Friday, November 16, 2012

Se ko si ero ni?

Jewy has a craving for moi-moi.

I proposed the two solutions I know: we need to get a more powerful blender to blend the soaked beans, or use the moi moi powder from the African food store.

Jewy: se ko si ero ni?

Me: huh? Ero ni bo?

Jewy: Ni adugbo Lilac

Me: Ni bo lo ma wa?

No Jewy... we can't dash down to Tejuosho market to get our beans or pepper ground... ko si ero :-)

Friday, November 2, 2012

peppersoup craze

I am really getting frustrated with the food here but the good thing is a disadvantage tips you into innnovation. I started this week with hot dog peppersoup, today ground turkey peppersoup. At this rate I might just include pizza peppersoup ooo.

Trip to the thrift store

Hey hey everyone! Just a week ago an American lady opened my eyes to the BK (bend down/bo si koro) side of America. I was told of this place that had great prices for everything and I innocently followed a friend. On getting there I couldn't find tags on the items and it dawned on me YE! Yaba ojurin. She looked at me and I guess, felt a little embarrassed “Oh I didn't know you weren't into stuff like that”. I caught myself quickly and said “Oh I am so into it, just haven’t found the right size”. After 2 hours of “OMG this is Vintage!” I walked out of the store with …………………. (not telling), no regrets sha.  So have you ever shopped at a thrift store? What was your experience?

The Land of Do-It-Yourself

Apologies for the break in transmission.

I've been preparing for a research conference, and then travelling home to Lagos, Nigeria to see one of my closest friends from undergrad get married. (While I was gone, Jewy was getting traumatized by well-meaning new friends taking her to unexpected shopping destinations. She's in recovery.) After two weeks in the land of guguru and epa, I'm glad to be back in the land of "milk and honey". Too bad it's also the land of Do It Yourself :-(

For the past few days, despite the fact that I have been sick, I've had to drive myself (reluctantly) everywhere to run my errands, prepare and/or order my own meals, wash my own dishes, and pay a ton of bills, since it's month end. Last week Saturday I left my room and returned an hour later to find that my sister's steward had switched out my sheets to be laundered and made my bed. In contrast, by the end of the day tomorrow, I'm pretty sure my sheets will be in the same crumpled state that I'd have left them in the morning, and I will be the one huffing and puffing as I lug them to the basement to wash. Don't be alarmed - I'm not lazy, and I've been happily doing all of these myself for the past few years. It's the very fact that I'm so unaccustomed to such "luxury" that makes the return to reality all the more jarring.

As with all things America, coming back is always a bittersweet experience. I'm glad to have the rule of law and not have to pay sketchy, negotiable fines based on arbitrary rules of where a parking zone ends, but I miss my siblings, nieces and nephews, and friends. I'm glad to have my bed and house back, but I will miss my sis-in-law's moi-moi and the general state of having older siblings present, to whom I can present random requests that I would normally take care of myself (otherwise known as, mo ma n yo si won l'orun). I'm glad to no longer be hot and sweaty (and getting at least two shades darker, as Jewy gleefully pointed out) but I have to steel myself against the cold once more.

I'm glad to be back, but I'll always miss home. After all, it's the only place where I'm not regarded by the government as an alien - be it resident for tax purposes or not.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I have been living here for nine years, and I had never heard of Gira. Then Jewy appeared (lol) and brought with her this amazing new innovation.

Gira is basically Bisquick powder made like Ola-Ola poundi.

Yes, you read that right.

/* Bisquick is a baking mix. Most people associate it with pancakes and waffles. It can also be used for pies, tarts, dumplings, cookies, you name it. Nigerians now use it as okele. :) */

It has completely revolutionized okele in this house. We're out of pounded yam? No problem, we have Gira. Not in the mood for Eba? No problem, Gira it is.

It tastes a bit sweeter than Semovita, and so far there are no side effects that I can tell. (Plus, I googled side effects of putting Bisquick to unconventional uses and as long as it's cooked we're good).

We actually even got our city's resident catering-practical, Analista, who refuses eat okele, to try it last night. She finished it before we heard a single word on its texture and consistency... and that's saying a lot.

So if you've not tried Gira, head out to your neighborhood Giant, Giant Eagle, HEB or Costco, and get yourself some Bisquick. It goes great with efo riro, efo elegusi, ogbono, and we're about to try it with ila!

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist and you're OYO with any side effects you may experience, such as knocked-out-ness and weight gain. One serving of Gira might take up to half of your day's allotted calorie limit. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Anger Mgt

I have to admit I have never been to one of those sessions where they tell you to breath in out, uuh aaah, aah aaah and all will go away. I think it depends on how messed up you feel about something. I have tried one though , its fast, cheap and effective.

When i feel slighted and cant get it out, for fear of blow!, resignation!,e.t.c. I just quietly wait till its late, entice them to my dreams and thrash the hell out of them. I wake up in the morning feeling, boo ya! thrashed you yesterday and u were such a helpless

Let me know if this works for you! Just don't kill anyone, contain yourself!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Who's the workout junkie now?

