This post highlights my personal moments. These moments do not necessarily reflect on Lagos as a whole but are based on my personal experience.
On missing my flight
Well, this did not exactly happen in Lagos, but it applies since Lagos was the final destination. Kenya Airways decided to be cute and charged me 150 USD in penalties for missing my flight. 100 USD to uplift the suspended ticket and 50 USD for changing the flight date. Hata sikuskia vibaya. Also, I hope that 150 USD helps reduce their 4 billion half-year loss. Yes I checked.
That one time I ate Kilishi
I’ll never forget the first time I ate Kilishi. Now, I do not care what else is out there but Kilishi will be the most peppery thing I will ever eat. I never thought it was possible to get sick from too much pepper but I had a running stomach the morning after eating Kilishi.
Nothing is free
The Lagosian woman that figured I was looking for something not that I looked lost or anything. She offered to take me to the bureau de change. Now, she not only escorted me like the bodyguard I never knew I needed, but she also took me to the immigration department and again waited for me to get stamped into Nigeria. Upon getting done, she took my poncho, folded it neatly and put it in a yellow paper bag which she then handed it over to me. Can I just say I felt like a criminal with that paper bag following the plastic ban in Kenya? I then remembered I was in Lagos and felt all powerful. It only takes a freaking paper bag to make me feel powerful!
Oh, the sweet woman you ask? Oh yeah. Turns out she wasn’t sweet for nothing. She wanted me to give her a few nairas. For what though? For turning me into a potential criminal? No thank you.
Nigerians do not play with food
This one time I tried to say no to food, a gentleman boldly told me ”My Sisto stop playing with food. You need to eat o. Ahn! Ahn!. Why can i still see your sternum? I want you to be like dem. (points to thicker women) Dey eat a lot. Look at dem; they look like they eat a lot, abi?” (I still don’t know what sternum is)
I’m not sure if this would have been more offensive to me or them but It was said on a lighter note of course.
Of eating snails
I was astonished the first time I found out snails are a delicacy in Nigeria. I am still surprised, but it’s a common delicacy not only in Nigeria but also in West Africa and France. Something called escargot. How do you domesticate snails? You should see my face as I type this. I am grossed out at the thought of mucus being all over my space.
It gets interesting. Not everyone can afford to eat snails because snails are super expensive. You think it’s a joke? There’s a Kenya snail farmer (still wondering which Kenyan eats snail) and get this, a kilo of snail is 200 USD! As in 20,000 KES!! I am gladly taking a seat with the people who cannot afford snail because for one I seriously cannot afford it and secondly I’m good love enjoy!
I tweeted my surprise of Nigerians eating snail, and their responses made to the tweet below made my night:
What I loved: Jollof rice, fried yams, plantains, swallow, cat fish, Suya… Wow. I could have just said I love Nigerian food. 😂
What shocked me:Nigerians eat snail 🐌
I couldn’t bring myself to try 😩
For the love of God. Who eats snail surely? https://t.co/cEBCoDoEy7
— Winnie Rioba (@justrioba) August 29, 2018
Hilarious Uber/Taxify drivers
Naturally, after your request is accepted, you usually call the driver to find out their location which is what I did except when I told the driver my destination, this man had the nerve to exclaim and say “Chineke! That is far o.” Which begs the question, why in heaven’s name did he accept the ride? He agreed to take me and on the way asked me where I was from. Upon telling him, he asked the good old question that all Kenyans love to hear ” how comes Kenyans always win marathons. You guys are very good. Can you run yourself? ”
“Yes. I currently have a running stomach from the Kilishi I had yesterday.” is what I should have said. If I had a dollar for every time, I get the running question. Sigh.
Another instance, this time on a taxify, the driver said “Shaa. I have to pee madam. I need to relieve myself o.” He then parked the car and went about his own business. I have to admit I found this too funny until it happened again a month later in Nairobi, along waiyaki way coincidentally in a taxify. You can call me the pee whisperer now.
Of taking Public transport in Lagos
If you read this post, then you know that Lagos is chaos. I had my host Lara draw a map for me to take public transport from Okota to Yaba to meet Funmi. I filmed the entire process on my Nigerian Instagram highlights. Listen, this might not seem like a big deal, but it is if you are new to Lagos and it’s easy to get lost. Ask anyone that lives in Lagos. I made it from Okota to Yaba after taking one danfo, two motorbikes, and one tuk-tuk. I never got into any trouble or got lost or got scammed because I knew the fare price in advance. Taking public transport within Lagos on your own as a newbie is an experience.
Meet Rioba, the Fulani lady
The number of times some people asked if I was Fulani in Lagos was insane. An immigration officer holding my passport which screams Kenyan asked me “Are you a Fulani lady?” He even baptised me Fatoumata. And you know what? Fulani are nomads so maybe I am a Fulani lady after all.