When in Lagos do go to a market, it’s a surreal experience. Balogun, Mushin, Yaba, Oshodi…there is nothing quite like a market in Lagos. It’s hot and fast, quick and fun; everything is to the nth. Traffic is everywhere of people and cars, everyone is entitled to walk or drive on the same road, what little there is of it, as markets carve out their trading space. Bargaining 101, this is where you go to learn to bargain, us Lagosians will haggle you to the ground whether it’s on fresh fish or the newest lace everything can be had at a bargain. The hustle is on another level, and the vibe is alive.
Everyone thrives on it; traders wit and proverbs flow in conversation, from old wise men to the new kid selling ice on the block, its all fun and games but serious business all the same.
As a little girl this was one of my favourite things to do with my mom, go shopping for the household on a Saturday morning, bright and early; we’d have a field day of it, so much so that by the time we were done we would have to use two alabarus, women who help carry your shopping, to help with all our shopping, and you can trust your goods stay intact and safe at the end of your market day. Afterwards we’d head to Mr Biggs, for meat-pie- the best meat pie I have ever, ever had and will ever have, and a cold bottle of Fanta or eat in one of the bukas in the, local restaurant; iresi elewe was my favourite, rice served in a leaf with ayamase; pepper stew made with pumpkin seed, green peppers and lots or meat I’d eat it with my hands, wash it down with fanta. It is Heaven on earth.
So put this on your bucket list- a market day in Lagos, it’s a must do.