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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - supermarket Aldi, beef stew, beef, English, French, German, dog food.

Khalidou clutched his bags as he dashed through the snow banks in front of the supermarket, Aldi. He had been living in Frankfurt for two years now and this Aldi shop had become his favorite. It was where he bought his favorite item, canned beef. He smiled to himself as he negotiated around the snow banks and descended the steep hilly street towards his apartment. He could not stop thinking of his beef stew. He walked briskly as a chilly breeze careened around the corner. He was relieved to reach his building. Now, he could free his hands from the clumsy gloves. He yanked them off and dragged his bags to the first floor. Happily, he unlocked his door and zoomed into his even warmer apartment.

Quickly, he mixed, stirred and cut as he cooked up beef stew. He wore a smile on his face as he ripped open two cans of ground beef, the most important ingredient of the dish. He scooped a hefty chunk with a spoon even before adding it to the pot. He bit on the chunks of beef with delight. Delight walked lazily across the breadth of his face as he chewed on chunks of beef before throwing the entire content of each can into the boiling pot. The tantalizing aroma wafted through his nostrils, teasing his senses. He stirred the pot with a grin on his face.

He sat back on the couch in his living room moments later and devoured his delicacy as he flipped on the TV, looking for a channel that broadcast in French. Khalidou was a Senegalese student, pursuing a master’s degree in Germany. He found his best French channel. He listened to the news as he munched on chunky slices of beef. A sudden knock sounded on his front door. A frown appeared on his face. He did not like to be bothered when he enjoyed his beef stew.

Reluctantly, he dragged his feet to the door. His mouth was full of lumps of meat as he talked to his guest. It was Thomas, a colleague from University. Thomas was German. His girlfriend, Ursula was right behind him. “What are you eating Khalidou?” Ursula asked. Khalidou paused for a moment as he tried to swallow the meat. He managed to down the meat before answering her. “Beef stew. Do you want some?” “I don’t mind,” they both replied. They took a seat in the living room and he served them a plate of beef stew each. “This tastes so good,” Thomas noted. “Yes, it really does,” Ursula added. “You should teach me how to make it,” she continued. “Thanks,” Khalidou said in English. His German was very bad, so he conversed with Ursula and Thomas in English. The two of them had lived in England for some time, so they spoke near-perfect English.

“I will be happy to teach you how to make it,” Khalidou offered. “Please show her…I really like this,” Thomas said as he munched on a mouthful of beef. They agreed that Ursula should come for a cooking lesson by weekend. Sometime around noon on Saturday, Ursula arrived with Thomas. “First, let’s go and buy the ingredients,” Khalidou announced. They walked down to Aldi and began to pick up the ingredients for the beef stew. “Now, let’s pick up the most important ingredient – canned beef,” Khalidou said with excitement. Thomas and Ursula followed him closely. “For some reason, this beef tastes even better than my mother’s. I have tried different beef and none of them tasted like this one,” Khalidou explained. He was buzzing like a bee.

The turned around an aisle to the left and then made a sharp turn to the right. Thomas and Ursula looked at each other with worry. Unaware of their worrying countenance, Khalidou led the team forward. Soon, he found the canned beef. He lifted three cans off the shelf and tossed them into a bag. Then he picked two more. “With this, you will make the best beef stew in world,” he bragged. When he turned, he noticed a mixture of fear, surprise and confusion on the faces of Ursula and Thomas. “That?” Thomas asked pointing at the last can of beef that Khalidou held in his hand. “Yes…it is the best canned beef in the world. Believe me, this stuff is great!” He declared with ebullience.

“That….that….that is dog food, Khalidou,” Thomas said with great difficulty. Khalidou stared at the can and then at Thomas and Ursula. Ursula’s hands reached for her throat as she attempted to throw up everything she had eaten all week. The thought of dog food resting in her body left her nauseated. “Really?” Khalidou asked. Confusion and disappointment were scribbled on his face now. Thomas nodded as he too grabbed his throat. Soon, the three of them were outside in the snow wishing they could vomit their intestine, not just its content. “I never knew,” Khalidou said as he thought of all the cans of beef he had devoured in the past year. He could barely read German, so he had no idea that he had been feasting on dog food. The picture of a lump of meat on the can was all he needed to convince him that the content was beef…and it tasted like one too. When he got home, he went to the toilet and sat on the toilet seat for hours, wishing he could pass out everything he had eaten in the last year. Sadly, nothing came out, but he could not bring himself to leave the comfort of the toilet.


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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