Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Things Africans Don't Do: Steak, Medium Rare.

I was at a franchise steakhouse restaurant on the Peninsula last night, and ordered a chilli-cheese steak. Make it medium rare, I said, with fries. My server asked me if I was sure that I wanted it medium rare, because that's pretty much still bloody. I said that yes, indeed, juicy is as juicy eats. My server then informed me that I must be Mzungu because Africans Don't Eat Uncooked Meat.

Welcome to the Things That Africans Don't Do section of the blog where I will be posting about close encounters with Afrochauvinist Fundamentalists. When someone tells me that I am doing something that Africans don't do, either I have just disagreed with their stupid argument and they have no other ammunition to chuck my way, or I have done something that is outside their narrowly defined set of expectations. Africans, all freaking hundreds of millions of them from thousands of different cultures and language groups, Do A Lot Of Things. Still, it will be interesting to keep track of all the ones that we apparently don't in case I ever decide to become that paragon of virtues, a Good African Woman. Snort, chuckle.

A propos the love of a bloody cut: the most deliciously undercooked meat I ever tasted was a few years ago in Kenya. It was a little roast-goat snack that some Maasai Elders had prepared for us, their NGO Benefactors, when we visited a school project. My two Canadian companions were vegetarians, leaving all the more dripping tender riblets for me to consume. Africans do so Eat Uncooked Meat. And every morsel that we consumed together was chin-dribbling, finger-sucking, fly-waving good.


  1. ah yes. Africans don't... I love that statement. It helps to keep one on the straight and narrow road to conformity. Because that's what we all want. None of this exploration rubbish. Mambo ya wanzungu, hayo. And look where they are now...

  2. uh Elsie this is a classic! You should have an entire blog on these things Africans don't do! And one on achieving that ever elusive title - the good African woman. I do believe the last woman to successfully win that title was a quaint character in an old Achebe or Soyinka story!


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