It’s exactly four weeks and six days to Christmas. I remember when this anticipation was everything! When life was easier and periods like Christmas meant not only a wider range of meals but a lot of rest, fun and spending time with family. We never were big on village travel like most Igbo families. No, it wasn’t because my parents didn’t want us anywhere close to our relatives ‘’from the village’’. I actually spent four years studying in my hometown at one of Nigeria’s foremost universities. And while I spent most of my time within the university environment, I did learn a bit of our language, culture and clan shenanigans.
We all have varying memories of Christmas. My typical one when I came of age would start with an eventful carol contest in school. I attended an all-girls boarding schools and our end of year carols transmitted between fun and highly creative to routine, out-of-tune singing in dreadful costumes. This all depended however, on how enthusiastic and creative your house leader and carol participants (which were usually forced into being part of the carol) were.
My house never won this carol contest and I can never remember being a willing participant in any of them. But it provided a comic relief for me that served as a prelude to the happy times at home, away from the sad school food, water scarcity and early morning cold showers.
Now I’m 25, I miss doing all those things because I can see how my 2016 Christmas will play out and there is nothing seemingly exciting about it. Or rightly put, I do not know how this one would pan out and that in itself makes it boring.
But hey, somehow I/we may catch the ”Christmas bug” as the period approaches but till then…
So, in case you haven’t heard, a dollar now sells at N455 in the parallel market while the British pound is selling at N560 (it’s probably be moreor less by the time you are reading this post, who knows?). The parallel market is the informal money exchange sector. So if you are trying to change your naira at an aboki’s place, he is the parallel market and this is where most informal foreign exchange transactions occur. So let’s say Someone has saved $2,500 from whatever it is he/she does ”in the abroad” by the end of the year. Did you know that when Someone returns to Naija, he/she has N1.14 million in their hands compared to just N375,000 at a time not too long ago?! What am I saying? A new breed of yankee boys will be returning to the country this season (if they can get flights into the country and on time). And a new wave of girls will be on hand to desperately catch one before the Christmas period ends. Call it whatever you will, but the hustle is real, I guess.
But what is the preference for suitors based outside the country, really? Is there some special class to marrying one? A kind of finesse or gentlemanliness they possess by residing in places we like to refer to as more civilised? At this time, probably the kind of wealth they may come into with the current exchange rates in the country? Or the forced accents that are used only in social circles to impress and mix with the ”in-crowd”? What really is the catch?
And what is this sad craze for party jollof rice? Nigerian party jollof for that matter? I think we strongly need to start finding an alternative especially this season. Don’t you think we eat too much rice already in this country? Maybe the current price of this commodity will not only limit this meal we have become so terribly used to but will usher in a healthier and more fun alternative.
When I was younger, it was taboo to eat anything besides rice on Christmas day and during the holidays. Stewed rice, jollof rice, coconut rice, fried rice, rice in sauce, name it! And Lord, how we loved it! When anything else was served, it was second to rice. And if we didn’t see rice at all, then it signaled that things were not right with someone’s pockets or Christmas lists.
Well, there are strong inclinations that rice may become too expensive by year ending. What other options do you think couples can incorporate into their wedding menus ‘cos rice, sadly, is a very vital part of every event menu in this country. Or what alternatives can replace this all important Christmas dish?
Again, don’t we eat too much rice already?! I’m thinking pasta may take center stage. Since its all long and curly, it can be chopped into tinier and manageable sizes, cooked just right (not too soft and not uncooked) and served with sauces and stews of different kinds. No? Eba and soups from different countries maybe, just to be spicy? People like me will probably not eat at your wedding. How about serving small chops like the main course for the day? Now, that would be epic! People will fight at your wedding, trust me. The love for small chops is real – just ask Uber.
Remember this post?
In the end, whether you get married by December, 2016 or not, whether you are still single by then or deeply in love with your one, life will go on. You do not want to have spent ample time and energy which would have been used to make landslide achievements this year on chasing after love and nothing more.
– I’ll Find Love In 2016; The Quiet One
It’s December 2016 soon and I didn’t find love. Life happened. I tried at least, I can say that. But nothing worked out as planned. Sad, but life moves on and so it has. But one lesson that stood out for me this year is simple – Start. Take the first step. Make the first move. Push. Try. Let the story be that it failed but not that you never even tried. But. While starting with all the fear or courage you can muster, start always with the strongest conviction and faith you can muster in the heart and soul of what it is you plan to do. Only this can take you through the tough times, the whys.
Cheers to all those who are ending the year in double festivities. For those yet to find whose missing ribs they are, it is still not a life’s achievement to get married. It is a good thing, but it is never everything.
Do not let life pass you by while you are waiting for the right one. Live!!!
P.S: I am open for small house parties, cook outs and small hangouts for the festive season if you want to invite me…*wink** Please keyword is small o. ”Big” gets draining for introverts like me.
Love, The Quiet One