After my first relaxing weekend in Lagos, I was warned that from Monday we would be very busy organising Vinay’s 1st birthday party…
On Monday afternoon, we went to The Palms, a mall in Lekki, where there are two supermarkets and some other shops.
Our first stop was Game – we needed chocolates and soft drinks. We walked in, got a trolley and tried to find the aisle with the chocolates and sweets. We walked past aisle after aisle – stationery, cushions, toys, toiletries, garden furniture… You could probably find anything you need here, but at a price.
We then headed to the soft drinks – and I came across the first aisle of alcohol. A bottle of Absolut costs about £10 here – I have no idea what it costs in London though. It didn’t seem as extortionate as I thought it would be. But again, everything is available: vodka, whisky, wine, champagne.
After paying at Game, we headed to the next supermarket – Shoprite. It was much more crowded than Game as I think their prices are very slightly cheaper.
Again, there were aisles and aisles of things.
They even had pumpkins (albeit very small ones) in the fresh vegetables section. I wondered where they came from because a few days ago I’d heard people talking about how many of the ‘fresh’ vegetables are imported from China these days. It’s quite a scary thought as most of the products coming in from China are genetically modified and contain preservatives which retain the colour and flavour of the food, and extend their shelf life by up to 2 years. That doesn’t sound very healthy to me. That’s outrageous! I also read recently that, so far, Chinese investment in Nigeria has hit $7 billion. You can see it in the construction going on everywhere. Right outside my sister’s house, there stood an empty plot of land – it was empty for decades (I know this because we also grew up in this house). This time, there’s a huge building there – and it reminds me of all the buildings I saw in Guangzhou, China.
And that’s just one of them. There are several of these buildings under construction throughout the city. This must be happening throughout Africa. According to an article in The Economist, imports from China to Africa in 2010 totalled almost $70 billion, and they’re investing more in Africa than any other continent. I wonder what this could mean for the continent politically? And for the rest of the world?
But, I digress. Back to the supermarket. While we were in the queue to pay for more chocolates and soft drinks, I decided to wander down the cereal aisle and check out how much cereal costs here. I came across shelves of Special K – a 500 g box costs £6!
I know! I was shocked too!