The Man And The Refrigerator


This blog entry about the events of Monday, May 10, 2004 was originally posted on May 12, 2004.

DAY 205:  “Wow, I haven’t seen one of these in a while,” I said to Tony in the kitchen as he made his morning coffee before going to work.  I went to get some milk.

“What, a refrigerator?”


After being on a non-stop tour for ten days in a row in the wilds of Africa, climbing mountains and going on safari, it was nice to come back to the conveniences of modern life.

THE REFRIGERATOR WAS JUST ONE OF THE LITTLE THINGS of modern technology that recharged my soul.  That and the fact that I was staying in another expatriate bubble of American suburbia for a while with computers, MP3s, DVDs and a portable “Mr. T in Your Pocket” talking keychain (172k .WAVe file).  Needless to say, I barely had reason to leave the apartment.

That’s not to say I didn’t veg in, watch movies and play with talking keychains all day.  (I pity the fool that does.)  I had a long day of Blog writing ahead of me, which I was soon discovering by early afternoon, would spill into the next day, or even the next.  From eight in the morning until about two in the afternoon I didn’t even get up to typing my handwritten work yet; for hours I had sorted through over 1,200 digital photos between my little digital spy camera and my camcorder. 

TED CAME HOME SICK with a fever in the middle of the afternoon as I was two typed entries into my work on my iBook.  A stomach flu virus was going around the apartment — Tony had it the weekend before — and it finally made it’s way to the other resident of the flat. 

“There’s something going around,” Ted told me.

“So I’ll probably get it next?”


Ted went into his room to sleep it off.  Later I gave him some anti-gripal pills labeled in Portuguese that I bought in Brazil, which knocked him out again.

IT WAS PAST FOUR O’CLOCK in the afternoon, and I figured that I should at least get some air after being in front of a computer screen all day.  Besides, the travel agent woman downstairs was waiting for me since Tony told her I’d come by to sort out my flights after Moshi.  I finally put some pants on and head on down for the ten-second walk.  As if refrigerators weren’t convenient enough, there was a travel agency right downstairs in the same building. 

Ndowo, the very friendly woman of World Quality Travel, sorted me out with flights that would get me to Zanzibar and from there to Addis Ababa in the most convenient way possible with the lowest cost — the airline would even send a car to pick me up at the apartment.  I booked a provisional itinerary with her so that I could sleep on it and then head back upstairs to the flat.  Tony came home three minutes after I did.

HEARING THAT TED WAS SICK, Vietnamese-American Tony started preparing a home meal Vietnamese chicken porridge with all the vegetable and chili trimmings to ease the pain of his roommate.  However, Ted was feeling pretty sick and couldn’t put any food in his stomach.

“Looks like its just the two of us,” I told me.  He put all the steaming dishes on the dining table (picture above) like a waiter of wholesome home-cooked food, telling me his grandmother would have been proud.  We ate the chicken, basil, cabbage and rice with condiments of salt, nuoc cham hot sauce and fish sauce over conversations of PCs vs. Macs, and in the end there was still a lot of food leftover.  I wondered what Tony would do with it, but then I remembered, Aha! Someone invented the refrigerator!

Sure the home-cooked meal was much appreciated, but wow, the refrigerator.  What a concept.

For more about my history with refrigerators (yes, I actually have history with kitchen appliances), click HERE.

Next entry: The Ultimate Day

Previous entry: Straight From The Source

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Comments for “The Man And The Refrigerator”

  • all i can say is….
    take that all you blog hogs!!!! 3 in a row. the silent readers are making a comeback.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/12  at  03:30 PM

  • Long live the BlogHogs ... WE SHALL RETURN!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/12  at  05:27 PM

  • I pity the fool who doesn’t like patis!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/12  at  08:07 PM

  • hmm…vietnamese food.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/12  at  08:30 PM

  • Hmmm… I almost mistook this title for THE MAN IN THE REFRIGERATOR, but now I see the link, which everyone should watch to see what E can do Low Budget Style in a store on Teaneck Road.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/12  at  10:32 PM

  • I was hoping the TMITR would make a cameo!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/13  at  01:55 AM

  • I haven’t had Vietnamese food in ages - and you have it in Africa? I’m jealous. Not of the snake in the last post, though. You can have that.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/13  at  03:44 AM

  • NOELLE:  Yeah, its amazing what you can get where you least expect it…  Perhaps I’ll have African food in Vietnam…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/13  at  09:09 AM

  • Erik mate, you should read “Around Ireland with a fridge” by Tony Hawks.
    It’s a book about travel and a bulky white kitchen appliance - right up your street!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/13  at  10:37 PM

  • Erik, as christy said somwhere lets candidate for president smile

    Posted by Britney  on  05/14  at  05:47 AM

  • Totally forgot - that keychain was awesome. That voice is so unforgettable from when I was a kid!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/14  at  05:54 PM

  • man. my brother has that same keychain, he used to use it on telemarketers.
    almost caught up with the blog . . .

    Posted by Alyson  on  05/17  at  06:53 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today,, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
The Ultimate Day

Previous entry:
Straight From The Source


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