I saw him hand over his three coins, the ice-cone well worth the exchange. I can almost swear I heard his hum of pleasure float up to my ears 🙂
Recollections of days spent traipsing after mother or grandma at the market, trudging from pillar to post haggling over goods in order to get the best bargains makes me smile.
It was never a straight journey!
Purchases were made in-between hundreds of greeting exchanges.
These grown women would hug, chatter, ask about the entire family and their well-being, exclaim over the incessant climb in the price of goods, natter about the latest African prints fabric, discuss their next meetings and what have you, while you stood patiently with the basket waiting for that conversation to be over, only for another encounter of another auntie to occur down the line where yam tubers were sold.
The haggling dance between the seller and the buyer was one done in camaraderie.
A piece of yam tuber would be lifted, passed from the buyers one hand to the other to check how weighty, inspected to ensure that it was still fresh and when mother was satisfied with the selected yam piece, the pricing war begins with “how much?”
This could go on from one market stall to the other and the basket on your head got heavier with the items purchased.
On a good day, your assistance would be rewarded with some boiled groundnuts, fried puff-puffs or something little to nibble at.
Please do remember not to grumble when the haggling is going on otherwise, you might be rewarded with a proverb that says “a child carried on the back, does not realize that the journey is very far.”
For today’s quote, I shall leave you with these African proverbs:
“Life is like shopping in the market, when you finish your purchases, you go home.”
”One does not throw stones in the market square, because you don’t know whose head it might break.”
”Marriage is like eating groundnuts in pods! You have to crack it to see what is inside.”
I have totally enjoyed reminiscing over these proverbs for the past couple of days Oba all thanks to you.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha