October 27, 2011

Photos of Kinshasa

View from the 11th floor of Grand Hotel Kinshasa.  According to one of my colleagues who lives in the DRC for 8 years, the large building (all encased in colored glass) in the back used to be the Central Bank.  He would exchange stacks of bills there.  According to lore, the windows did not open, and when there was an electricity shortage (as it happens often here), the interior would heat up like a greenhouse, and it would be get to an unbareable 120 degrees.  You'll notice that huge windows have been "punched" out in the building now, probably as a way to regulate the heat.  It gives it an eerie ghost-like glow...  I'm curious to know how they deal with the heavy rains during the rain season though.

 Another view from the hotel, watching the rain clouds roll in.

Turbo King, a beer made in Congo.  I particular enjoy the dramatic lion, with arms tensely resting on the logo, ready to pounce at the person drinking it.

Being part French, you may be surprised that this is one of the rare times I tried snails and frogs legs.  I don't know what I liked best about the snails: the butter and garlic sauce, or the cool 6-holed dish they came in.  The frogs legs were super yummy - too bad it's such much work for so little meat!


Anonymous said...

Wow, I would never have thought they served snails and frog legs in Kinshasa :)

Magali said...

The only time I ever had snails was with you - at your housemates's parents' place in Canada.
Do they serve giant snails in DRC - like they do in the Ivory Coast (bigger than a tennis ball)? I was never adventurous enough to try those...

007 in Africa said...

Yep, your forebearers (the Belgians) must have brought those traditions with them!

Magali, I can't believe you were with me on that trip. I remember it very well - we were at my Italian Canadian roommate's parents house. It was the first and only time I had had them too. I also had really large snails in Kenya (the ones you compare to tennis balls) and they were awful - a mixture of sweet and bitter, and both soft and impossibly tough and chewy.

Anonymous said...

African beer-labels have always been a riot. Frankly 'Turbo King' would be a better brand of engine oil ... but if you can't afford a sportscar, then a bottle of this will really 'put you in the drivers seat'.... until you sober up.

I wonder if you can get a leafy green veggie called 'Kunde' in Kinshasa? It's one of my favorite tasty things...


Anonymous said...

If this helps:
'Kunde' is actually the leaves from the Cowpea or Black-Eye Pea plant. I think they have to be precooked for a couple of minutes in a small quantity of water and bicarbonate of soda and then drained to remove bitterness.
I have a recipe if you want it?