Monday, January 25, 2010

Lagos, No Garden Spot This Time!

Greetings from hot, humid, dirty, crowded, crime ridden Lagos, Africa's second largest city and the scam capital of the world.  It's also probably my least favorite city.  The official population of Lagos is about 8 Million but experts estimate that Greater Lagos may have as many as 20 Million.  Africa's largest city, Cairo, is also hot, dirty and crowded but has lots of charm and fascinating history and we loved the three years we spent there.  If any of you are thinking about a vacation in Africa, please don't include Lagos as it has none of what Egypt, Kenya, South Africa or many other places in Africa offer. 

I arrived here on Sunday afternoon and will leave for Abuja, Nigeria's new capital, on Wednesday.  Everyone says that Abuja is much more pleasant than Lagos.  If so it may be the world's only new capital city that is more popular than the old one (think Brasilia vs. Rio or Canberra vs. Sydney).

I usually stay in comfortable hotels when I travel but here I'm in a basic room at the consulate guest house because it is safer and more convenient.  It is in a small compound on Victoria Island that includes the post's pool, gym, club, tennis courts and a restaurant.  It's quite ok for only three days with its saving grace(s) being that it has good air conditioning and is very convenient. To get to work I have a 10-minute commute to the Consulate General in a US Government-owned boat.

For more information on Lagos check out the following links: - The Lads from Lagos

I'll be happy to get out of Lagos.  I'm actually looking forward to the rest of my West Africa trip which should be very exotic and interesting.

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