Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Akara and Bread


The weather is cold and misty and the dark sky presents itself to M’s eyes. It is the early part of the morning and she walks briskly to the bus stop.

The crisp weather had prevented her from waking up early and hence, making her unable to prepare her breakfast. She walks on the path, remembering the picture she had saved on Instagram yesterday’s afternoon; a picture of akara and bread.

It’s been a year since she last tasted the meal. She had eaten it on a particular night when she had arrived very late from work. It was the period when she was still serving.

M remembers how she savoured the meal with a cold bottle of pepsi. Oh, she wishes that she can taste one now.

She enters the bus and tries to read from her phone but all she can imagine is the sizzling smell of steaming akara.

“I’m longing to eat akara this morning…” she tells her sister as the bus is moving on the tarred road.
An hour later, she is alighting from the bus, scanning around for a place to buy akara.

There are several women by the side of the road, selling from big plates. It is, however, not akara. They are selling rice and beans.

“Oh, why? Is akara now gold in this area?” she murmurs, scrunching up her face in disappointment.

Minutes later, M is now in a keke napep, on her way to work. She still looks around, knowing fully well that the keke driver will not park and wait for her to buy from the roadside.

Alas! She sees a fair-complexioned lady, selling akara and koko with two other women. She has said it! The driver will not agree to park. Even if he does, the other passengers will protest.

She tries to hide her disappointment as she continues on her path to work. She alights from the keke and hurries to a shop she had passed by every morning, where a woman always fries a brownish-snack that look like akara.

Sweat is almost dripping from her forehead as she stops by the shop and greets the woman.

“Do you sell akara?” she asks hesitantly.

“No, puff puff.”

“Ohhhh,” M groans.

A customer, sensing M’s disappointment describes a place where she can get great-tasty akara.

“Okay,” M replies brusquely and hurries out of the place. As much as she is eager to take akara and bread, she knows that she has to get to work on time.

M walks down the road when she catches sight of akara in a large-transparent cooler. She can hardly believe that the akara shop that she had been searching frantically for, lies very close to her office.

She is standing opposite the akara shop, grinning at the woman to acknowledge her presence.

“Akara?” M asks in hush whispers, eager to know if what she is seeing is really true.

“Yes,” the woman replies and smiles back.

“Okay, I’ll be back.” M scurries to her office and storms into the building.

“X, akara is ‘hungrying’ me oo.” She says to the secretary as she signs on the register.

“Go and buy na.” the secretary replies.

“I will.” She drops her bag and scampers to the akara shop.

M’s face beams in excitement as she returns to the office. She takes the first bite before joining the others for the prayer session.

“M, you bought akara?” a colleague raises his eyebrows at her.

M chuckles in reply. She nods and takes another bite. The smell of the steaming akara wafted the whole office. She knows that some people may find it revolting but she doesn’t care; it is what she wants to eat and she feels thrilled to be with huge chunks of it.

M is really excited; she knows that her day is going to be awesome. She believes that sometimes, one would have to take a break from rice, beans, spaghetti, and other common food.

'Oh my, bread is fantastic; ever tried beans with bread? Akara and bread is bae,' M thinks.
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