Of Biltong, 80′s Music, Cell phones and more Business Opportunities

It has been 71 days since landing in Tripoli (I haven’t been counting the days, just  did the calculation). It feels like I’ve been around for much longer though but I think that’s only due to my workload (which has made me forget about the nuisance of time).

It’s been an interesting 71 days with its ups and downs (but mostly ups). The one thing that has helped me during the good and tough days is this blog actually. I had never been much of serial blogger but turns out this is quite a useful outlet for, well… everything really! So I’m kind of happy I started this blog as its definitely been one of the things that helped through the rougher days.

Biltong

So after 71 days  what do I miss the most from Abu Dhabi (and London and South Africa)? Apart from the obvious (family and friends), the thing I miss the most is biltong. It’s the equivalent of what Americans call beef jerky i.e. air dried spiced meat. It kind of a snack in South Africa but I could honestly live on it. This has been the longest I’ve gone without biltong for like 5 years now. London had many South African shops which made satisfying my cravings easy. Abu Dhabi had a South African butcher which, once again, made satisfying the cravings easy. So I guess my luck had to run out at some point and now I’ve moved to a country where I still haven’t found biltong (I almost started singing U2’s ‘Still haven’t found what I’m looking for’). So if any South Africans here in Libya are reading this and you have access to biltong… PLEASE HELP ME… I NEED BILTONG… 🙂

So enough of my cravings (stomach grumbles uncontrollably while my vision is blurred by flashing images of biltong).

This week I noticed something odd about Libya. Almost all of our drivers here at the project and the taxi drivers I’ve used have something odd in common. A love for 80’s pop music. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard Modern Talking’s ‘You’re my heart, You’re my soul’ on the way home in the company cars and in taxi’s. Could this be a product of Libya’s isolation for a couple of decades? I don’t know, but sure does make the drives home funny with a tinge of nostalgia.

Another oddity that I’ve noticed since I’ve arrived is the abundance of cell phone shops. Every second store here seems to sell cell phones. Who is buying all of these cell phones? And what is happening to the ones people have already? On a street close to where I live, there are around five cell phone shops in less than hundred meters. There are more the further down you walk. It’s strange.

Finally, seems like Abdulatti and I have become the in house travel agency at the project. After the four trips we’ve organized, we’ve sparked interest in other people here at the project to visit places in Libya. They come to us now and ask us “What are your plans this weekend? Where are you going?  Can we come?”. It might be annoying to some people but I like the fact that we have finally ignited interest in visiting some of Libya amazing places.

Oh yeah I’ve officially been branded as crazy (not in the good way) by some of my work colleagues, but this warrants a post of its own.

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