Lagos is a bubble. Burst it

I am a snob.

I do not say this with pride. In fact there’s a bit of sheepishness tinged with shame in that confession.

For someone who claims to be reasonably well-traveled and open-minded or as we call in these days – “woke”, I’m under-exposed to the most important country of all…mine.

There’s a certain arrogance that comes with being a Lagosian. I claim this title of Lagosian and have claimed it for over twenty-something years. [I dare anyone to challenge me]

My parents were born and raised in Lagos as was I. I grew up in Surulere – Aborisade first then Lawanson. Moved to the ‘island’ when I was 10. I say island with slight derision because when my parents got their property they were tricked into believing our part of town was also the island. By the time the roundabouts came, I knew better. We were closer to Ijebu-Ode than Lekki.

Anyway, back to the arrogance of us Lagosians. We brag about our hustle like other cities don’t know what strife is.

We hate the traffic but we love it.

It’s unexplainable. This toxic love for this somewhat toxic city.

Yet there’s a slight derision in our tones when we speak with the new immigrants….Those who weren’t born or raised in Éko. We compare our night life to theirs as if that was something to brag about. Ibadan especially is the butt of our jokes.

Did you know that most Lagosians have never traveled outside of Lagos?

I decided this year to try something new…Instead of vacationing outside the country, I wanted to see more of Nigeria.

My first port of call was Abeokuta. I remember seeing a Slot outlet and exclaiming “Oh they have Slot here”.

I had to bite my tongue after saying that. This was a city in its own right not some backwater slum.

Abeokuta was beautiful.


I was intrigued by its history. By random rock pieces jutting out of the ground like remnants of a Lost age.

Rocks.

They were everywhere.

I was intrigued by the people. Aged women with tribal marks across their cheeks that told stories my hands alone could not write. I watched their veiny hands wring water out of clothes and pull adiré out of hot dye pots.

Amazing!

It was in Abeokuta that I tasted kpekere for the first time in maybe 17 years. I called it kpekere, my travel companions called it kokoro. I bought 400 Naira’s worth. This was eight pieces. And I finished every one.


A recent visit to Warri exposed me to edible worms. They were huge worms that had been dipped in pepper and roasted on a spit. They were delicious.


It was also in Ibadan that I tasted one of the best amala, gbegiri and ewedu combos ever. My family and friends know that I think amala is the eighth wonder of the world.


Finally, thanks to the closure of the Abuja airport, I had to take a trip through Kaduna the other day.

Kaduna of all places!!!!! Who would have thunk it?!

Here’s what I’ve come to realize about the northern states.

  • Breathing is difficult for me here. The air is dry yet it’s humid. I went for an early morning run and I was breathing through my mouth the entire time.
  • The people however are interesting. I don’t know if it’s the novelty of them or it’s the mystery behind the Hausa that rolls off their tongues like melodious music.
  • I am fascinated by their landscape. If I’d thought Abeokuta had rocks…Abuja and Kaduna put it to shame.

Zuma rock made me want to go rock climbing. Gurara falls reminded me that there was more to life than the loud and incessant honking of car horns and city noise.

It was amazing to be able to take a walk at night through the streets of Abuja without fear of being mobbed. To take a taxi over long distances at ridiculous fares of 300 naira to 500 naira. Drop for that matter o!!

Where can you get such fares in Lagos? 

I’m aware that not all parts of Abuja are this serene. This is also not my first visit to the Capital, however it’s the first time I’ve seriously considered living anywhere but Lagos.

Lagos is a bubble. There’s a world outside waiting to be explored. What are you waiting for?

8 comments

  1. Made · March 13

    I guess I am a snob too. Although I served in Abuja, I confess I didn’t do much sightseeing and I was there for about 2 years!
    Shame…

    Like

    • alakowe290 · March 14

      Lol. I’m dragging you to my next mountain climbing expedition

      Like

  2. Pingback: Lagos is a bubble. Burst it – WELCOME TO LAGOSGIRLONABUDGET
  3. 'FOJ · March 13

    And it’s just march!.

    Imagine the numerous places you could still visit before the year runs out.

    It’s a favorite past time of mine to travel especially by road across the country.

    Thankfully, despite growing up in Lagos, parents ensured we always had holidays in different cities, that’s why it was perhaps easy for me to leave lagoss as I had my secondary education in 3 different states.

    Lagos is indeed a bubble and should have been burst since. *evil grin*

    You should see the Osun-Osogbo groove (a UNESCO world heritage site), Yankari Games reserve in Bauchi, the argungu fishing festival, the hills of idanre, oranmiyan staff in Ile-ife… so many places and sights to see in Nigeria alone.

    Like

    • alakowe290 · March 14

      Stop tempting me with all these locations….

      Instead tell me….

      When are you taking me to all these places? *wink*

      Like

  4. Mudi · March 13

    “We hate the traffic but we love it. “Deep. Only a Lagosian will get this.”

    Like

    • alakowe290 · March 14

      Lol. Now you sound like one of the famed Lagos snobs.

      I have a love-hate relationship with Balogun Market as well. It fascinates me and terrifies me at the same time.

      Like

  5. bimpeshappyplace · March 15

    Beautiful!!! And boy, how true!!!!

    Like

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