence. Is there a parallel universe beyond that barricade? Does it have a revered lion with Samson’s hair predicament? How about tigers and bears? Oh my… Continue reading…
Alright, listen up.
I’m only going to say this once. It’s way too hot and repeating myself will likely take its toll, I will not cave to your “I beg your pardon” and “come again”… no repeat no surrender.
Tomorrow is D-Day, the day we march to the polling stations, dip our fingers in ink with the hope that soiled thumbs move mountains.