By Osarennoma Ogbeide
“Fine sister, come and buy na”
“Aunty you go like this one”
You ought to have heard any of these phrases or at least its variants once in your life time. Where? The market is where! Yes, you read right. Often times we venture into the market having in mind what we want to purchase but these zealous vendors and shop owners find their way to steer your ship in another direction. What baffles the most is when they go “make I go check my brother shop” or when you ask for something in particular and they say “I get am”, only to take you on an Israelite journey. You later wonder if the item they present you with is actually what you requested for.
Trust me to have a bag of experiences on this one. When I was younger, I would go with my mum to the market when there was a big event coming up and we’d need to shop for some things. I leave the house full of energy and tell myself “I know what I want”, only to be confused by the sea of vendors, prices and variety. Store owners would reach for my hand or practically drag us into the store just to see their merchandise. Exhausted is an understatement to how I would feel when the day was over. I’d however be compensated by the puff puff, roasted corn and cold drink we buy on the way before taking a cool bath at home.
That is not nearly the end of my experiences oh. My friend and I decided to go the market to purchase some materials in preparation for a dinner. Seeing that this wasn’t Lagos state, I thought things would be different. I didn’t know I was in for a shocker. Now, this was a market that deals majorly in materials and it was my first time there so I thought it won’t be much of a task. Yet again, they started with their altar calls, “my colour come and check here”, “I have what you’re looking for”. Not again! The hand grabbing started, the voices increased and before we knew it, they had separated my friend and I, dragging us to different sides of the market even without us knowing.
Funny thing here, my ‘dragger’ took me to a bridal store. I was more than discombobulated because his store was clearly not my destination. His response to my disappointment and building anger was “ehn, you go need am sometime soon”. I broke into laughter when he proceeded to show me some veil samples. What did I not see that day?
I had to call my friend on her phone for us to find ourselves. After a couple of hours, we eventually purchased what we wanted. Although many tried to steer us away from our destination, we ended up going back to the very first store we saw to make a purchase.
I know I’m not alone on this, but market experiences are nothing but epic!