There are just some things one cannot forget no matter how far away, the smell of firewood cooked jollof rice is one, but more importantly THE TASTE! Everyone that has every eaten the jollof rice cooked by this method knows that there’s no taste in the universe that can contend with or compare to it. The word delicacy was specially formulated when that dish was invented and subsequently blessed by the gods.
For me this is the BEST and ONLY thing to eat at a party. Once the aroma has been inhaled, the salivary glands go into overdrive and anticipation of the taste is the only thing that matters next. If there’s a delay, something might happen and it could be very unpleasant. Maybe this addiction to the famous wood-cooked party rice is what plays out when steaming coolers are opened at parties. It seems a slight madness is released when it’s time to eat because there seems to be no other explanation that will suffice.
The smartly dressed, impeccably made-up, designer shoes and perfume all merge into an amorphous lump when the food factor is introduced, the beast is unleashed! I’m not sure if it’s greed or the craving for the luscious looking jollof rice, big chunks of meat, assorted swallow and other exotic offerings that make the rounds. The gloves come off and the things you witness will not only amaze you but often trouble you as well especially when you realise how telling their behaviour is. More often than not though people will do exactly what they want.
There have been instances when people have eaten, (you know because you watched them do it!) but deny the fact when asked. You then watch them consume another plate without batting an eyelid. On the other hand there are some guests that feel it’s compulsory to eat everything in sight, so you find them intercept any and every server that passes by in order to partake. The question that comes to mind in those instances is whether their greed doesn’t result in any stomach disorders or repeated visits to the loo.
You could also wind up on a table where the items on the table i.e. bottles of water, packs of juices, canned drinks and the like wind up inside someone’s bag! You may have been party to passing along those in front of you and watch them disappear either under the table (into a strategically placed bag) or the massive one placed atop it. The perpetrators of this heist are usually women, albeit the older variety and it’s done without any qualms too. Nothing you do or say will stop it and you’re resigned to another vagary of the party scene Naija style!
Any seasoned party goer will tell you that it’s best you make sure you take something (no matter how light) before you leave home. This will ensure that you’re not held hostage where you’re headed. We all know that sometimes there’s no guarantee the food will get to you either (sometimes food does run out) and it’s best to be prepared for any unexpected fallouts that could occur. This will also make sure that the memory of this particular celebration isn’t marred. You’ll also be happier because you’re not on the lookout for something that may or may not live up to you standards or expectation.
It’s a sad day indeed when hunger forces you to eat what you would otherwise NOT eat. Since you were left with no ‘choice’…you just had to! Food has its place quite alright but it’s ‘better to hold a knife to your throat’ rather than someone given over to appetite!