Wednesday, 30 November 2011

day 10 in nigeria - in balance

got home last night after a 2½ hour journey from a market, weirdly exhausted, so this one's a day late (not that it makes any difference, given i won't be posting them until i get back anyway).

so, yesterday was one of my favourite days - it involved a trip to yaba market with my cousin, and with 4 hours on the road, that included a lot of road-side sight-seeing.

highlights included:
- wheelbarrows piled high with melons, yam, and sugarcane

- a number of cars (for some reason, i noted particularly some type of peugeot and a nissan sunny bluebird, which was once our family car) stuffed to the windows in the backseat and the boot with massive bunches of green bananas

- amazing feats of balancing - people in the marketplaces carrying all sorts on their heads, often without the needs for hands to steady them.  masses of stuff - huge baskets of peppers and tomatoes, big 'ghana-must-go's (the big shopping bags) full of only god knows what, a row of cushions (seriously) - everything!

- passengered-up okadas, one on which i swear the guy at the back had a baby goat across his lap…

- motorbikes and cars crossing the central boundary of the roads to make u-turns; a massive trailer truck, which i'm pretty sure didn't actually intend to cross the central reserve, strewn across the road, luckily not overturned, but resulting in a huge go-slow both ways

- an escaped goat, from one of the roadside goat areas.  ok - very poor explanation - in some places, beside the road, there are loads of troughs, surrounded by masses of goats for sale; as far as i can tell, they're not actually tied up, though i may be wrong on that count.  whatever the case, this particular goat had decided to make a run for it, and managed to make it safely across the 4 lanes of traffic, followed closely by its owner.  everyone in the bus erupted into laughter, especially when (as far as we could tell) the goat ended up jumping into a wheelbarrow it encountered on the other side

- incredible grin-inducing feats of balancing

- a pair of young-looking school kids crossing the busy roads, one holding on to the rucksack straps of the other

- a massive congregation praying maghrib under a pedestrian overpass, with one guy balancing on a bench, and me thinking 'wow, so that really happens'

- a man slouched, arms crossed, against his broken down car, pushed into the high grass at the side of the road, just waiting

- driving that managed to be simultaneously terrifying and exciting - like watching formula one from the passenger seat, racing cars replaced by motorcycles, normal cars, minibuses, big buses, and huge trucks. oh yeah, and pedestrians

- death-defying hawkers, who sell their wares along the roadside, and often, in the road, weaving between vehicles, running to keep up with their customers, keeping an eye and ear out for potential sales

- and did i mention, superbly spectacular feats of balancing?

1 comment:

  1. Wow sounds like a typical day in naija to me! Love it!