Thursday, October 30, 2014

Television show review: How Hannibal and I are alike.

By Adejoh Idoko Momoh.

As someone who has had experience feasting on raw flesh, it is hard to imagine how watching the television series 'Hannibal' upset me so much; it is after all about a psychopath forensic psychiatrist ‘Hannibal Lecter’ who after gruesomely murdering his victims delights himself by feeding on their organs. My brush with flesh eating I will tell on much later in this review.

Hannibal is an amazing show, one that proves true the theory that not all beautiful things must be explored or seen. Many things are brilliant about the show: the conversations witty and the performances smart, convincing even. My favorite character by far is the Professor Will Graham who plays the part of an FBI profiler, partly because he reminds me of how fragile humanity is; how trusting man desires to be and how guilt most times pushes us to do things we ordinarily wouldn't do. From him, you clearly get the picture of a man haunted by personal demons and feel the urge to push yourself further even when that exposes you to significant risk. His analysis, observation..everything is flawless.

The most disturbing thing about this show is that as the it progresses, the mind games get even sicker and really twisted in a good way that it keeps you interested. Its murder scenes are very detailed and precise. You know that edge of your seat, stomach twisting, gut wrenching gore that in the end leaves you frightened and excited at the same time. And this is perhaps what sets Hannibal apart from other psychological thrillers; its ability to not hold anything back, to be bold in its presentation and imagery. Admittedly, the early episodes of the first season seemed a little misdirected and confusing but going forward from the third, every story line was compelling as it was interesting, I kept thirsting for more, wondering how it was possible for the show to progress, but it progressed in very unexpected ways.  

My take on it really is simple, if you want a brilliant show good enough for the whole family to watch, Hannibal doesn’t quite cut it; the emotional, psychological torture you endure while watching it surely is not worth its brilliance, but if you want bold, audacious, daring, a show that pushes you to imagine things you never thought imaginable, then by all means see Hannibal.

As regards me eating raw flesh, it’s a very funny story actually. After we tired from shopping my sister suggested that since we were both hungry and probably wouldn't be grabbing dinner, we buy a pack of chicken from M&S and settle to eat it. Being someone who has a very healthy appetite for food, I wondered what she expected chicken to do for my hunger, but we bought it nonetheless. As we settled I immediately reached for the pack and ripped it open, removed a thigh and bit into it, it was sheer bliss. Perfectly seasoned lightly boiled chicken; my taste buds were excited. It wasn’t until I took the second bite and swallowed it that my sister stopped me. ‘the chicken is raw, we have to heat it in an oven’ I looked at the thigh in my hand and noticed its pink flesh ‘I am so sorry. I am so sorry’ she laughed.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Airline Review: The New Spirit of Africa

‘Why Ethiopian?' 
and I immediately knew why she asked. I heard the gory stories too; from plane seats that had tear marks from wear to aircrafts that made a wiggling sound just as you take off and the food; horrible awful food. In the end of what was a long conversation, she said 'please leave Ethiopian airlines out of it'. It was at this point I made up my mind to fly Ethiopian, experience it for myself, see if there was any truth to all the rumors I had heard. 
The rumors began to prove true a good eight hours before my flight; I tried to check in online and save myself the hassles of airport queues, but no, the Ethiopian airlines web site kept popping up an error message whenever I entered my flight details. This was the only time during my experience with the airline that I wished I had taken my sisters advice. 
The airline was nothing like the stories I had heard: we flew in a very generous Boeing 787. There was very adequate leg room such that I could stretch and even cross my legs without inconveniencing the person who sat in front of me. The inflight entertainment was spectacular; the lineup had so many recent movies that I was spoilt for choice, I eventually settled for Hercules and Invictus only because I hadn't seen both of them. The music too; really nice. 
None of the warnings people gave me of Bole International Airport were correct, to my mind it is a very decent looking airport with its expanse of glass and very high ceilings, everything about it I liked, except of course the bathrooms which were usually packed full and had wet floors. This is easily explainable though, it is mostly caused by people performing ablution in non designated areas. I used the Sheba Miles lounge and I was impressed, I had coffee, wifi and was comfortable enough to catch up on sleep. My 5 hour layover was an experience in itself.
The food on board was delicious, better than most bigger, more expensive airlines. I was served an assortment of long grained rice and really tender chicken, a bread bun with butter and cheese to compliment it, a generous bowl of fruit salad with berries and papaya and mango, and a vegetable salad mainly of beans, carrots, peas. All was really nice. 
Most airline related complaints are of air hostesses, but that wasn't my experience; I did get upset a couple of times when I pressed the call button and no one answered, but after a few minutes a hostess came by with apologies, a complimentary gift bag from first class and promised to constantly refill my paper cup with fruit juice as compensation.

All in all, the Ethiopian experience was lovely, especially for the price it flew; as I see it, the airline is both very easily affordable and very comfortable. I will fly the airline time and again. I insisted on filling a comment card on my way out: I am not one to get good services and not commend the business afterwards. Perhaps we all should do this, encourage businesses that make an effort to deliver real value. 

Adejoh Momoh ( can be followed on twitter @adejoh