HARGEISA, 09 October 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Ngonge A. is writing to Somalilandpress about his experience in Somaliland and will be talking about his funny yet true experience during his stay in the country – discover Somaliland from the experience of a person on his first ever trip home.

To read the part one CLICK HERE
To read the part Two CLICK HERE
To read the Part Three CLICK HERE

On the following day, my host took me to the infamous Obama restaurant. It was a very nice place and the food was quite good. Like most restaurants in Somaliland, it was mostly an outdoors place. They did have an indoors wedding hall and another section, which I presume to be the indoors part of the restaurant but I was quite satisfied with sitting outside. I was particularly pleased to find out that the flooring was made of gravel and not that dreadful sand that I grew to dislike in my short visit to Somaliland. This was going to be a very comfortable lunch. No need to worry about creeping assassins catching me by surprise.

At this point, the days start to get on top of each other and my memory becomes hazy. I know that I visited that place on more than one occasion. I know I enjoyed all the visits. But I cannot recall what day was what!

The strange thing about Obama restaurant is that it does not have the usual additions that are found in other places in Somaliland. It is probably a management decision to stand out and be different! I don’t think I spotted one single cat while I was there. There was no sign of the shoe polish boys that would usually take one of your shoes and disappear with it for ages before returning later to take the other one. Nobody tried to sell you any newspapers and the waiters took your order, delivered your food and kept the chitchat to the bare minimum. It was like being in a real restaurant. It IS a real restaurant!

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Later that day, I followed my tourist guide and a new more cheerful guide to Mansoor Hotel (I know it is spelt different). This was a nice place but having got used to the outdoor feel of all other establishments, the enclosed setup of this place felt (through no fault of theirs) very oppressive. Somehow, I suspect that my tourist guide had a premonition this would be the case and therefore took some wily steps to soften the blow. It worked a treat! The eye candy on display as we walked into the place was something to write home about (to the mates, not wife, mother or assorted female siblings).

Actually, on that day, my tourist guide and his new sidekick surpassed themselves. That was ‘meet the ladies of Somaliland day’ and it was not repeated on the rest of my stay in H town (I was only warming up but my hosts probably thought I played for the other side. What else would explain the lack of eye candy on subsequent days?).

Still, the day itself was exceedingly pleasant and though I did not flirt, sweet talk or try to pull any garments down, I did (quietly) enjoy myself. My host was proving to be a man amongst men when it came to proper hospitality. However, I was disappointed to find out that H town did not have its own public shiisha places. Not that this stopped this magical host of mine from conjuring another trick and finding me a place where I could indulge in my favourite pastime. There was more eye candy! Shiisha making eye candy. Of course, being the perfumed tobacco connoisseur that I am, I did not really like the shiisha on offer. I appreciated the effort and was impressed with the expert way the shiisha was made but I am no fan of mint. It is double apple all the way for me. Be that as it may, I still enjoyed the conversation (though I hardly took part) and the hospitality.

Now, before anyone lets their imagination run with them, let me assure you that this was all good clean fun and no sexual shenanigans took place here. My host was no flesh-monger and, in fact, though the ladies were pretty and very attractive it seems that the vast majority of them were married! Having said that, I have to confess that my interest was initially aroused and my dormant devil was fully awake. Alas, married or not, I was not going to indulge in any funny business. I was a tourist after all. All this was new to me. To join strange women in the enjoyable act of exploring delicious flesh would have required me to strip, throw my clothing, wallet, passport and all my other valuables aside for however long the act would have lasted (and it would have lasted for days, I tell you). I was not prepared to take such a risk for so little return. However, this does not mean I was not strongly tempted. I just thank (and sometimes curse) my sensible, paranoid and responsible nature for stopping me from acting on my impulses (though, right now, more cursing than thanking is taking place).

Still, the company of the gentler sex was a change from my usual manly surroundings and helped to spice up my day. They were all pretty girls and all had something interesting to say. My host, it seems, is like a vintage car lover that has been banned from driving but still enjoys acquiring more cars to merely park in his garage and look at from time to time. I doubt if he ever broke the law (yet).

Talking of women, in H town like the moon and stars, the women also love to come out at night. You see them walking around in twos and threes. You see them strolling about or hurrying somewhere. The streets are always heaving with women. I was puzzled as to why they all walked around in the dark instead of during the day. But then I remembered how hot the days can be and understood why these ladies choose to walk around at night!

On the following day, my tourist guide arrived early and we left the city to visit Berbara. This was going to be my first trip out of H town. I was quietly excited and looking forward to seeing the city that everyone who heard about my visit to SL was raving about.

As we reached the border of H town, we approached a police roadblock and had to stop and tell the attending policemen our name (well, only the driver’s name) and how many people were in the car. We also had to inform him of our destination. I thought this was very intrusive at first but as we went on and happened to stop at the roadblocks at the exists of every village in our way, the reasons for these questions and their answers started to make sense to me.

The motorways (highways) of Somaliland are very treacherous and full of potholes. This, I suppose, is the result of fighting and wars that took place there in the past and the government’s inability to maintain such roads. Therefore, drivers have to be careful and slow down as they approach each hole in the road only to speed up again for a few hundred yards before slowing down again. In addition, a myriad of creatures leisurely cross the road as you speed past at ninety miles per hour. I spotted a camel, several goats, many tortoises, some deer, wild hogs and I could not stop myself from chuckling as we screeched to a halt to allow a darn chicken to cross the road! This would explain why the policemen wanted to know our information and where we were heading. For if an accident should ever take place they would be able to know who the people involved were and what city they came from (and, you have to admit, with all the hazards on these roads accidents in SL are probably not a rare thing).

A few hours later, we reached Berbara…..

To be continued …………………………….



  1. Once again the people in somaliland press
    are degrading the country and women of somaliland. so this guy was taken to have same fun with our women by a pimp, so do you have to to publish this man is insulting our women saying i had fun with same women who was married……………shame on you somalilandpres you have insulted our women and country….. by giving this man the platform

  2. @Ramsy, don't be oversensitive and dirty minded. Enjoying the company of beautiful women and having good conversation doesn't mean that there is some kind of sexual escapade. Be open minded and give the guy a break! I don't think he means what you think.

  3. Ramsy:
    "Now, before anyone lets their imagination run with them, let me assure you that this was all good clean fun and no sexual shenanigans took place here. My host was no flesh-monger and, in fact, though the ladies were pretty and very attractive it seems that the vast majority of them were married!"

    Obama is famous, the restaurant is infamous.

    I don't like this NGONGE person. His stuff reads like a private letter to a friend.

  4. This man is an insult to all men! He is clearly still little boy with too much pent up energy and needs to grow up. Why a site of this readership would decide to publish such indecency is frankly beyond me?! I for one would like to know who the editor is and what his view on this insult on women, especially muslim women.

  5. I'm shocked that such an article could be published in a Somaliland paper. Definitly crude and very immoral.