My day started like every other day; waking up, snoozing my alarm to rest my eyes for 10 more minutes, and then panicking because I overslept. It was a good thing I took the day off because I wanted to accompany someone to the market, otherwise I’d have left home by 7:45am hoping to arrive work before 7:30am. Yeah, I know.
We made plans for Thursday, because there is always market environmental sanitation (or so they claim) every Thursday in Lagos, and markets are not opened till 10am. As a result, there is usually lesser traffic on the road on Thursday mornings.
Anyone who lives in Lagos knows this city and unpredictability are besties. I’m not even exaggerating here, because how else can you explain meeting traffic jam at five different places on the journey? On a Thursday morning forgossake! I actually expected two of them, but the other three were definitely caused by some evil spirits or something. However, trust Lagos danfo drivers to make short cuts their own besties. I kid you not, a danfo driver can branch into a side street in Lagos and burst out in London.
My companion and I were headed to the famous ‘Lagos’ market to get some things in bulk. We arrived Oshodi and decided to take a BRT down there, and I was entertained by grown up men and women fighting on the queue to enter bus. Nigerians and impatience are another set of besties, and it was a spectacle, really, watching people almost exchanging blows untop who gets to enter the bus first. There was a queue and at least three other buses lined up and heading in the same direction, but no….. people’s parents wanted to turn everywhere into WWE.
Fast forward to arriving Idumota, my companion and I were going to meet up with someone else, and we waited at a central location. I received my first insult of the day from a street trader who wondered why I was “walking like ode” just because I stood too close to her wares. I didn’t have the energy to reply her and the third party arrived shortly after that. We then headed to our first location of the day, walking through a maze of shops into places I’ve never been to before.
Rain fell the previous night and that morning, so the road was a mess. Having to combat avoiding stepping into the muddy waters, the careless bike men and bumping into people was a bit tasking, but I managed to stay ontop of it all. We then arrived the store and began to look through designs upon designs, searching for the best of the lot. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a public service announcement; If you carry me to a shop to help you pick out something, you will end up doing the picking yourself.
Everything was just entering my eyes, and I had a hard time choosing.
Shop attendant: *brings out one item*
Me: This one is the fine
SA: *brings out another one*
Me: This one too is fine o
My companions: 🙄
Anyway, we ended up picking the things we needed and I collected their phone number in the shop. I even got freebies! Two carrier bags which ended up being very useful to me in the market. The bigger bag carried so much load, the hands were starting to strain by the end of the day. I’m taking it to aboki soon, to sew it because that is now my official market carrier bag.
An item entered our eyes at another shop, and we stopped to price it. We didn’t like their prices, so we left, but they kept cajoling us and reduced their price further. We gave them the ol’ “If it’s the same price elsewhere, we will come back here to buy.” Of course, most people don’t return even if the prices are the same, and we were no exception. To be fair, we got it cheaper elsewhere.
Lagos traders and “let me get it from the warehouse/my second shop” are yet another set of besties. Ladies and gentlemen, we already made payment and expected them to bring out the carton but alas, it was in the warehouse. Na so we siddon dey wait. Ten minutes, thirty, one hour, warehouse people never show face. A food seller was passing with local rice and palm oil stew and we bought.
When she was done selling, one of my companions told the woman to collect her money from the shop owner because that was the person delaying us. The owner then paid the woman, and I realized the food I bought was actually not enough. But as a child of God who is not greedy, I didn’t ask for more. Only people of the world abuse freebie privileges. They brought our items a while later, but mixed up on of the items and we had to wait all over again for the to and fro warehouse trip. After that, we set off to another place.
In the market, I collected the phone numbers of a lady who sells souvenir items, and another one who brands those items. Do I need their services at the moment? Nope. But collection is free. Our items were getting much at this point, so we dropped them off with the branding lady who said she could arrange for someone to deliver them later on. See? Everybody does side business in that market.
At this point, we were done with our main purpose of coming to the market, so we said goodbye to the friend we met up with. Then companion number 1 and I decided to window shop. Everything was just calling my name in the market, but thank God for self discipline. I got a few nice things though, and my best purchase of the day happened to be a really, really small purse. I’ve been using my old wallet for five years, and it has been crying out for replacement for two years. Lol. I like it because of the small size as it can fit into every single bag I have, even the real small ones.
Most purses I’ve been seeing around are the normal sized ladies purse which I consider big in the light of the wallet size I’m already used to. I actually reluctantly changed the wallet into one of those normal sized ones a few days ago, but Glory to God, I saw a small purse!
