Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It’s a Parreeeeeeeeee!(I)

Nigerians are well known for our love for partying, no matter how poor, oppressed or downtrodden we are, one thing we know how to do with flair is throwing and rocking a party. Chop, drink and quench… that’s why you’ll find a couple who’s monthly income doesn’t add up to 20k throwing a wedding party and inviting everybody and their cousins, and trust Nigerians, they will turn up, en masse (I actually stopped attending weddings a long time ago!). In fact some of them don’t even bother going to the church/mosque/shrine/local government headquarters where the wedding is taking place; they go straight to the reception…zat’s where it’s happening!
And the same goes for every excuse for throwing parties, child naming, burials (now that’s a reeeeeeeeeeeally biiig one), house warming, buyday(1st, 16th, 18th , 21st, 40th and every th’s thereafter), we even throw parties to ‘flip over’ dead ancestors! Trust Nigerians, everybody will turn out in their orange gele and green shoe and bag combo (no matter how broke they are!).
Why am I talking about parties? Well about three years ago, I moved from a very genteel and Ajebutta neighborhood (Bodija) to a big and rambunctious ‘Adugbo’(expression Femi’s). One of the best things about this adugbo (aside from my extremely cheap akomodashon) is the pap, I love taking hot, thick pap early in the morning, especially with pipping hot Akara. Unlike my former neighbourhood where everybody was too tush to be selling stuff like pap and akara, this one’s got my favorite breakfast in abundance.
My problem with parties started when one day I woke up and all the pap sellers were nowhere to be found, I rushed downstairs and walked up and down the street, nada… even the woman selling akara beside my house was not available … haba! This na disaster in the offing o! So I went to my next door neighbour’s place (Lanre, now that’s one character that will take a whole book to analyze) who kindly informed me that ‘they’ are throwing a burial party.
“Who are ‘they’?” I asked a bit bemused
“Everybody now.” Now I was totally flummoxed
“Who’s everybody? Does that include you and me? Because I don’t remember being told about any burial party.”
“What do you mean? Don’t you know Pa xyz who lives in that red building died?”
“So everybody is attending the party and nobody’s doing anything until after the party.”
“I still don’t get it, and I’m definitely not attending a party that has nothing to do with me.”
“What do you mean by that? Everybody will be there…”
“When will the women selling pap and akara be around then?”
“As soon as the party is over…”
I said okay and made to walk away, “Wait Ayo, I still don’t understand you o! You mean you haven’t bought the Aso Ebi?”
“Mcheeeeeeeeeeeew! Whose Ebi? They are Not my ebi…”
“But don’t you greet the old man?” He said
“Oh so greeting people nowadays makes me their Ebi? Will I be mentioned in the will too? Wo Lanre, I’ll see you later jare…” I said, quickly walking off before the conversation degenerates any further.

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