Spent the first evening in Lagos just getting dinner and drinks out, before planning to crash to enjoy the just short of three full days I would have there. Of course, life had other plans. As we were at dinner, the friend I was visiting got paged by his client to deal with a major network issue, and I was able to go with. It’s always fascinating watching companies in crisis mode, but slightly less fascinating when it’s 2am and you need sleep. Fortunately, with the time change, it wasn’t so bad. It just resulted in a slightly later start on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the issue wasn’t fully resolved, resulting in him having to work the entire day on Saturday as well. Fortunately, his client didn’t have to work and invited me with him to a large Nigerian wedding. These are big affairs where pretty much anyone related in any way shape or form to the family is welcome, and it was a fascinating experience. I was actually called the “honoured white guest” by a couple people, and it was a great time. We only went to the reception, which I would say had somewhere approaching 1,000 people at it.
It was in a giant tent and catered with plenty of food and drink. To the point that when I asked for a red wine, I was brought an entire bottle. We asked for champagne, and you guessed it…and entire bottle again. We ended up staying about three to four hours, by which time my host and I were more than happy to say the least. A few pictures to tell the story:
Note the number of empty bottles…and I thought American weddings involved a lot of drinking!
My host and I. There was an official photographer going around taking pictures, and bringing you prints for a small charge a few minutes later.
I wasn’t kidding. This guy is coming back after getting drinks for his table….
It ended up being a late evening, and by the time my friend got back from work all we had energy for was dinner and drinks in the hotel pub. We ended up crashing, because we wanted to be up at a reasonable hour to go to the beach.
The beach? In Nigeria? Yes, seriously, we went to the beach. Takwa Beach is about a 15-20 minute boat ride out of Lagos, and is actually quite a nice relaxing place to spend the day…once you get there! We got to the boat jetty, and what we expected to be a private charter was a small motorboat of questionable seaworthiness, which was to have about 12-15 passengers in total, barely keeping it above the water. One of the passengers was a totally TRASHED German character with a vocabulary colourful enough to make most sailors blush. He was going on and on with every curse in the book against the boat operators…looks like we missed whatever brunch he had enjoyed!
Regardless, we made it to the beach and enjoyed a few relaxing hours. We had a small cabana with a guy who would fetch us beers/etc whenever we wanted…and we knew there would be a request for a “gift” at the end. It all worked pretty well, and was a good time.
Coconut water saleslady….delicious and refreshing.
The local “entertainment” that wouldn’t go away until we paid him. He was doing some sort of song/rap that was completely incomprehensible, but it was mildly entertaining.
Leftovers of an afternoon on the beach.
Had to buy a souvenir to bring home. Surprisingly inexpensive after a bit of negotiating, and a fun carving to remind me of the trip. Fits right in on my fireplace mantle at home!
Had a relaxing sunday night dinner chatting, and made plans to go with my friend’s driver the next day to see a bit more of the city while he worked before heading to the airport.
The next morning, my friend’s driver picked me up and along with his client’s teenaged son we headed to the Lekki Conservation Centre to hopefully see some wildlife. Unfortunately, the best we managed to do were a couple of nasty looking snakes, and some ferocious african peacocks and scariest of all….a wild african bunny!
It was a good walk and time outdoors, but quite disappointing this was all we saw in addition to a few monkeys in the trees. We drove around the city a bit more, but there really wasn’t much in the way of sites to see. We grabbed dinner before it was time to head to the airport, three days had gone really quickly!