Getting to the fashion …


Life’s too short to wear boring clothes – Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs

Life IS too short to wear boring clothes, but sometimes it takes a little more effort to get what you want.  It is one of my favorite parts of being in Nigeria.  From a traditional Nigerian look to rocking the 70s, the 80s, the 90s and even the current New York Fashion trends of today.  It all starts here.. or at least in places like this.  Come take a walk with me.. if you can get through the alleys, the trucks, the food stalls, and the other vendors.

Just  because you work in the fashion industry, it doesn’t mean you live your life in fashion. – Phillip Lim

My guess is my tailor is going to get overwhelmed with how much I am enjoying this journey towards fashion.  It has been a great way to meet local people and (I hope) bond with the folks I work with.  The style is energetic, frenetic, bright, vivacious, and at times, it appears that it just don’t give a shit.  Which is something I really like about the style here.  I hope you like the view and looking forward to sharing more.
More posts about being stylish found at the Daily Post

Kwesi, Harmony, apparentlyimfunny, jibberjabber, maryanne, pogirl, lost property, unsung heroes, polly, fluffy pool, cool redhead, orangehair

AF Style


One thing I love about being here is our Friday traditional dress day!  The details that these tailors put into their clothes are amazing.  The buttons are covered with fabric, they stitch every single bead into an outfit, and add cute little doodads to every part they can.  It has been great fun to just give someone some material and say.. make what you will.  It’s quite the adventure.

So colorful, so bright, so fun.  The clothes match the personality of the folks here.  You gotta love it.  I have almost two more years of Fridays.  Looking forward to each one!

It’s about being alive and feisty and not sitting down and shutting up even though people would like you to.  –  Pink

 

Other fierce posts

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Quick Tour of Lagos


Last look at Lagos before I leave on Vacation.  Amazing place with an interesting history.  For our first stop on the tour, I introduce you to Tarqua Bay.

We took a boat underneath the Ahmadu Bello Way.  The entire trip to the beach was only about 20 minutes total.  After arriving at the beach, we were greeted by dozens of young folks who jockeyed for position to carry our coolers and give us tours.  We were able to walk to the lighthouse and climb to the tops which provided stunning views of the entire beach area.  After climbing the lighthouse we were able to visit the house next to it and partake in a refreshing fresh coconut. After taking a break, we passed old Lord Lugard’s house and met an old man enjoying his Sunday rest in front of his old colourful house – the only two story building remaining from the old days. We closed the tour with a stroll over the beach where we passed a shipwreck and other beach delights.  We finally ended this tour with a BBQ lunch and a dip in the bay to cool off.

 

The next and final stop on our tour will be of Lagos City itself.  Despite some of the amazing art on the walls of the Lagos Government Buildings, we were not allowed to take photographs of the buildings.  No worry, there were many other street level inspirations that caught my eye.  Our group spent about 3 hours walking through Lagos City Center.  I’m glad we started at 730 am because by 11 am, it was nearly too hot.

 

Thanks for stopping by.. I hope you enjoyed.

Another Cup O’ Joe- Nigeria


I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. T. S. Eliot

Coffee does indeed seem to be an obsession of mine.  Past coffee posts for which I sipped coffee while writing:

A Simple Cup o’ Joe – Venezuela; I have a confession to make – Venezuela; Morning Reflections – Everywhere ; Definitely a first world problemCosta Rica; Costa Rica – Land of... – Costa Rica; Fantastic Kids – Nepal:  Coffee Break – Turkey

I even have a favorite coffee compilation:  40Songswithcoffee

So here I go again down that road…

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So a coffee tour in Nigeria.  It was pouring down rain right before we left so I dressed accordingly.  I assumed it would be like my past coffee tours and I would be stomping through a coffee farm in the pouring rain.  I was rather looking forward to it.  Well, not so much.  It was a very civilized tour of a roasting facility.  We were able to look at some great photos, machines, hear about the history of how coffee was discovered, how it arrived in Nigeria and how it arrives today.

We were also shown how to grind, roast, taste and rate a variety of coffee bean varieties.  We sampled coffee from Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and a couple of other African countries.  It was delicious and informative.  I was very impressed with the baristas‘ knowledge about all aspects of coffee. It was also super impressive to see the many different ways you can roast and prepare coffee.  There were even folks who didn’t drink coffee on the tour.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and thanks for stopping by.

