The Nigerian marketplace is a potpourri of interesting experiences. Experiences you won’t get or have anywhere else. You want to be cracked up? Head on. You want to be comprehensively angered? Go there. Much more interestingly, you want to be re-christened? That’s the place. I told you about my very interesting experience at a clothe cum household stuff market some weeks back here https://oluwapelumimojolaoluwalivingstone.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/a-great-day/?_e_pi_=7%2CPAGE_ID10%2C9372545093 right? Well it’s not a one time thing. In fact I have had myriads of funny and not so funny experiences at various markets. Nigerian market people will not hesitate to rename you without due consultation or prior permission. Asides the general ‘Customer’, title even a JJC can earn on the very first market visit, there are tons of other ones like ‘Sister’, ‘Aunty’, ‘Mummy’ ‘Fine girl’… And the ones depending on your complexion or appearance like ‘Oyinbo’, ‘My colour’, ‘Akowe’, ‘My wife’… These people are hilarious. Remember that time a guy was calling me Bola and was even saying ‘agidi e yi naa ni…'(This stubborness of yours is the problem). And I was like ‘e ma gba mi ke?’ You and who? These market people sometimes feel they’ve earned the right to lecture you and advice you on societal vices and virtues enh. I shan’t forget so easily a recent experience at a food market. I had priced a roll of tomato paste and inquired if the other type of the same brand was the same price o. The woman turned to pick a nylon or something and I picked up the roll to give her only for her to turn back, see the one I’d picked and be like, ‘She iyen le mu tele enh? Se iyen le bere tele. E je ma ni itelorun, e de n lo church…'(is that the one you priced before, you better be contented, aren’ t you a church goer,yada yada…). Ah ah, what’s that?(In B10 voice) I simply dropped it and walked off while she ranted on.
I went to another vendor to buy something else and since they gave me an unfavourable price, began to walk off. She was like ‘answer now, how much will you pay, aunty dada, answer now’. Really? Aunty dada? Relle? (In B10 voice). Okay my hair is all packed up in semi-twists and twist outs, so what? And what with me trying to find my way in the dense traffic of the market and some woman snapping, ‘Iya Gomina’ e je ka koja! ‘Wait, is today a disrespectful people only market day? Governor’ s mother?
But then the market place can also be an interesting place. Where you get to laugh at some over zealous retailer yabbing another, where barrow men keep yelling at you to get out of the way, where you can be emotionally blackmailed into a budget deficit, where the same market men and women with the same mouth with which they tell you eight cups is a congo will earnestly repeat hackneyed prayer points after a pedestrian preacher. And oh the bright smile you elicit when you quip ‘maka gini’ to an Igbo woman, the triumphant glow on the face of the seller who’s managed to hijack you into her stall out of several vendors hailing you to stop by theirs… The funny manner in which loudspeakers describe a non existent problem with your own health to you and how their omnipotent product has been made just for you… The reminder that there are still honest people in Nigeria by a seller who calls you back for your change as you walk away absentmindedly… I bet you have one or two interesting stories to tell too.
In other news, I am doing a ONE FRUIT DAILY CHALLENGE this month. Started with water melon yesterday, today, it’s orange. But we’ll talk about that later okay? Bye! Lates!