It was the deal we all had been hoping would come through. My friend (& fellow intern @ eloPhotos) had just gotten his first big job as a photographer and I went with him as an assistant. The occasion was a surprise birthday party that was being organized by the co-workers of the celebrant. I got there forty minutes before time and the event started some minutes behind schedule.
Since it was a Sunday, I had to go to Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, (venue of the birthday party), from church. This required careful planning because I couldn’t cover an event in my church clothes. I had to take a pair of jean pants with me to church so I could change clothing once I got to the venue. Changing clothes in the church restroom after service was not an option. My church is quite conservative and I didn’t want to upset anyone just yet by wearing a pair of pants in the church premises. I probably have people confused with my makeup already.
My kind husband dropped me off at the bus stop where I boarded a bus heading for Maryland. Luckily for me, the traffic was moving freely and I got to Maryland in no time. I hopped in a bus headed for Opebi/Allen and informed the bus conductor I would alight at Sheraton Hotel. I believed Sheraton was still a good distance ahead so I took time to admire the buildings along the road. Soon I saw Protea Hotel on my left and just stared at the building in admiration. Just then, the bus turned to the right and drove along Opebi link road. It took a few seconds for me to realize I was off track. At this point, I realized the bus had taken me past my intended bus stop. I had to walk back to Sheraton Hotel after protesting and whining about the bus conductor’s poor service. On getting there, I saw Protea hotel was directly opposite Sheraton! How could I have missed it!
Like I said earlier, I got to the event in good time, found the ladies’ room and changed into my jeans. On my way back to the hall where the event was to be held, I saw a guy dressed like security personnel flash me a brief smile. At first I thought he was just being nice, then later, I realised he must have seen me wear a skirt into the restroom and come out in a pair of jean pants. Perhaps he wondered if I was some kind of girl living a double life. You know, the type that tells everyone at home that she is heading to church but then heads straight to some party.
Despite the fact that the event started a bit late, it was one of the best I had ever attended. The estimate of guests expected was just as we had been briefed. The hall was arranged in such a way that left enough room to move around; the guests appeared friendly and no one treated me like a pest (if you are a photographer, you should understand what I mean). Best of all, it was a buffet so when my friend suggested that I go get something to eat, I had a good time selecting yummy delights.
I didn’t take too much food, nothing that could have embarrassed you, just a bit of rice, chicken and beef with a small slice of cake. By the way, Sheraton’s food smells like heaven if you’ve never had it. As I settled down to enjoy the meal before me, I saw an incredible sight – there was a dead housefly right in my rice! I am not kidding. I mean…you can’t make this stuff up! Dead fly on my warm food, eww! Disgusting right?
You must be wondering what I did next. I showed the fly to a friend, scooped the fly and the surrounding grains of rice out of my plate and enjoyed the rest of my meal! It was delicious too. In case you are wondering what kind of a weirdo I am, I haven’t always been this way. If this had happened some months ago, I think I may have abandoned the whole plate of rice but after having spent time with weirdly creative people (mostly men) at eloPhotos, I now do weird things myself. At least I didn’t eat the fly (come to think of it, eating the fly would have been an experimentally weird option).
If you are a member of staff of Sheraton or just a fan, please understand that I am not trying to throw the hotel under the bus as far as food is concerned. In fact, I think the beef and chicken were so juicy and tender; made to perfection. The kitchen crew just needs to work on preventing unwanted sources of protein from finding their way to the food.
CEO, Everywoman’s Heart