Skip to main content

Two years on, and still walking

everyone is stuck in traffic
everyone is stuck in traffic
It has now been two years that I live in Lagos. The indiscriminate fears of a freshly arrived traveler have morphed into a more focused knowledge of the things I like and enjoy doing and those I would rather avoid and stay at home.

Let’s start with some of the do’s:
military vetted hairdresser (not immune to KAI)
military vetted hairdresser (not immune to KAI)

  •         Go to Elegushi beach or Tarkwa bay to have fun on Saturday or Sunday afternoon and enjoy the swag of young Lagosians
  •         The Eko hotel rooftop to chill, with a music not loud enough to drive you away or discourage you from having any sort of sensible conversation ( however the playlist is somewhat repetitive and short if I recall the number of times, in the interval of two drinks, I heard the word “pussy” which was part of the first song). But the view is awesome and the breeze fantastic.
  •      The boat club (if you have a friend that can take you there) for breakfast but particularly at sunset
  •     Be struck with deep short-sightedness if you feel that traffic police is about to white-glove you (signal that you should stop wearing white gloves because they need weekend money – weekday money is accepted as well)
  •     If you are walking on the street and greet the guards on watch in front of their houses, they will make your walk much more enjoyable the next time you meet them as some might greet you first. You will also discover the secrets of people making a living on the streets, from the lottery, hair-dressers, food sellers
  •     Pizza "prosciutto di parma" and tiramisu and PizzaRiah in Musa Yar Adua street in Victoria Island
Kuramo Waters from Eko Hotel
Kuramo Waters from Eko Hotel
  •     Say "no" or rather "next time" if people ask you for money, they are simply testing your willingness to give. Many a time guys would ask for money because one looks like a promising pot of money but as one starts asking about their names and begins a conversation, they may rapidly forget about the money. Some women however keep insisting that they should marry me so that I can take them to Europe regardless of what it entails.
  •     Lekki market on a Saturday morning towards the third week of the month. Sellers are desperate to have you as their first customer of the day to bring them luck (and perhaps as a result lunch as well). Vegetables are very fresh there.
  •     L’Epicerie, a French quality supermarket, if you are nostalgic or curious about French quality products. Rémi will welcome and advise you very nicely.
  •     Walking over Lekki Bridge or driving over Third Mainland Bridge early morning or late afternoon to appreciate the calm of the water and the vastness of the sky
   And now about the don’t’s:
  •      Drive through Awowolo road at a time of fuel scarcity: you may never get out of it. More generally, don't go driving through Lagos when traffic decides to go mad. You should rather stay put and have few drinks until traffic clears
  •     Facing the Lekki toll gate at rush hour and witness the convergence of 40 lanes into 10 (or less).
  •     Snapping Tafala Balewa Square (TBS) during the day on your own (not advisable if you want to keep your camera and avoid paying)
  •     Panic if you arrested by the police, except if you are white or Indian and on your own. It is always worth peacefully waiting that they get discouraged or loose hope of extorting any money from your pocket. Lagosians are generally impatient so even police will prefer a smaller dash after two hours than no dash at all because they want to leave and go home when 4pm comes around the corner
  •     Be naïve and fall into the fangs of 419ers. For instance, people manage to persuade you to call and give away your cards details. Beware of fake, Igbo boys are masters at reconditioning fake products in nice packages.
  •     Don’t panic if people shout at you and please greet them back accordingly (shouting at them will earn you their respect)
LASPARK beautification turns out to be a street beatification
LASPARK beautification turns out to be a street beatification


Popular posts from this blog

The Ogiamien family in Benin City: about wood and history

Roland Ogiamien is a renown wood carver. He is now retired in his home town of Benin City and is now in his 80s. We met him in his simple workshop, a barn opened on the surrounding greenery. A part of the studio is used to store wood pieces and make sure they are well dried. He is using a collection of german ustensils to carve and polish the wood. He spent most of his career working out of Lagos before relocating to Benin.
Roland was explaining that the wood he uses today is different from his early days. Ebony has become rare and wood carvers have had to switch to other types of wood. Traditional heritage is a large part of his inspiration which he translates on wood with his own particular style, exploring various techniques for the finish of his pieces.
Ogiamien is the name of an important royal family in Benin Kingdom. Towards the end of the Ogiso dynasty (12th century), Ogiso Owodo did not have a son to succeed him, his brother Evian therefore took over after Owodo&#…

the fish market of Epe

Epe (pronounced Ekpe in yoruba) is a small city located on the narrow stretch of water that separates the lagoon of Lagos from the one, further in the east, known as Lekki lagoon. It is built on the small hills that border the water. It is connected by a bridge to the Lekki peninsula.
The town is famous for its fish market located on the water side. It is the place to buy fresh water fish, some of them still alive. They are kept in plastic buckets but also directly in the lagoon water in woven baskets.
Many more is for sale such as crayfish, crocodile, turtle, monitor lizard, big snails.  Game meat is also available coming from the nearby forest of the Omo reserve. We saw two wild cats with white spotted black fur and a strong scent; As we left we saw antilope legs arriving to the stall.
Some fishes are particular, one is sending electricity shocks when you touch it, another one was looking like a prehistoric fish with a sort of dinosaur like shell; there was also one with giant scal…

The mysterious stones images of Esie

Chief J. Agbo Ooye had been waiting in the shade of a large tree, in front of the National Museum of Esie, dressed in ceremonial costume with a velvet hat incrusted with crystal beads sown in the shape of his title and his name. He was sitting next to his wife on a bench, expecting our arrival. His wife, he would tell us later, was his best friend and she was actually demonstrating it by guiding his frail body from one place to another and guiding his hand when it came to sign autographs of his books. Chief Agbo Ooye is the author of two booklets on the Esie Stones. The first one, called A Personal Account of the Esie Stones is giving an overview of the differences between the scientific and the traditional interpretation of the Esie Stones. The second one is called the History of Esie and gives a brief account of Esie's history from the early settlement of Yorubas in various groups (Esie, Oro, Eku Apa, Igbonla, Edidi, Igbesi, etc...) to the present day. Those groups, who lived o…