Remember I told you yesterday there was more to the gist about my best Christmas holiday, right? Fasten your seat belt as I take you on this jolly ride…
Mercy’s parents are so loving and sweet. I almost don’t feel like an outsider. I say almost, because they sometimes get too engrossed and start speaking in Igbo or French, forgetting that there is someone there who doesn’t understand what they are saying… LOL
This is definitely better than my previous holidays and I am glad I made the decision to travel down here. Can’t wait for the real fun to begin, and for my holiday to kick off ‘funfully’ (Jeez! I actually wrote funfully *shakes head*) …because I’m happy!
Yeah, every member of Mercy’s family speaks English, French, Igbo, Fon, and a few other local languages spoken in Benin. Their dad speaks a little bit of Yoruba but my friend, my wonderful bigheaded best girl, only knows how to insult people in Yoruba language.
24/12/2015, No time
We just left the market after about nine hours of shopping. As we were about to leave, some police officers stopped us. Not just us actually; they were harassing everyone leaving the market for some “Xmas money”.
Something interesting happened though. These police officers thought I was a minor and so they didn’t expect me to have a passport or any national identification… hehehe, old mama like me. Wonders never cease! Me, minor?
So, here is the gist (you already knew I was going to say this, right?)
When we got to the police men, we didn’t have to give a reason why I had no passport; they actually exempted me from the search, thinking I was a minor. We were already getting worried as we approached them that that evening was going to be a long one. As a matter of fact, we had started to gather the change we had left on us to pay my fine but dearly beloved, my small stature came in as a blessing. Ah! I didn’t mind anyone calling me skinny from that day henceforth. This was me, a girl who was well into her 20s. I even had on a blue hair attachment, my nails were fixed and painted purple and green.
I know, funny yeah? 😭
As you can imagine, Mercy and her family made sure I didn’t hear the last of it. The teasing wasn’t Nigerian made. Mercy’s dad even told me to start referring to her as “sister Mercy.” Chai! See my life
By the way, fams, did I mention that I went into Benin market with less than N3,000 and returned home with two of those large black and white nylon bags the Yoruba call pata nla. I was shook! That amount of money would barely buy me a decent gown from a Nigerian boutique and maybe, just maybe, 5-10 pieces of okirika (fairly used clothes).
Need I state the joy in my heart when I was going through the many tops, gowns, jean trousers, beach wear and a blouse I bought for my aunt! I even got a pair of shoes at 2500 cefa which was barely a thousand naira then. Gosh! I didn’t mind relocating to Benin please.
25/12/2015, No Diary Entry
On Christmas Day, we fried a full carton of turkey or chicken. I don’t remember which was for Christmas and New Year, all I know was that we had a full carton each on both days. Yo, guys, frozen food was ridiculously way cheaper over there than in Nigeria? Eewo! I chop chicken till I tire mehn.
Christmas 2015 was really exciting and different. We watched movies, played games, shared stories and ate.
Mma (Mercy’s mum) fed me with foods I couldn’t even pronounce their names. That woman is a cookery… she dey cook shege! She made us smoothie almost ten times a day. The best smoothies, might I add. I haven’t recovered from the amount of smoothies I took that holiday.
I added flesh for the first time that holiday. Not the kind of weight gain slim people, like me, feel we’ve gained but no one else sees, I’m talking visible weight gain.
Christmas Day celebration was simple but fun and filled with love and laughter. Before I give the extra gist in this post, let me brag a little further about my travelling abroad *wicked laugh*
Ajasa aka Some Extra Pepper-dem Gist
To those of you who still don’t consider going to Benin republic as travelling to the abroad, I’m about to prove y’all wrong.
I spent two weeks in Benin Republic, and the only time electricity was interrupted, it was a thing of joy. I kid you not. It felt like these people were rejoicing.
For a moment, my heart wept for my beloved country, Nigeria. These people, in a country barely as large as Lagos, were rejoicing that power supply was interrupted for the first time in days while back in my country, restoring electricity after days of darkness was what made us rejoice. What a shame!
Anyway, back to my gist;
26/12/2015 – No Diary Entry
Boxing Day came, it was a Saturday, and we went to church. Yeah, you guessed right. I write this with the most carefully selected words when I say, that was the longest, most-boring church service I’ve ever attended in my life.
Pheeew! I was so bored out of my mind, I almost cried. At some point during the service, I leaned over and whispered into my beloved friend’s ear, “I love you but if you ever get married in this church, I’ll be waiting for you at the reception.” I meant it.
When the painful service was over, I told Mma I was never following her to church again. That affliction mustn’t rise a second time.
The day got better, however. We went to the beach with the whole church for a picnic. Oh my! Benin is fine, y’all. Not Lekki-Abuja kinda fine o, but fine still. All the roads were either tarred or tiled and their building, really tall. I found it weird though that they use the tiles we, Nigerians, use on toilets walls on the outside walls of their houses, instead of paints.
Our time on the beach was explosive. There were lots of foods, drinks and music to groove to. We, well, those who could play handball played while I made a fool of myself *covers face*, we rode on horseback, played games and “played with water” like my Naija people say about people who cannot swim.
I particularly loved the fact that I could enjoy the sea breeze without the crowdedness customary of Nigerian beaches on a day as such.
Oh, one last thing. I don’t recall seeing any red or brown soil in Benin. It was all white like the beach sand. Absolutely beautiful.
Thanks for stopping by, you can find the previous episodes of my Blogmas 2019 series here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 and don’t forget to share your Christmas experience with me in the comment section below. Ciao!