November 21, 2005
I'm not much of a hippy though I don't like to shave so I suppose I may have been one in my previous life.
I have never met anyone making their own yogurts--the weird thing is that I've had three separate conversations on yogurt-making in my 8 months of being in Congo. These relatively normal people seriously took me through the art of making a home-made yogurt.
Why, you may ask, do normal, down-to-earth, positively unJoplinesque people make their own yogurts? The reason is that a single, small, unflavored pot of yogurt costs...brace yourselves....$1.50!!! I can tell you're not shocked, but consider if you will, a weekly normal yogurt intake. That's about, what, 4 to 6 yogurts right? You are are paying 6-9 dollars for a bland, boring set of yogurts.
The first time I saw yogurts here, I was so excited (Senegal was definitely yogurt-poor), ran to the display fridge and proudly set my yogurts on the non-functioning cashier belt. Boy was I shocked when the cashier ran the price of the items...But I kept my composure, smiled idiotically while blanching and ran back home to hit myself in the forhead.
It's almost like cows are holy here. As a matter of fact, I'm never seen a single cow in the Congo, even during my visits to the field.
The next time, I bought one yogurt, manufactured my own (using an internet recipe) and let it sit for 24 hours. Excited, I tried it with a little bit of sugar, and was disappointed to find out that it tasted like baby puke. Ok so I've never officially tasted baby puke but I've baby-sat enough to know what it smells like.
A bunch of friends are considering having a BBQ in a few weeks with a live demonstration on how to make yogurts. A sort of Tupperware party for 20 somethings.
The hippies of Kinshasa are at it again.