Do you know that traders practice psychology low key? That’s why people advise not to show your emotions when purchasing stuff. This woman looked at my happy face and called 700 naira with all her chest for that purse. She said her gain untop is only 100 naira. Tbh, I would still have bought it for 1k. That’s how much I really wanted it, because when next will I see that size again?
Best Purchase of the day!
Btw, the difference between male and female traders in summary;
Female: *calling you from where they’re seated* my sister, mummy wa, aunty mi, what are you looking for? We have it…..
Me: 😊 no, thank you.
Male: *grabs your hand* my colour, we get your size.
Me: 🙄 if you don’t geddifok!
One of these young guys had the nerve to “my daughter” me. Ayumad? Shey mo wa keere ni? You fit born me? To think I ran into this guy twice! And he repeated the same thing.
In other news, I needed to buy a nude sandal, but that was one whole ultimate search season. The ones I saw, I didn’t like the heels, and if I like the heels, it’s not the colour I want. One dude even tried to pass off a slippers to me as a sandal, and I was just on the verge of giving up when I saw one I liked. In nude. In my size!…… except the sandal was heavy. I was this close to buying it, but nah! I can’t pay for pain, so I left the shop. Hot tears inna my mind’s eyes.
I saw another one I really liked too. In nude. Very light. Perfect heel height. But they had every other size except mine! Size 41 ladies are being discriminated against las las. I mean, do I need to shave off my feet to get a fine footwear forgossake?
By then, it was getting late so we decided to head back home, but first we had to empty our bladders. There was this public toilet we saw for 50 naira per use. My expectations were on the floor, but the place was better than what I imagined. Coming out, a few paces away, this dude was urinating by the wall and I was annoyed. There’s a toilet for just 50 bucks staring at you in the face, but you choose to leave a trail of pee on the ground for people to step on. And the pee smelt really bad! Reminds me of the pedestrian bridge at Oshodi bus terminal. There’s always human shit on that bridge! Some Nigerians have really made disgusting acts their besties.
Soon, we topped up our bus cards and boarded the bus back. As the bus descended from a bridge, there was another bus coming in the same direction. The bridge is a narrow one, and our bus stopped for the other bus to reverse so we could move on. Then this car came from nowhere and stuck itself into the situation. Remember what I said earlier about Nigerians and impatience? A soldier accosted the car driver and slapped his head! Now, I’m not a fan of uniformed men meting out violence to civilians, but this guy deserved that slap. Because I don’t know where he was rushing to, he almost caused an accident even.
The journey home was not so bad, the ocean view from the bridge was calming and the traffic was okay. The beauty of BRT, aside the AC is that when other vehicles are stuck in traffic, you’re cruising merrily along in the dedicated bus lane…..on occasion of course, because sometimes everywhere is blocked!
Heading home with my freebie bags.
The highlight of my day aside the purse, was stopping by my favourite evening buka to buy take out dinner. As usual, I went for fried rice and spaghetti with coleslaw. I opted for egg and goat meat as opposed to my usual chicken. Then I entered the final bus home, and as usual, it was a short cut galore to beat traffic.
You know that Bible passage about making a way where there is no way? Danfo drivers really take it personally, because, we were just driving through roads I never knew existed and at some point, I began praying the bus should not suddenly break down because I didn’t know where we were again. Lol. I sha knew the place had one nice suya spot that was entering my eyes as the driver slowed down to enter one big water filled pothole. I temporarily stopped lusting after the suya and started praying again that the bus should not spoil inside the water because I can’t swim. A sentiment echoed aloud by a fellow passenger.
After an exhausting day, I arrived home around 8:30 pm, and immediately I entered the house, nepa took light.
Nepa 100:0 Me
I showered and settled down to eat, and they brought back the light.
My God 100:0 Nepa
After a very filling dinner and a miraculous 120cl of water -I say miraculous, because aside from a few occasions, I struggle to finish 60cl of water at a sitting- I hit the bed and that was the end of the day.
In summary, Lagos is stressful, people thrive on that stress, half the population of this city is mad, and money is very easy to spend. It is when you get home and start calculating how much has left your hand, then you begin to question if other people are sharing the same bank account with you. Because it can’t be me who spent all this money I’m saving to buy husband material. The money that remains can’t even reach for half yard bayi. Hei God!
Anyway, I do usually write; short stories, blog posts, website content, articles and the likes. Please feel free to contact me for writing jobs so that I can finally marry in Jesus name.