N is for Niger.

Not its bigger neighbour, but a slightly smaller but no less problematical country.

Landlocked, surrounded by seven other countries, Libya, Nigeria and Algeria being some of the more worrying ones, the country is another poor African nation that shouldn’t be.

After spending a week or so in the capital Niamey and experiencing a few nights in La Cloche (if you don’t know the dwarf you don’t know Niamey) I headed north east ish to spend some time in the uranium city of Arlit.

I was living in a compound, typical of most places where Westerners go, surrounded by walls three metres high and was only allowed out with an armed military escort.


The compound was grim. Very poor standard accommodation, no hygiene standards at all, when I saw the carrots being chopped on the piece of cardboard that the stray dogs slept on at night I was aware why I sometimes felt a bit iffy after eating.


Sunday breakfast was always a local delicacy.

Not many happy memories from here, the prison visit was enlightening but incredibly grim but one that always makes me smile was the time I was having a shower.

I’d been given the VIP suite:


which meant I had a shower in it. There was always water in the shower, it was rarely hot. After having been out all day in well over 40 C, all I ever wanted on getting back was a warm shower.

One particular afternoon I’d got back quite late, it was almost dark. The bulbs had all gone in my bathroom but a quick check showed me there was hot water.

Quick as a flash I stripped off and jumped in. Ahhhhhhh, the warm water started to soak away a days worth of sand and sweat, and as I shampooed my hair all was feeling well with the world. The water was falling down my body, rhythmically dropping onto my legs but after a short while I became aware of something … not quite right.

I grabbed my torch and shone it on my lower left calf, to see a cockroach, approximately 2 inches long, crawling slowly up my leg.

I’m no scientist, but I consider it highly unlikely that even the eminent Dr Brian Cox would have a word for the period of time it took from seeing the beast on my leg to turning into a world champion naked foamy haired disco dancing sprinter.

The letter N was bought to you by: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/


About bobleponge216

Elderly rotund toothless male seeks wilderness to travel to.
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10 Responses to N is for Niger.

  1. Not a Nice Neighbourhood. (see what I did there?)


  2. Nikki says:

    Thanks for an African story that ended on an amusing note. (Although I’m sure it wasn’t so amusing at the time.)
    Perhaps it’s just as well that I was never lulled into a false sense of home during my visits to Equatorial Guinea. While the family that I stayed with were well off by local standards, there was never running water, much less hot running water, so all showers were taken during the day when one could keep a look out for critters. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tis true I wasn’t laughing as the beast made its way up my leg, but I laughed heartily at myself afterwards for my show of cowardice.
      It saddens me so to see how things could/should be in that continent and yet aren’t.
      I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been in houses in countless countries in Africa and had water bought from the well. It takes a bit of getting used to when you first arrive, but it soon becomes second nature.
      Thanks for the comments, I was wondering where you’d gone. Hope all is well.


  3. louvargas2014 says:

    You never fail to tickle my funny bone!
    Over half way now! #atozchallenge

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alex Hurst says:

    Yikes…. reminds me of the time I saw a Brown Huntsman in the shower with me. Holy moly, I was streaking through my house faster than I could bat a lash!

    Also, that picture with the military is amazing. The sand!


    • Sand there is in Niger, lots and lots and lots of sand.
      I’d have been out the shower too with a Brown Huntsman staring at me, a cockroach is harmless. I remember racing out of a shower in Malaysia too when I saw a large Praying Mantis (another harmless beast) sat in the soap holder.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alex Hurst says:

        Hahaha…. Our first time seeing a praying mantis, it was dancing. N J was super interested in it, so crouched closer to see it… it promptly flew directly for her face, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

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