I traveled to Abuja last week Tuesday (25th of Oct) to do omugwo for my sister that just put to bed. I hadn't been to Abuja in seven years. I didn't really plan my journey because I wasn't sure if my leave would be approved or not. If I had been sure of my leave, I could have booked a flight ahead of time and gotten it at a cheap rate. By the time my leave was approved, I checked flight fares and it was high so i decided to travel by road. My sister said Ekene luxurious bus was reliable and I bought my ticket a day before. I arrived at the bus park by 6:00am, the bus took their time to load and we eventually left by some minutes to 7am. It's been a long time since I traveled in a luxurious bus. My last time was while I was in the university.
I noticed that the bus was just moving jejeli and I didn't find it funny. Before we got to Ibadan, we had stopped more than three times to check the radiator. Apparently, the radiator was overheating and so we couldn't speed and had to keep stopping at intervals to "cool it". I'm sure the transport company knew that the car wasn't in top shape, and still decided to put it out on the road. This annoyed me because they didn't have regards for human life. As far as I was concerned, they were just interested in collecting their fares and hitting the road. By the time we got to Ekiti at 1pm, the driver parked in what seemed to be a car wash and decided to really "cool the radiator". The air-conditions had long been switched off and the heat was unbearable. Most people were muttering to themselves and saying that they would never travel with Ekene again. I was too pissed to talk and had resigned myself to arriving at Abuja late. I also kept switching my phone on and off to preserve my battery which was running down. We eventually arrived Abuja at 12:05am. I heaved a sigh of relief and thanked God for a safe trip. I was also very glad to see that my brother-in-law *Osaro was already waiting for me at the park.
I had a pretty busy but brief stay in Abuja. My little nephew is an absolute darling. The guy doesn't cry, well except he is hungry, hot or needs a diaper change which is normal. I have met some babies that just love to cry for no apparent reasons. :-(. I got to visit the Garki Old Market (had to do some shopping for my sis.). The first thing that struck me about the market was that you had to pay a gate fee (N100) before you can drive in. I had never seen that happen in any Lagos market before. The market was also organized and wasn't as razz as our very own Balogun or Oyingbo markets. Items were a bit more expensive though than in Lagos.
On Saturday, *Osaro decided to take me around a bit en route to the market again. Our first stop was the Grand Square. I had already eaten their bread and loved it and also couldn't wait to taste their famous scoops of ice cream. It was delicious and worth the wait. Then we were off to Yahuza Suya Spot. *Osaro said Yahuza has about 7 of such suya spots in Abuja. This suya spot was organized and very different from the Lagos suya spots I had been to. To place your order here, you walk into the building, chose what you want: chicken, gizzard, kidney, liver, beef, etc. from the menu in front of the cashier, and pay to the cashier. The cashier then inputs your order, prints out a receipt and gives to you. This receipt is what you present to the suya man outside who prepares your order. Interesting and organized if you ask me. The suya was spicy and good. Got me licking my fingers. :-). We also bought some bottles of Fura De Nu Nu for my sister. She is quite adventurous when it comes to food.
Our final stop before dashing to the market was at the Shagalinku Shop. I totally love Shagalinku Yogurt. Its creamy and nutritious. I think it's peculiar to Abuja and some parts of the north. My sister always buys it whenever she is coming to visit us in Lagos. You can bet I did the same. My siblings would not find it funny if i came back without it. I also bought loads of Kilishi. My siblings and colleagues had drummed it into my ears to buy enough for everyone.
All too soon, it was time for me to return to Lagos because my leave was almost over. I had sworn never to use luxurious buses to travel again and so opted for a small bus. *Osaro recommended Eagle Line. The bus left a little bit late because they needed more Lagos bound passengers which were not forthcoming. We made a stop at Lokoja to eat and also scout for more passengers. We eventually got into Lagos at 7pm. The trip was ok and the driver was quite fast.
I miss my nephew so much already. And I'm trying not to think of the fact that I have to resume work on Friday. Happy New Month to you all. May you achieve all you have set out to do in this month of November. In Jesus Name. Amen.