Yesterday’s bank holiday was boring until Femi and I decided to go out. We went to the historic city of Bath. The city wasn’t as disappointing as I expected a British-hyped tourist attraction. It was cool. We managed to park in the city centre, directly opposite the river. And we didn’t have to pay for the parking ticket. Bank holiday.
We walked on the street, admiring the Georgian houses in the well-laid out roads and corners. We narrowly missed the summer flea market where I was planning to buy a cowboy hat. We wondered how much have changed in this city since it was built. Or lets say how much have changed in the city since 1807. Cars, ipods, cells phones, and more non-white tourists, like my wife and I. We wandered into a bookshop near the centre, and while we browsed through the book shelf, the shop-keeper offered us tea while we are looking. Amazing, isn’t it? Though we politely declined his offer, but we told ourselves that it will be a sin for us to walk out of the store without buying a book. We ended up buying Chimamanda’s ‘Half of the Yellow sun’.
I wonder if the bookshop keeper offers every customer that walk into his store tea, or is it because it is a bank holiday? Or is it his own tea time and he wants us to be part of it? Or is it rare to see black African couple browsing through a bookshop in Bath rather than the clothe and jewellery store? Questions I couldn’t answer, but I couldn’t help but compare his offer with my experience the last time I went to Tejuosho market in Lagos. Rather than offering me tea or Ogi, they were pulling my hand into their store, and I ended up buying from one of the hand-pulling traders. If hand pulling works for them, so be it. It might be wrong for me to compare them with my tea offering friend in Bath. Two cities, different traders, abi.