Valentine’s day has come and gone and while many remember fondly the day and it’s sweet memories, others are glad it’s in the past. I spent the weekend attending a friend’s wedding in the ancient city of Ibadan and I must say those hilarious memes about Ibadan peeps don’t even tell half the story. 😉
Driving into the town, we were in awe of the okada men who drove their rickety bikes like they were Harley-Davidsons giving motorists a heart attack every time they pulled a stunt. I couldn’t help blessing Fashola and Oshiomole for curbing this menace in the metropolitan areas of their respective states. We checked into a hotel in Bodija supposedly one of the good ones and we were welcomed by a rude receptionist who’d probably just realized she was the side chick judging by her surly demeanor. It was Valentine’s day and the six of us checked into three rooms on the same floor eagerly anticipating the rest of the evening. We had a good laugh about all the people wearing red or a touch of red, from the vulcanizer to the bus conductor and the bride and groom had not been left out, their engagement colours being red and gold.
The men had threatened to burst our romantic bubble by announcing that they were going for the groom’s bachelor’s eve party that night with none of their wives in tow. We begged, cajoled, threatened and cried but all our pleas fell on deaf ears. The men imagined scenes from ‘Hangover’ and ‘Last Vegas’ and were not gonna fall for anything we were saying. When we realized they weren’t budging we revolted and announced we were gonna have a ladies’ night, wear our sexiest and paint the town red without our significant others. Alas we forgot we were a long way from home. The first disaster was the absence of running water in the entire hotel. We couldn’t take our baths or flush the toilets, it was absolutely ludicrous. The staff ended up fetching buckets of water for us to our consternation. Then in a bid to cheer us up, one of the bell boys announced that the hotel had Val presents for every room and so we trooped downstairs to claim our pressies. The side chick receptionist looked mildly surprised and then crestfallen when she reluctantly handed us the gifts, I guess she was hoping she would end up with one of them at the end of her shift. Well if she had been nicer I would have given up my ‘hamper’. The so-called hamper consisted of some sweets, onion crackers, nasco biscuit, an artificial rose and a bottle of cheap vodka but like they say it’s the thought that counts and these people needed us thinking sweet thoughts since they hadn’t fixed the water problem!
The guys decided to accompany us to shoprite. I think they were either worried about the hot dresses their wives were wearing or the fact that our itinerary included a movie at shoprite, dinner at a Chinese restaurant, suya, liquor and shaking our ukwu at any club we found before midnight! Anyway as far as they were concerned Ibadan was unsafe and they needed to keep us safe. I was still scoffing at that concept when we noticed that the women in the car in front of us were being robbed. Seriously what do you do when you notice that sort of activity in the car in front of you? There were no cops on the road and the taxi had no plate number. My friend tried to be a hero and was trailing the car but the driver noticed us and increased his speed along with some dangerous swerves and soon we realized we had not only lost them but we were lost as well.
We eventually got to shoprite and I experienced shoprite Ibadan for the first time in history. I think I actually feel safer in the market on Lagos Island than I ever did throughout my time there. There were thousands of people running against you and basically doing nothing. I could only imagine the pilfering rate, the security was obviously swamped. Seriously tho’ why would there be that many people at shoprite on Valentine’s day not doing anything? Did dudes take chicks to shoprite for dates? #eternallyconfused
My wallet was securely wedged between my arm and chest throughout. The guys were thoroughly frazzled and begged us to just buy suya in addition to the party favors we got from shoprite and have a quiet bridal shower at the hotel. We finally agreed after they promised to take us out somewhere romantic the next evening and after they showed us the way to the suya they left us to our fate.
The rest of the night was an angry blur (more like a bleh). We made the mistake of going to options 24-7 to buy suya and the other half of the population of Ibadan were there. It took us two hours and four reorders to finally get our soggy, onion-less suya, throw in two guys – one obviously having a mid-life crisis and the other still trying to find himself who were both hoping to get lucky and then the female police woman patrolling the road at night not to mention almost getting lost and we were back at the hotel too tired to have the crazy party we had planned. The men were just leaving for the bach eve and the hotel manager announced that my friend K and her hubby were the lucky winners of a romantic dinner for two in the hotel lobby (rolling my eyes), maybe the dining room was fully booked but the table for two at the lobby was anything but romantic and my friend’s hubby announced he was on his way out and that was the end of that story (I wonder what was on the menu 😉 )
The next day was beautiful, the wedding was a gorgeous one and we had a splendid time. After it we decided to watch Kevin Hart’s new movie “About last night“.
It would have been a great movie if my hubby hadn’t dozed off ten minutes into the movie. The Ibadan cinema was hot, noisy and shabby but they had a gregarious audience and their comments added to the excitement (p.s if you are one of those people who like quiet cinemas DO NOT go here). That night I didn’t sleep a wink. I spent the night vomiting and stooling and by morning I felt like the walking dead. Everybody blamed the Chinese I had at the wedding. It was Ibadan’s way of saying ‘I am glad you came, do visit us again…’ (evil laugh)
I jejerly bought imodium and kissed the rustic city goodbye…
How was your weekend? I know mine sounds like it was the weekend from hell but despite being stuck in the city called chaos, I had mad fun! 😉
There was a poll on the website asking readers if they thought Valentine’s day was overrated and majority (57%) felt it was overrated. I actually agree with the majority simply because I have learnt not to put too much pressure on myself or my loved ones. Too many of us have made val’s day about the gifts instead of the emotion behind the gestures. I had an awesome time because I was surrounded by friends and family (even though I almost died). It’s never too late to make the person you love feel special, don’t wait till February 14th next year to do it.
Have a lovely night Chutzpah fam,
(writing posts for y’all to read is really therapeutic, do drop a comment so I know you are there…)