Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Adventures In Nigeria

Iya Basira Is Coming To Town.

I am a foodie and I am quite honest about my love for food that is different, authentic, with spices  and vegetables that I’ve never heard of.   It is no secret that when I travel, I choose to eat at localties and the types of foods that these places are known for. Of course, this has gotten me into a lot of trouble in terms of my health and this occurred again when I visited Nigeria and I had to spend some time in bed because of a sore throat. Fura de nunu sold by the Fulani women at Wuse Market was the culprit.  Abuja, you still have my heart. 

Iya Basira or Mama Put or Buka is a local eatery often visited by those of a lower income level or those seeking a food adventure or those who aren’t really into the ‘airs’ of more renown establishments.  These are the kinds of places I enjoy visiting even when I travel.  These kinds of places offer some kind of authenticity to their meals, it is just what it is with a lot of sweat, grunt and heavy manual labor that it actually tastes better.

This year, I had sworn that despite all warnings, I will be visiting this kind of eatery. They are the only kind of place that can spice the food just right.  To get me out of my house and on this wonderful Foodie adventure delight, I had to get someone who will come to my house, introduce himself or herself as a person of character and bundle me out before my parents could start asking questions about  the water and ingredients used in cooking such meals.  As such, I employed a FB friend of mine, I will call him Zie, to do the honors.  Now, I know having Zie come to my home will open a whole can of worms considering how we met, particularly after that Cynthia thing but Zie went out of his way to ensure that I had all his information so that he can be tracked down just in case he turns out to be a serial killer or love juju user (sister’s interpretation of possible events).

On my second day back home, Zie came to my  home and presented himself well and we rushed out.  Since Zie is very ehm, what word do I use to describe him now *tongue in cheek*.......  Let me try again.  Since Zie, like many Lagosians, won’t understand the reason that this Iya Basira adventure is very important to a Foodie like myself, I decided to spare him the agony of taking me to the kind of place I really wanted to go to.  He took me to one in Ikeja that could just barely fit into the category of an Iya Basira, on a higher level than an Iya Basira  with music playing very loud, people watching football (that Manchester crap, Chelsea, assn whatever nonsense that Nigerians spend so much time on rather than developing their own football teams).  The music was so loud that I could barely hear myself talk.  I felt so sorry for Zie because he really did try to have a conversation, I was so sure he won’t have a voice by the time he wakes up the following morning.  But, fortunately, he was okay.  Yipee!!

We were served Ofada rice and some pear drink.  The rice was good but unfortunately, it did not have the kind of heat and spice that actually took me on this adventure my second night in.  It was just okay.  The drink was okay.   The setting as I mentioned earlier was very noisy.  But, the company was great.  It is always wonderful to relax with people in your now foreign home country.  Zie took me home to my very anxious parents and he was just simply a gentleman.  As a side note, Nigerian girls in Nigeria, you guys are dulling so many fine single young men in Nigeria na wetin una dey do?  Stop playing ten ten and get to it o!

I do intend to visit an authentic Iya Basira or Mama Put the next time I am in the country.  I know exactly what to order.   Poor Zie, will he be my next Foodie adventure guide?

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