Hello everyone, well its Friday again. You would wonder what is so special about the first Friday ad every month. Two things- it is the day where the entire country (we are just a million plus residents) go to the three major markets and it is the day of the Nigerians in Bahrain monthly meeting. One would ask why does first Fridays matter? Well, unlike my home country Nigeria, where every day is a market day and accessible via bikes (okada), keke napep or bus, Friday happens to be the only major market day of the week. Although the weekend consist of Friday and Saturday, most people working in private establishments do work on Saturday and thus are left with Fridays to shop. So my husband and I set out to try and shop for the month(try being the operative word, because my husband and I are yet to get the formula right). So, as can be expected, the market is usually rowdy……but not in the same context of my Nigerian market. (Nigerian markets put the ‘rowd’ in rowdy. Just try going to Balogun market on a Saturday or December period). Parking was a major problem that day and traffic was through the roof.
My husband and I couldn’t find a parking space and ended up blocking someone. Of course we put our number on the windscreen for the person to call us. However, the driver of the vehicle came up before we left and said he will be leaving in 5 minutes, his wife was coming. So we decided to wait and take over his parking spot. 15 minutes and plenty grumblings later, his wife finally came and we were able to park. A fellow Nigerian lady was not so lucky. Although she left her number (first day driving to the market alone), the scallywag she had blocked, called her AFTER he had deflated one of her tyres. (i would like to give him the benefit of the doubt that he had deflated it and THEN saw the number, but I can’t say). Of course she was mad and refused to move. He deflated another one. Now, people were around and didn’t intervene. (one reason why I miss my home country). He was a citizen and there is a belief (warranted or not, not in a position to say yet), that nationals can get away with anything. So both parties ended up stuck. Genius guy, right? Luckily my hero of a husband and another Nigerian man took it upon themselves to save the day. Filling of tyres are free, so no vulcanizing in the market place. So they have to drive out to have it fixed, leaving me to continue the shopping.
Now normally, I love to shop alone because my husband isn’t patient at all and I like to haggle. But today was way too rowdy and we had devised a way of dividing the shopping. He gets the fish, I get everything else. Why? Unless like the meat section, which is clean, the fish section is wet, slippery and sort of smelling. Wading in on my Abaya is not appealing at all and then you have to go have them clean and have fish scales and all sort of yucky water splash on u. Not my favorite part.
Anyways, market over. Time for the Nigerians in Bahrain meeting. One of the ministry worker just had his wife join him and was in charge of hosting the 40+ Nigerians attending. So all the other ministry wives chipped in to help. Usually, the women go all out, making jollof rice, fried rice, salad, rice flour with egusi and efo riro I advised the newbie not to over do it and just keep it simple by making just jollof rice and salad. I offered to make one of my hit food for variety sake, the assorted pepper soup.
Yep this is me………………………
Of course, what ended up happening was out of the three coolers of rice prepared, only one was used. My pepper soup was a huge hit (ha ha ha) and a lot of people took that instead. I guess it reminded them more of Nigeria than Rice that one could have anytime. Anyways, it was a thoroughly exhausting day as all first Fridays are
Next first Friday, the circle continues. With another ministry wife hosting the meeting, it is going to be déjà vu all over again, except for the tyre issue.
Keep reading to know more about the Nigerian in Bahrain association and my campaign to have the wives become more active participants than just cooks for the day.
Cheers to the freaking weekend