Street hawking in Lagos. What a unique experience! Where else on this earth can one afford prompt service coupled with freedom of choice and the chance to compare, contrast, and haggle prices of goods and services with vendors, and totally feel like a celebrity?
Not in a million cities. Only in Lagos, Nigeria.
Yeah, that's right. I totally said it. What you gonna do? Drag my white tush to Kiri-Kiri prison?
Anyone who's ever been to Lagos, even for one day, totally knows the chant of the street-hawkers:
Bread-dy Agege o!
Ewa Agoyin, o wa o!
Coke! Fanta!! Sprite!!!
Guguru ati ekpa!
Akara, Kpoff-kpoff, Chin-chin!!!
It goes on and on and never ends, one street hawker--flat metal tray balanced on his/her head--after another, selling edible goodies from dawn till dusk.
Who can resist their call? No one! That's why their service is so world-famous.
Indigens say Lagos is for the active and highly energetic individuals. Yeah, right!
Ironically, the lazy and sedentary thrive well in Lagos too. Basically, the street-hawkers live for these people. All one needs to do is drag oneself outta bed and go camp in front of the gate to ones home. All the stuff you need for the day will pass by you in the space of thirty-five minutes. From bath soap to toothbrush and toothpaste. From hot tea and freshly baked bread to heavy meals, snacks, and soft drinks. Hell, you can even make a phone call with a rented cell phone! What more can one ask for?
And to totally cap it all, stuffs are hawked in convenient quantities. You need just two slices of bread for a sandwich? No problem! the street-hawkers will totally sell just two slices. Lol! You only need a squeeze of toothpaste? Not an issue! You only wanna purchase just three tablespoons of hot cocoa and a dash of milk for your morning drink? Sure, they're totally up for it! You need a handful of detergent for your laundry? Okey-dokie, one handful of 'super-blue omo' is measured and priced accordingly. Lol!!!
One favorite theory of mine is that many Europeans are in the wrong country--especially the heavy and lazy ones. Oh yeah? What other city encourages the sedentary lifestyle in humans more than Lagos? Imagine a city where sloth and bumming around is totally acceptable. Vendors bring everything you ever wish for to your doorstep, enabling you to just sit right there on your backside while you lose weight and acquire a long-lasting tan without much trouble. Lol!!!
Oh and it doesn't end with just hanging outside your gate. While riding in vehicles you can totally buy stuff off the streets too. Who says you gotta stop and exit your vehicle? Nope. No need to bother your precious self. The street-hawkers totally get it. They already anticipate your needs and will rush their wares to your car window. Don't worry, they are adept at chasing after your car even in the heaviest of traffic. Some of them can totally keep pace with a vehicle moving at 30 kilometers per hour. Amazing, huh?
While in a car, please, the last thing you wanna do is push your head outta your window and yell, "Bread!" Lol!!! The next thing you're gonna know, many different kinds of bread are so gonna be shoved in your face. Large loaves, small loaves, dark-chocolate, white, wheat, mixed, milky, sliced, heavy--name it, you got it!
So basically, you now get the idea, right? Hey? You still with me?
I steal a look at your face and realize you're totally fast asleep.
I've been totally rambling to myself for the last hour. Fat luck!
I'll be back with more!
CarlottaFor information about the upcoming novel, FEDDIE GIRL by Nona David, visit Bernard Books Publishing http://bernardbooks.com