Jewy woke me up this morning with the heavy bass and strong beats of Jillian Michael's 30-day shred.

At the crack of dawn. "Move. You have to work off those calories. You can't just take the stairs! That is a false message of lethargy" Jillian was yelling. I could not believe my ears.

I had been up from 1.00 till like 3.30am, so I just wanted to sleep a little more. So of course, I sent her a BBM to turn it down. Which she didn't notice till she was done half an hour later. Or so I thought.

Apparently I am a text addict for sending the message instead of leaving the comfort of my warm cozy bed.

I'm working out at 1.00am tonight. Right when she goes to bed and is ready to sleep.


Text addict

I think Owumi may require a text grant at this rate or possibly we may need a telecom mast soon in the house.

So I wake up this morning to get my blood pumping a little faster with a lil help from Jillian. In all that chaos, all the moral support I could get from my  roomie was a bb msg saying, "Pls turn that down, I hate you!!" How inspiring, I am happy she got punished cos unknowingly  I turned it higher for motivation.

Next time you have an important message, ERUPT from your bed and say it! We are in the same house, u american!


I love people of all cultures but I think I haven't found favor with some of them.

Especially the ones who may make future airplanes out of bamboo.

Got on the bus today only for this guy to grace me with his natural Paco Rabonne concoction  I tried to dodge but it was too late. This terrorism went on for a while and I'm sure I acquired a few wrinkles before getting off the bus.

This is happening the second time just from these folks and now I am apprehensive they might be onto me. Anyone with skills on how to dodge unwanted fragrances, Pls save me!!!!


Jewy has discovered online shopping. Ebay, Amazon,

Since she moved in, we've been getting packages pretty much every other day. Phones, phone parts, shoes, boots...

Today she graduated to online shopping 201: she discovered online shopping returns.

I bet I could charge some shoes to her card and she wouldn't even notice the difference. Hehe.

Jewy on Stroke

"My professor had a stroke and is in critical condition" said Jewy

"Oh wow. What causes strokes?" I asked innocently

"It's a bunch of factors"

She pauses.

I roll my eyes. Doctors are sooo annoying. "Just give me a straight answer"

"You want me to break it down for you? Okay. Cerebrovascular accident something-something gibberish blood vessel clot burst. It's not just one thing. It's multifactorial. So if for example someone had hypertension balderdash gibberish different from aneurysm something something"

"Never mind"


"Assignment mi po bi aso-ebi" - Jewy


"Oh my God! I bombed my first exam! I am so sad!"

Jewy came in from school wailing about her exam today.

"Eyaa pele." I said. "How bad was it?"

"I got X." She names a score that is an A-.

Pause.  Errr...

"What was the average?"

"Y" She states a B- score


The Marine

Ok yea there is a marine male man in my class that feels the need to share his thots aggressively every time  Even the lecturers shudder at his wealth life experience(eyes rolling!). Then I get delusional enough to ask him to work with me on a group project. Looking shocked, he said with the deepest baritone " Oh yea Sure, we ll talk about it in class", slightly intimidated, I happily replied see ya!

Days later he practically erases me out of vision and I could swear he had never seen me before from his blank look. At this point I am so confused.

I tell it to Owumi and she pleasantly says "welcome to America" (helpful roommate).

Please I believe you guyz are more helpful and can tell me what may be going through this veteran's mind.

America 101: Customer Service

I spent two hours and fifteen minutes on the phone with Customer Service. I daresay living in America is 50% dealing with customer service.

Soooo annoying.

Airline charged card for flight, but does not supply confirmation number. Bank says can not drop pending transaction unless Airline supplies merchant authorization code. Airline does not have merchant authorization code because charge did not go through on their end, and wants Bank approval code. Bank does not have an approval code because charge is still pending.

After calling each one back and forth, I finally got them to talk to each other on three-way. They must have a secret customer service people language, because finally some kind of code that showed up on both ends can now be used to send an authorization to drop off the charge. Airline started working on it, kept checking in with me every 5 minutes for 50 minutes and telling me to stay on hold... then my phone died.

My head hurts. That's all I can say.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Polite Stinker

Can't believe I just got schooled by an eccentric TA. One minute she was commending me for great ideas , the next I get a mail telling me to indirectly to get my priorities right before time and not bother her with questions. I had to re-interpret the mail in Yoruba to get the real picture.

 In my head: Oyinbo with tribal marks, clapping her hands and  saying " e gbami lowo sesede, aye e ni mo wa ni? Jo kuro lori email fun mi, Nonsense!!"
Yes! I gave her tribal marks that made me feel so much better.

9.00am shopping

Jewy came into my room this morning to ask for my opinion on black winter boots.

I gave my opinion.

She proceeded to stay another 41 minutes browsing through shoes, her laptop on my leg and bed, talking to me while I tried to make it obvious I just wanted to be left alone before I had to go to class.

Make that 44 minutes. She's still here.

