Food is a curious thing in Nigeria. Nigerians LOVE their food, but for most visitors we can’t figure out why. Not why they love their food necessarily because some of it is very tasty, but because really they do not offer the most diverse choices even when given the chance.
Take a look at my daily lunch decision at BIU: I could have chicken with fried rice, I could have chicken with jollof rice, I could have fish with friend rice, or I could have fish with jollof rice. Wow. Such choices! But since I really don't eat meat, I can chose either:
If I was really lucky I could have fried plantain with my rice & fish/chicken, but that’s rare. It doesn’t happen often at BIU, but elsewhere I might have a choice of white rice. And the fish cut...I don't usually get a choice, but if I do, definitely the tail. Let's bones to pick through. And it's easier to remove the skin. Which, by the way, causes LOTS of looks. Nigerians eat it all, except the bones. The way I dissect my food is totally bizarre to them. But what's new right?
These are the daily lunch choices EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. No variation. Ever. Seriously…there’s no desire to ever deviate from this menu apparently.
And it would be one thing if Nigerians were like “We’re not food people. We eat to live, not live to eat” BUT THEY TOTALLY AREN’T. They love food! But they only have like 10 options in their entire repertoire of food options. Try and suggest something new and they look at you like you are crazy. It’s like living with a strange version of my sister, with much stranger food that she would ever eat.