Monday, April 5, 2010

Grocery shopping, Ibadan style

On the way to the market.

James is on a plane somewhere between Lagos and Atlanta right now and I'm back in my living room in Ibadan.  Boo hoo!  Luckily, we've had electricity all night and morning, which eases the pain a little . . . 

See?  I'm easily satisfied.  It also helps that we've begun the countdown to my return to Los Angeles.  I'm going to try to soak in all of the Nigerianess that I can over the next three months.  Then it is back to West LA, where I won't be able to see cute little goats everyday but I will have an uninterrupted power supply.  You know, trade-offs.

So, join me on a very Nigerian experience: shopping for groceries at Bodija Market.

A view down the main market road.

We usually start at the plaintain seller's stall, where we buy the plantains and yams and then leave them until there until the end of the shopping trip.  

Buying groceries in the market takes a long time.  Weaving in and out of the stalls, buying each item from an individual seller, negotiating every price, entertaining people with my attempts at Yoruba, eating snacks . . . no quick trips to the store around here.

Doing the grocery shopping is an all-day event!

Buying the vegetables and canned goods.

I'm obviously not in any of these pictures because I'm behind the camera, embarrassing Abigail with my constant requests to "ya a photo."  (And if I do make an appearance in any market picture, I will be the woman with the bright red face and crazed look in my eye.  Watch out.)  Since I've been shopping at Bodija for about six months now, the sellers have seen me around and are gracious enough to allow me to take photographs of them at work.  I've had to promise not to make lots of money selling the pictures to 'my people in America.'  Instead, I say that I will show people the pictures so that they want to come and visit Nigeria.  

So, people of America, this is grocery shopping in Nigeria - come see for yourselves!

A lovely oil seller.

(To be continued.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Regan,
    I stumbled across your blog in a random google search. Very cool blog. I have a question for you. I am getting ready to do a research project in Nigeria about consumers and chicken. Can you tell me which "modern" grocers are located in Ibadan? For example, Shoprite or locally-owned inside grocery stores? I know there are many more in Lagos, but I'd like to do the work in Ibandan.
    Thanks, Andrea