Introverts unite. Extroverts, aaargh.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Osan wewe ati eja

Today my roommate came home with a new cookbook, 400 calorie fix:

I was ecstatic! I gained 15 pounds over the last three years that I've been trying to drop off, and she has some weight loss goals as well. I flipped through it as we ate our lunch of jollof rice, bananas, beef, grilled chicken and iced tea - at least 1000 calories.

"This is an amazing book!" I said. "I am so excited! Look, I found something we can do with the rest of our tilapia! Lemon-oregano grilled tilapia with parsley rice!" Earlier in the week, I had achieved a personal milestone of getting Jewy to not pick off the chopped red pepper on our mediterranean herb-encrusted tilapia dinner with oven roasted potatoes... and she had liked it! So I thought she'd be excited about this new tilapia recipe too.

"Osan-wewe ati eja" said Jewi "Mo ti ra trouble wa le o!"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Potato like yam

Owumi accused me of peeling potato like yam. 

In my defense, we don't have a potato peeler. 

In her defense, a potato the size of a tennis ball became the size of a golf ball after I finished peeling it. 

"Ma ge bi is u o" she said. "O n ge bi isu! Ye ge bi isu!" 

Errr... yeah. I had no idea what she was talking about. 

Work out junkie

"Jewy! I'm tired! I can't feel my legs! I think this is really too much for beginners. I need tylenol. I may stop this class"

Twenty minutes later: 

"Day 3, done! Woot woot!" 

Who does that? 

She says she's trying to lose weight. I think she's just addicted to working out at this point.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Engineering and Public Policy

My roommate takes the "public policy" portion of her major soooo seriously. 

She's always on CNN, cracking up on Colbert Report, yelling at Fox News. Even when she's supposed to be asleep (See American mode below)

I think she thinks she's Michelle Obama. Or at least related to her somehow. 

American tout

This morning, I dropped off Jewy at the megabus stop for her weekend trip to DC. We were early, but I had to be back by 10.30am for my cardio & sculpt class. So, my driving style was a bit... motivated.

At one point, after yielding for a line of cars that wouldn't let up, I hit the gas and merged quickly before the next one (which was still quite far away) got close.

"Omo ita to wo short knica" sang Jewy "American tout."

Yes, I was wearing gym shorts at the time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple and Yam

Today I made a side salad to go with our dinner - lettuce, tomatoes, apples and a raspberry vinaigrette.

Jewy ignored it.

Later she accused me of not eating any apples. I told her I had - in the salad that she had ignored.

"Pasko" said Jewy. "Ewo ni ti ewe? By the way, this your American Apple. It's hard like yam."


That actually, is so true. I've hurt my gums biting into macintosh apples here before.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


My roommate stays in the shower for at least an hour.

She says her actual shower is like 25 minutes, but still. What is she doing in there?

I'm pretty sure her skin is semi-cooked, from the length of the shower and the temperature of the hot water. I pray not to smell barbecue from the bathroom one day. Please say Amen if you love Owumi.


Today, my roommate decided that my name is Eyi-doubleeee-yu (think naija pronounciation of W, to rhyme with Banky W ie do-mi-re-re-mi) or Yomu Yomu (mosquito in Yoruba, ie do-do-mi-mi, instead of Yumi)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

American mode part II

My roommate often goes in her room, closes the door and falls asleep super early. Or she says she's asleep. Who knows? I wonder if she falls asleep or just locks her door. I call this her in "American mode." 

When she's close to coming out, she stops being quiet. 


"I'm asleep"

That usually means, "Yes, come in". "I'm not here" also means the same thing. 

American Mode

Last night I was feeling a bit blue, so I went to bed at nine pm and shut my door. I didn't exactly hear my roommate come in, but I didn't not hear her either :D

She said my name once, paused at my door, and then went into her room.

Cut to this morning, 9.00am. She obviously had exercised all the control she had, and she came knocking on my door.


"Yes I'm here" I said.

She came in looking concerned. "O ti t'ilekun m'ori lat'ale ana. O wa ni American mode!"

Monday, September 24, 2012

Permission not granted

My roommate keeps asking me if she can do things after she has done them.

After sticking her size 8.5 foot in my size 7.5 pumps. "Is it okay if I put my foot in it?"

After coming in my room. "Is it okay if I come in?"

After grabbing my charger and plugging her phone in. "Is it okay if I use your charger?"

It's as if an unnecessary politeness circuit triggers in her brain after the fact. I can't complain though - her hair cream and flat iron live permanently in my room.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

About Owumi

Owumi is a grad student at Carnegie Mellon who can't believe she's been in the US almost 10 years.  She likes yummy food and hates putting on weight. She also likes politics, reading novels, watching TV shows, and writing her research papers in the early hours of the morning.

About Jewy

Jewy is a JJC (Jenifa just come) grad student at Pitt in the US. She likes nothing about school and was probably hypnotized to get into the program. Natural areas of concentration: sleep,movies and yea medical stuff. I think she says the darnedest things too.