Six Flags considering new theme park location – in Nigeria

When I read that Six Flags was actively working on a new park to add to their current 21 park lineup, I initially did not pay attention. Then I saw the location of this new concept – Nigeria.

The 250 acre Nigerian Six Flags is going to be built in Calabar, a city on the southeastern border, about 1000 miles from the nations capital.

A couple of things come to mind – the first is that Six Flags is currently in bankruptcy protection, but I’m guessing that expansion is one of the ways they plan to recover. The second is the location – Nigeria is a troubled country, and even the oil companies of the world are having a hard time keeping their investments safe. How Six Flags plans to keep its park and staff safe is bound to be source of major headaches.

I’m also curious how the Nigerians got the attention of Six Flags. Perhaps they emailed them out of the blue and told them the story of their previous president who had left them $250 million in a secret bank account, that could only be accessed if someone built them a roller coaster? (I kid, I kid!).

If the park does indeed become a reality, it’ll be the first theme park in Nigeria, and the first Six Flags park outside the US, Mexico and Canada. In the late nineties, Six Flags attempted to conquer the European market, but pulled out after a couple of years to focus on their home market.

Top travel destination countries? Canada is number one and Nigeria is. . .?

When asked the to respond to the statement, “I would like to go to visit this country if money were no object,” Canada ranked number one in a recent global survey conducted by Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brand Index.

Where was the U.S. in the mix of 50? Number 10. Harump!

Steve Stephens, the travel editor for the Columbus Dispatch offered up these tidbits last Sunday and provided the ranking for the other top five choices plus provided some reasons for the results.

From 2nd to 5th in that order:

  • Italy
  • Australia
  • Switzerland
  • France

What’s your guess for number 50? No, it’s not Nigeria.

Number 50 goes to Iran. The people who responded to the survey must not have read my post on how friendly people in Iran actually are or have seen the trailer for I RAN Iran or the video postcards film.

Nigeria is number 49 and lost a second to last place standing to Saudi Arabia.

Estonia was 47 and Lithuania was 46. Stephens begs to differ with these two small countries’ close to last place spots. Pointing out that both countries’ capitals have town sections listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, he vouches for their beauty and interest.

One theory for Estonia and Lithuania’s poor showing is that possibly people who took the survey knew nothing about them so skipped them altogether when checking off boxes for possible destinations.

I can vouch for Nigeria as a worthwhile destination if you can get parachuted in and airlifted out to avoid customs. Dreadful, dreadful, dreadful.

Why does Canada rank so highly? Its natural beauty for one thing.

If I could go anywhere in the world where money is no object, I’d probably pick Bolivia–or Peru. How about you?

“Man Bites Dog”: Dining on Dog Meat in Nigeria

According to Nigerian “chef” Bassey Umoh, eating dog meat can improve your sex life. Other common beliefs concerning canine cuisine include:

  • It offers special protection against withcraft.
  • It prevents poison from killing a person.
  • It can cure malaria.

As a result of so much (mis-)information circling throughout Abuja, dogs are now becoming scarce in the capital city. In fact, many of Abuja’s dog owners complain that their dogs have gone missing, suspicious that they’re winding up in local dishes, like big dog pepper soup pot, which sells for roughly 80¢/plate.

Personally, I’d never dream of eating dog, as I would only be able to imagine the face of my own dear, sweet pup staring back at me. Further, I assume most Western travelers would have a reaction much like mine. For some Nigerians, however, eating dog meat is a question of culture. According to one man, “I hear they eat frogs in certain parts of the world. But I tell you, no matter how you cook or dress a frog, I can never eat it.” Well…okay.

According to this bizarre but informative piece on the BBC, dog meat is so ingrained in Abuja’s culture, that a substantial amount of slang slang has developed to support it, including the disarmingly amusing:

404: A dog is also called 404 after the French-built Peugeot pick-up van, a tribute to a dog’s ability to run fast.
Headlights: A dish with the eyes of a dog as the most prominent component.
Gear Box: Dog’s liver, heart and kidneys (usually more expensive than ordinary meat).
Tyre: A dog’s legs. Mr Umoh claims that eating a ‘tyre’ makes you a fast runner.
Telephone: A dog’s tail.
Sentencing: The act of clubbing a dog to death rather than slaughtering it.

Before you get all up-in-arms about Nigerains dining on dogs, be reminded that Nigeria isn’t the only place in the world where dog is eaten. Would you eat it?

[Via Neatorama]