Meet the Community » Meet the Smiling Somtoo

Meet the Smiling Somtoo

As a new addition to your local Fujairah Observer magazine we will be meeting diverse and interesting ex pats and find out what they love about Fujairah and ask who what where when why? 

 

Solum jpg-Who are you?

 

My Government name is Solumtoochi Ebenebe, but calling me Somtoo makes it a lot easier for everyone.

 

-What brought you to Fujairah?

 

I’ve always had a great love for sand, petroleum and Dubai. Fujairah has two of those things so it hasn’t been a total disappointment.

 

-Where are you from?

 

I was born in Nigeria and spent a few years there, but my father is an oil engineer, so my family moved with him for the big projects. This meant that I grew up in Nigeria, USA and finally England. So I’m officially disliked in three continents, technically four now if you count Asia lol! 

 

-When did you come here?

 

I arrived in the middle of August 2017, with the temperature a balmy 48 degrees celsius. I thought Nigeria was warm, I now know that I was wrong. I tried walking around Abu Dhabi in a suit and began hearing colours and seeing sounds, what a fool!

 

-Why are you here?

 

For the greenery! I was supposed to be PhD hunting in England and I got tired of being a broke postgrad. It’s hard to live off three square meals of intellectual elitism and the respect of your peers.

I had done the company startup route, but it started coming across as too much work, so I upped sticks and legged it. Now I’m happy just to work on my tan and teach kids the wonders of the English language.

 

-What do you like about Fujairah?

 

The proximity to everyone, I find it cool that you can go somewhere and bump into someone that you know. Even if you’re surrounded by strangers it is very easy to strike up a conversation here.

The problem is I don’t really care for a lot of people.

And if everyone knows everyone, it turns into an unglamorous version of Desperate Housewives. Or Shameless crossed with Big Brother; not pretty and not clever.

 

-What do you get up to in your free time?

 

I like 'chick literature' and trashy novels to be honest, the more predictable the better. When I’m not looking for My Dorian Grey, I’ve gotten  into Gaelic (Irish) football. The Eire Og team play on the football pitch by the Corniche, so I train with them twice a week.

-Have you played Gaelic before?

 

I had never played before and it certainly showed! Think of the phrase 'bull in a china shop', if the bull was lame in one leg and impressively overweight. The games are usually seven minutes a half but you are usually sprinting whenever you’re on the pitch.

I wasn’t sure if it would be something I could get into, but the boys have been extremely supportive, there are a lot of new players, so we have all been improving together. We came second in the social division for two of the biggest Gaelic tournaments in the Middle East! The biggest benefit I’ve gotten from the sport must be the camaraderie. I might leave the pitch tired and bruised, but there has always been a smile on my face.

 

-What would be your ideal day in Fujairah?

 

I would wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy, go mountain biking or do something sporty. Have a snorkel then a nice barbecue and proceed to pass out for a few hours on the beach after. In the afternoon I’d have a cheeky bowling session, then McGettigans for some more food and round it off with a boogie in Novotel if I’m still awake.

 

-What are your favourite restaurants?

 

All Stir Fry, because I like new things. Addis Ababa for a location is pretty random, but the food is sensational there.

 

-If you could have dinner with anyone famous alive or dead who would it be?

 

Nostradamus, I would spend the entire dinner roasting that guy. I’d just make vague comments and sit there smugly when something inevitably occurs that happens to fall into the criteria of my prediction. I don’t care for fake news and I don’t care for the pseudoscience of homeopathy. Nostradamus falls into both categories.

 

-Favourite holiday destination and why?

 

Greece, I may or may not be Leonidas reborn, either him or Hercules. As a result, going to Greece might help me rediscover my Hellenic roots. Italy is the other option, l like carbonara.

 

-What are you looking forward for the remainder of 2018?

 

Donald Trump finally dropping his mixtape dissing Kim Jong Un, resulting in a most bodacious dance off.

 

-What advice would you give to newbies?

 

Do not try and walk for more than twenty minutes, you are not a camel. Keep a reminder of the reason you came to this Arabian paradise and stick to it.

 

-Any message to our loyal readers?

 

If anyone has a V8 Mustang that they’re willing to sell to me for ten thousand dirham they should feel free to contact me.

 

EJ MacManais

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