The first time I ever ate roasted yam, it was B’s idea. And I found that unusual. Here’s why. He’s the sophisticated kinda somebody. Cool, tush, fresh and formal. He eats with the standard fork and knife, unlike me that can eat anything with my hands. (Yes? Problem? I grew up in the north.) He mostly speaks clean fresh English, (I was stunned to hear him speak pidgin one day, then I got used to it.) I don’t think he even owns a pair of jeans (I’m ready to be tackled after you read this B. Hehe.) Anyways, you get the picture. He’s tush, I’m bush (But not all that bush o. Ehen.) Back to the point.
When he said lunch that day, I pictured a big or even medium sized restaurant, brightly lit, fully air-conditioned and with a smart-looking guard standing by the door to usher us in. (That was the sorta place we went to when we had our first lunch date.) So I was a little surprised when I found out that lunch was under a big umbrella, seated on a bench beside a make shift coal fire where yam and plantain were being roasted.
He promised me I would enjoy it and went ahead to “place our orders.” When the yam and fish came, I sat staring for a few seconds and I watched him rinse his hands and begin to eat. B was eating with his hands in public? My eyes found a way to stay in their sockets and I followed suit. One portion of the yam and I was smitten. The sauce was great, the yam nicely done and I think I licked my fingers at the end of it. So yes, roasted yam made perfect sense and after that day, I was hooked. A number of times, I went to his office and we had the yam together. Eventually, I located a “joint” close to my office and became a regular until my joint was shut down.
Now here’s the crux of the matter. A few weeks ago, the joint was re-opened but I was already hooked on indomie and egg, fried rice and chicken for lunch so I didn’t visit it. Then today, I’d stayed glued to my laptop for so long, nothing I was doing was making sense anymore so I decided to go for lunch. The roasted yam felt like a very good idea so I strolled to my joint. I got there, placed my order and milled around the “Producers” alongside other consumers waiting to be served.
I noticed a “fresh” babe seated a little way off, waiting for goodness alone knew what but I could not be bothered. Just as I was about to be served, “fresh babe” stood up and walked towards us.
“Where’s my yam?”
She spoke in this ajebo high pitched voice and I could not help but smile. Wetin ajebo dey find for our joint?
The girl serving told her to please be patient. Apparently she had forgotten about her and it wasn’t surprising. There were too many people standing around the serving point. “Fresh babe” walked back to her seat like a princess. Her seat turned out to be beside me. In a few minutes, her yam was brought to her served in a plate. I was eating my yam with relish and minding my own business when I heard her speak again.
“Please bring me a fork”
A fork? For wetin na? na spaghetti she wan chop? Shuo!
I think the service girl looked surprised too but she went on to get the fork. Who eats roasted yam at a joint with a fork? I’ve never seen! The sweetness of the yam lies in being able to manipulate the yam in the sauce properly and corner the thing into your mouth. Then you chew happily, lick your fingers and know that it has gone down well. How can a fork do that for you?
When the girl returned with the fork, fresh babe asked
“Mimi, are you sure you washed this fork?”
Oluwa o! Kilode? Shebi she would not just carry the yam inside take away pack and go ni? Which one was the police interrogation na?
Mimi replied in the affirmative and walked away. I shook my head and continued eating my food but I was already writing the post in my head. I was so burnt! (not that burnt like that sha but burnt enough to write.) If B in all his tushness would eat roasted yam under the umbrella with his hands, who was this madam? Please! My joint is not for tush people to come and form biko!
Roasted yam is best enjoyed eaten with the ordinary hand. When you’re done eating, you wash your hands and leave the joint and we will not judge. The only time we would judge is when like “fresh babe” you walk into our joint and decide to act all superior.
Infact, I’d like to write a memo for the National Assembly to pass a bill banning forks in all such joints. Who’s with me?