What an exciting caption with a James bond feel to it, aay? 😀
So my eastern report starts a few days to Christmas when ‘we'( mia familia)- italian for my family and I threw a few things in a bag and off we went to the east, Nsukka, Enugu specifically. Prior to this I wasn’t really feeling the Christmas vibe, I only remembered it was Christmas when I saw decorations hung up or read one of the countless promos on offer on the internet and in newspapers.
So we headed to the east with my brother who would give race car driver Louis Hamilton a good run for his money at the wheel.
It was an interesting journey to the east
Them don jam our car but God win!
We got hit twice from behind – nothing too serious, thank God. We made good progress (we were at Asaba before noon) till we got to Onitsha bridge and the head bridge where we encountered a little traffic. Finally got to the village in one piece.
Bright and early the next day, relatives and friends start coming by to welcome us and offer us all manner of eastern delicacies.
It was great seeing loved ones we hadn’t seen in years.
In the course of our trip we ate all sorts of food like okpa – a moi moi like meal favored by nsukka people made from groundpea , otipi (ntipe)-a meal made of grinded corn and vegetables, echicha – another local delicacy made of round tiny beans and dried cocoyam pounded into bits, ayaraya – a meal of round beans with chopped up pieces of yam, abacha- I bet you are familiar with this one, strips of dried cassava cooked with palm oil, vegetables, agidi jollof (maize meal like agidi) dried fish and tiny bits of ‘kpomo’, utara okpa (a fufu-like swallow made of groundpea seed), plenty of fufu and egusi soup with bitterleaf. I cannot begin to tell you how delicious all these dishes were- yum, yum.
Brother : The junk (foodstuff) is too much, It can ruin the shock absorber.
Mum : junk? but you will eat when I cook them!
We had to bring home fufu, round black beans, breadfruit, ogiri, gallons of palm oil, abacha, cocoyam, ukwa, ijiriji (breadfruit) etc. Oh, and I drank delicious PALMWINE, my uncle went to get it the very next day after we arrived.
My brother grumbled endlessly about the load especially the fufu and my mum promptly replied “but you will eat when it’s cooked” :-D. Hahaha!
We visited UNN, the university of Nigeria Nsukka which is very close to my house, attended an uncle’s burial, visited lots of relatives, were supposed to go to shoprite Enugu but plans changed
I don dance reach abeg, Oya, where the money, leg dey pain me!
I also saw loads of masquerades especially child masquerades dancing for you so you’d give them money, one morning a group of four little boys passed by my house with one in a masquerade costume while his pals played the musical instruments – they couldn’t have been older than five, I admired their hustle:-D.
You no wan drop money? You dey look me, one stroke for your back…LOADING…
We attended mass at a Catholic seminary school close to our house where it is said the seminarians drawn from every part of the country are famous for singing like angels but they had gone home for the holidays. Attended crossover vigil, i cooked up a storm of rice and Chicken stew on Christmas day while my mum cooked egusi soup with bitterleaf with plenty of goatmeat and beef, yum! I drank countless bottles of fanta and malt and lay in bed watching nikita and welcoming guests from time to time.
That was how I spent Christmas day my people – morning mass, cooking, eating and drinking, watching nikita and chatting with guests.
Make I ‘chook’ dis dash money for pocket abeg before my guys sight am, make story nor go change!
New year eve I attended cross over vigil and I declare that they throw way more fireworks (bangers & knockout) in the village (mine anyway) than they do in my area of Lagos, the very colorful ones, the ones that sound like dynamites or huge bombs and almost shake the foundation of your house – they do not joke in the East o, hian! I slept and in the morning fried plantain while my sister handled the main cooking of jollof with fish and chicken, I lay in bed for a while watching arrow and drinking malt then we spent the rest of the day visiting relatives.
An interesting signboard I saw
The famous eastern harmattan – the day before we travelled my cousin called and ‘ordered’ us to pack socks, headwarmers, thick sweaters and trousers for she heard (from her house right here in Lagos):-D that the harmattan was not a laughing matter but the first few days were not even as cold as the Lagos harmattan but it steadily increased.
In all, it was a trip I enjoyed immensely and I would not mind travelling to the East every single December henceforth. 🙂 you are all invited!