“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
These words from Ralph Waldo Emerson pushed me into stacking up my mini-sized traveling bag which I had bought in a second-hand market few days before leaving for my NYSC camp in Sagamu, Ogun state.
I Needed To See Ibadan
Of course I had been to Ibadan before, I can remember how about 20 of us from the department of economics had traveled down to represent the University of Lagos for a debate competition which we lost the first position by few points to OAU (our most dreaded rival till date). But I never got to fulfill my most priced desire of standing atop one of the highest points in the city to have a breathtaking view of its brown roofs’.
Hence, A Second Coming Was Eminent.
It was drizzling heavily on this particular Friday but the energy level of the bus conductors and cab drivers at Ojota bus park surged with every additional drop from the heavens as they jostled for passengers through every means possible, throwing as many cautions as possible to the wind. One of them had even managed to force a man who into the bus before knowing he was just a passerby and not a traveler. I scoffed as I alighted from the Uber we had come with.
Of course Dami was with me again on this.
#2000 was what each passenger parted with to move from Lagos to Ibadan by car. Travelers going by bus usually pay lower. Left for me, I would have gone with the bus option for the obvious reason of reduced price but Dami insisted we used the car so I Obliged. Two other guys joined us before the driver twisted the ignition to declare the journey started.
We soon landed at Challenge (one of the most popular car parks in the city) from whence we joined a shared cab (at #50 each) to ring road where we found a decent hotel just by the road side.
Located at Ajeigbe junction, Ring road Ibadan.
Paris Hotel is is kinda new and modest. One can smell it in its looks. You know that type of above-average guy in class who knows something about everything? Exactly! just convert him into a building.
It’s a 2 storey building covered in white and ash paint. You can easily tell it’s being renovated as patches of dried cement can be seen by the gate and few other spots within the compound. We occupied a standard room which we were able to negotiate #6000/night for 2 nights. this was against the #7000 they offered.
The walls were neatly laced with contrasting colours which unveiled the beauty in its entirety. Africa magic was what the LG flat screen tv had on display. I lost interest after about 5 scenes without Odunlade, Sanyeri, Ibrahim Shatta nor Okunnu. The bed was strong and large enough to make to adults comfortable for as long as they wish. The bathroom too was decent, pressure from the tap was strong enough to oust an incompetent leader from office at any time of the day.
A peek into the balcony gave an astounding view of the whole of ring road and it’s environ while everyone on the customer care service team seems to have the same empathetic orientation as they did all they could in ensuring we were well settled.
Suggested read: Negro Explores the centenary Hall In Ake
Shoprite Ibadan 7:50pm
The plan was to go clubbing but it was too early plus men were really tired from the trip, so an alternative of Ibadan mall was suggested by Dami since it wasn’t far from our hotel.
In less than 200 seconds we alighted in front of the magnificent edifice, handed the bike man a rumpled #100 note as he returned #20 almost immediately as agreed. We surveyed the environment for few minutes doing a swift mental comparison of it with that of Lagos.
Truth be told, this mall was disappointingly scanty for a Friday night. My mind replayed what a typical Monday (which is the least busy day) in any Lagos mall will look like.
Apollo’s lounge and bar looked most appealing of all the available eating outlets in the mall so we thought we could grab something to eat and maybe drink beer before heading back to our hotel but the noise emanating from the speakers became so unbearable that we requested our order of grilled fish with chips and ketchup be packed for us as we breezed out to pick another bike back to the hotel.
The AC was almost visibly spitting ice cubes within few minutes of switching it on, so that discouraged me totally from having my bath. Dunno about Dami’s reason but I think it’s the same too.
6:38am Saturday 28th oct.
Woke to the calm and collected view from room 304 Paris Hotel
I did the necessary rituals of brushing and bathing with the supply of toothpaste, tissue and bar soap the hotel provided. Since it’s the last Saturday of the month, I had to wait till 9:30am when movement will begin before setting out due to the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the city.
“The plan was to visit the much talked about UI Zoo, Agodi gardens and eat amala.”
I had to leave Dami behind since he said he’d be seeing few friends while I’m away. I took a cab (#50) to round-about from where I took a straight bike to Agodi gardens (#100) but was told they haven’t opened for business yet so I took another bike to UI gate (#150) and joined another cab (#30) straight to the faculty of science where the much talked-about zoo is located.
I paid the compulsory entry fee of #500 to the woman behind the bars of a secluded office by the entrance of the facility. She was a bit rude though, but since I was there to see other animals and not her, I smiled as I dropped my access coin in its hole to allow me into the Zoo.
Then I met Zainab!
Beautiful, fearless, intelligent and a lover of selfies. She’s a 400level student of zoology from the university of Ilorin who’s running her IT in the Zoo. She voluntarily took me round and told me different stories about the animals, how they got their names down to their feeding procedure. According to her, The horse was named Sanusi because it was donated to the zoo by the present Emir of Kano while the camel was donated by the sultan of Sokoto.
I finished from the zoo, exchanged contact with Zainab, took series of selfies with her before dashing out to my next stop.