Take A Trip To Navy Town

It’s countdown to Christmas day. Season’s greetings everyone as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

If you are spending the holiday in Lagos, and you are looking for somewhere unique to go, then Navy Town might be it for you. Here’s an article I wrote on my trip to Navy Town, posted on http://www.davinadiaries.com. Enjoy!

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20150809_140921I had to visit the Old Navy Town recently and it wasn’t exactly a trip I looked forward to. This was a Sunday and my idea of a great Sunday is to get some rest after Church Service, Sunday Cooking and all. Well, I had to go to Navy Town and to Navy Town I went. The Navy Town is located at Ojo (Your GPS should tell you the exact location) after the Kirikiri Prisons.

As we approached the Barracks, my apprehension turned to excitement as first of all we had to drive past the Kirikiri Medium and Maximum prisons. I didn’t know the area around the prison could be so peaceful and quiet. Then we entered Navy Town and my jaw dropped open.

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Seriously, I was expecting the kind of chaos that would usually accompany the Police Barracks but men! Was I wrong?! The entrance to the ‘Town’ was a well paved road flanked by green vegetation on both sides. Wow! I tuned in to Nature immediately. Before then, we had driven past some really old buildings (I love old buildings!).

As we cruised into the town enjoying the scenario, the person we were taking there mentioned that there was a Sailing Club. So I went like ‘Sailing Club?’ I gotta see that men! So we drove towards the Sailing Club. On our way, we couldn’t help but notice how calm the town was. Everywhere was quiet and we saw some Naval Officers enjoying a game of Golf! I wondered if this was rowdy Lagos and then Ojo to be precise.

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We got to the Sailing Club and it blew my mind. You see, I love water, I really do love water and then I love to watch the Sun Set at the beach and all of that stuff so being in that place, I was completely in tune with my inner self. I was almost beginning to ask that we build three tents and remain there when it occurred to me that this was not the Transfiguration. LOL

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We lingered in the area, took in the scenery, bought some Suya from the Memorial Kitchen while I took as much pictures as I could before we headed to complete our journey. We did drive past some old buildings that weren’t so well kept and looked a bit dirty but then, we saw several modern buildings and several other new ones being constructed.

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All in all, I was so glad that I went to Navy Town and I’m really impressed that in a country like ours where things are usually left to fall apart, some degree of sanity was retained in that place. Kudos to our Naval Guys!

 

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I, the Lagos Driver…

Image So you think you can drive? LOL! Have you driven a car in Lagos and escaped unscathed? The popular saying goes that in Lagos, people drive for two. In other words, you are not just trying to avoid hitting someone, you are also trying to avoid getting hit. Driving on some Lagos roads is indeed the survival of the fittest. LOL

I remember one day, in 2006 to be precise. I had gone to work on a Saturday and I was driving back home in the evening. I felt like a correct Lagos driver and I wove in and out of lanes, getting in front of other vehicles and feeling rather cool that I could achieve that feat.

This went on for a while and as I approached the second roundabout at Lekki, I did the unthinkable. I saw an approaching truck and instead of stopping for the huge truck to drive past, I got in front of it and guess what? The car went off at that point! Dear Lord Jesus!

Now, trucks in Lagos are quite known not to have functional brakes, that meant that the oncoming vehicle that I was watching from the rearview mirror of my sister’s beloved Red Golf which I had borrowed for that day may not have working brakes. At the thought of that alone, I started perspiring heavily as I frantically tried to turn on the ignition of the vehicle. The truck driver blared his horns non-stop as the truck got closer to me and when I couldn’t contain it any longer, I started praying in other tongues. At that point, the car came alive and I drove away as fast as I could! Phew!

Well, I learnt my lesson that day. And I quickly jettisoned my ‘Lagos Driver Mode’. Or did I?

 

Do you have driving tales? Horrible? A miraculous intervention? I would love to hear them all!

My ‘JJC’ days

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Lol! The title of this story cracks me up. The word ‘JJC’ was quite popular amongst the Lagosians in my secondary school. It is acronym for ‘Johnny Just Come’, a term used to describe people who were new to the city of Lagos and who probably acted ‘funny’ when they saw some extraordinary things happening around them.

Well, after my graduation from the University, I decided to go to Lagos and finish up my French studies which I had been doing part-time as a student in the University of Nigeria, Enugu. I packed my bag, bid farewell to my parents and travelled to Lagos to join my elder siblings who were already living there, that was my second time of travelling to Lagos. The first time, my stay had been a brief two weeks most of which were spent indoors.

Anyway, when I arrived this time around, I settled in quickly and tried to get accustomed to life in Lagos. Then the culture shock began…

One of my elder sisters had just come back from the market and had bought ‘Ugu‘ the green leafy vegetable know as Spinach, used for making mouth watering dishes like Okro Soup, Edikang Ikong,  Egusi Soup, Ofeakwu etc. It turned out that the ‘Ugu‘ leaves had already been cut! Yes, it had been plucked and cut into tiny pieces in the market! I could not believe my eyes. My other sisters seemed unperturbed, meaning that they were accustomed to buying already cut ‘Ugu’ from the market. 

Whatever happened to buying the Ugu leaves in bunch, plucking them at home, cutting them and then washing them twice with salted water and rinsing them out, all done with uttermost carefulness as taught us by our mother?

Back in my parents house, my Mum taught us to practically revere vegetables. It was a taboo for sand to be tasted in any soup and one of the ways through which sand could get into soup was through the vegetables, if not washed properly. Thus we paid utmost attention while washing them.

I made up my mind to solemnly uphold my mother’s tradition and whenever I went to the market, I would buy the vegetables in a bunch and do all the processing at home by myself. I refused to be ‘lazy’ like the Lagosians.

Fast forward to eight years later…

I’m married with a kid and also working full time. I’m in my kitchen preparing Edikang Ikong the Calabar vegetable Soup delicacy and as I reach my hand to wash the Ugu leaves (plucked and cut in the market) the memories come flooding back. I burst into laughter at myself, I could not even remember when exactly I made the switch from being Mummy’s vegetable perfectionist to blending into the fast paced ‘Lagosian’ style.

Sometimes in life, we sweat the little things and resist changes which can be for our good and help us make progress. The fact that something does not fit into our well patterned lives or laid down traditions does not make it wrong. As long as change does not contradict God’s word concerning you, then embrace it by all means.