I am deeply, madly, insatiably in love with Lagos, Nigeria. A place that has been dubbed "one of the worst cities in the world," has captured my heart in such a way that I fear I may never recover. Lagos is my secret love, because most of my friends and family would just not understand my obsession. In many ways, I can't even explain it to myself. But, here I am always coming back, again and again into the arms of Las Gidi which, at best, only reluctantly receive me and hardly give me the structure, stability and care that I need in order to establish a good relationship with a place. Nevertheless, I think Lagos is awesome! It doesn't try to please, but simply does. It's beauty and glory shines ever through the madness and you just can't help yourself from having a good-good time. If you doubt me, I ask - have you ever been to Federal Palace Hotel?
Or looked out from a 6th floor balcony over Ikeja?
Viewed the Lagos lagoon from a top floor in Victoria Island?
Or better yet, have you ever picked wild Aloe from just outside your door in Ikoyi?
Or eaten beans and dodo,
Okro with stew and pounded yam,
And grilled fish and boiled plantain....all in one day??
Yes, I think you will agree. Lagos is a dream! I mean, there's Bogobiri House,
Events like the African Women's Economic Summit,
Art Galleries/Cafes like Terrakulture,
One that makes you feel this dreamy after your massage.
And of course, more food...lots of it!
From African Salad (Ugba),
And red beans rice (Wache),
To Ukpaka Na Ji (Oil Bean Seed with Yam Stew).
Time to take a break? Noooo, not yet. You haven't tried the Egusi Stew!
Then, there's the Edi Ka Ikong!
Oh, wait...you can't come to Lagos without having some Seafood Pepper Soup!
Ok...now you're starting to see the obsession...
Let me just find a place, so I can stay. Just live here, you know, so I can take my time and enjoy all that Eko has to offer. Here is a nice new condo on Banana Island!
Or, what of this hotel in my favorite color blue?
I can take walks and glimpse simple pleasures.
Do a little shopping for some serious local artistry at Quintessence.
Catch a ride to the Ovie Brume Youth Center to teach a knitting class to the future of Nigeria.
Stop over at the Blowfish Hotel and contemplate a swim.
Or while away the evening, painting in the sunset light.
So, my secret is out. I have a lover and Lagos is it!