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“What do you want?”
“Just coffee. Black – like my soul.”
― Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

Other posts I enjoyed

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Now in Nigeria-make your own hype


I think it’s very easy to get caught up in all the hype.  The hype about people, places and things.  As I headed to Nigeria, let me tell ya, there was a lot of hype.  A lot of negative hype.  Most definitely, a lot of the hype was true.  I’m not going to get into what the hype was, you can google it and make your own decisions about Nigeria.

It’s also easy to get caught up in the now.  The now about people, places and things.  Sometimes the now turns into a rut and it’s difficult to get rid of the impression of the now when you don’t even attempt to discover what is the real of where you are.

Thankfully, I have almost always been able to move myself and remove myself from the nows and the hypes of where I am.  Sometimes it takes hours and sometimes it takes months.  I have now been in Nigeria for about five months and both the hype and the now have been very slowly mutating into an interesting and wonderful experience.  Sure, there is still the truth of the hype, and some of the nows will probably never change, but the reality of many of the nows are truly changing my mind and my impression of what the rest of my time in Nigeria will be like.  I have a very good feeling about what is to come.

I have started getting out  a little more and recently attended a showing of a documentary about a group of Yoruba master musicians from Lagos, Nigeria called Faaji Agba.  (trailer) The documentary was simply amazing.  It took Remi Vaughn-Richards about six years to film this group of 68-85 year old musicians who were rediscovered by the owner of Jazzhole Records,  Kunle Tejuosho.  If you get a chance, you should check out all of the above links.  An amazing story.

So back to my story.  Since watching the documentary I have set myself on a casual journey to find this fabled “Jazzhole” establishment that was profiled in the documentary.  Lagos can be a difficult city to get around in and my effort was a bit stymied by my work, traffic congestion, and just all of the normal things that force people to stay saddled in the nows of their lives.

I had a free day yesterday and decided to take a drive around to see if I could find the Jazzhole.  I drove by the location I thought the place was supposed to be according to my Blackberry’s Google map application and of course, there was nothing there but construction.

I drove down a back road, directly off of the main road and ran into this art cafe, restaurant, hotel, craft store called Bogobiri House. (The now of most Nigerians is that if you have some space you should use it wisely and get as much out of it as you possibly can.) Ironically, I had just randomly attended an open mic at this amazing little find two nights before.  Open mic here involves, improv Karaoke with a live band, poetry readings, and a host of musicians that play every type of instrument you can imagine.  I’m hooked.

After spending about an hour walking though this amazing find, I asked if the Jazzhole still existed and sho’ nuff, one of the guys at the Bogobiri House gave me directions.  Ironically, this iconic establishment was about a 10 minute drive from where I stood and only 15 minutes from my very home.

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I walked in and it was on the inside exactly what you would expect on the outside only better.

After walking around and seeing the massive amount of vinyl, cds, and books on every topic, I made my 2nd most exciting discovery.  I was standing right in front of the maker of the documentary I had just seen a few months before AND one of the members who had been profiled in this documentary.  The very same guy who is now between 70-80 years old (I think) and STILL playing jazz.  He was going to be playing at Bogobiri House that very evening.

WOW!!! Further, this very evening a little music exhibition was going to be playing at the Jazz Hole. The featured singers would be a young lady named Falana who I had never heard of before and who was simply amazing.  Not only was her voice unique, she was able to add some insight into the instruments she was using and while singing, encouraged the audience to sing along with her.  I was super disappointed that she only sang a few songs.

Her act was quickly followed by the main event, Blackman Akeeb Kareem. This was another musical soul who had become disenchanted with his now and left Nigeria for Europe.  However it happened, he was there and my own now was made incredible and better.  He was, and is at 70-something, an amazing musical story-teller.  He spoke of his time back in the day in the 60s and 70s and explained how Africans know that music is wasted if you are not up and dancing to it.

A man who has the ability to involve you in his story and the resolve to show you the now of his existence.  The now of how he believes Nigeria and the world could become if we would only listen.

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I know that just one random day in Lagos altered the now of my existence in Nigeria.  Thanks for stopping by.

Now

Sometimes, we get caught up in nostalgia, future fantasy, or both, and we don’t embrace the “now.” For this week’s challenge, take a moment to notice your present.

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  2. Through the lenz
  3. Beeblu
  4. Almandyne
  5. Daili
  6. Yichinling
  7. harlequinteaser
  8. joantwarren
  9. toobigabite
  10. Gillm