I learnt this new word ‘buka‘ and I’ve been dying to use it ever since. This post is my golden opportunity, let me flourish.
Growing up, I took after my Papa in quite a lot of things, one of them was the conscious decision to never eat out. Not like Mama was the bestest cook or he couldn’t afford it, but Papa rarely ever ate out and nobody knows why, but I copied him. I don’t buy food, I don’t eat at parties or in a friend’s (or enemy’s) place, I don’t accept free offers. I just don’t eat food that isn’t prepared in my home.
But when I got to school, time they say, changes everything, and it changed me. I didn’t have the time to cook, plus cooking for just me and me alone is extremely tiresome, boring and tasteless. So I started eating at the canteens in the faculties and before long, I became a regular customer.
It just had to happen on that particular day that I got really really tired and hungry. We just closed from a 5 hours lecture of straight note copying and I was looking like the walking dead. I didn’t have energy to walk home, the canteens were out of food, so I made my way to the school buka joints, otherwise known as ‘mama-put‘.
I chose one and walked in, sat down and made an order. The guy sitting across from me gave me a look like I was the cause of all his hardship buh warreva mehn. My food was served and I digged in like no man’s business. I finished in no time, paid for my food, left a really nice tip for the server and went on my way.
Anyways, I hadn’t walked long before I started to feel it- my temperature rising, my head hurting, and my vision felt like I just downed a full bottle of cognac. I stopped a bike to take me to my hostel and that was the last thing I remembered.
The next time I was conscious of myself, I was on my Papa’s bed at home. I had thrown up several times, a doctor had been called in and he confirmed severe food poisoning.
So that is the way buka joint would have ended my life prematurely. In secondary school, one of my classmates got typhoid from the moimoi she always bought at the mama-put behind the school, she had to be away from school for days and when she finally resumed, her eyes were all sunken in and her skin was sickly dark and she looked really emaciated, I never thought that same thing was capable of happening to me too.
Nobody needed to tell me, I have never stepped foot into a restaurant or canteen or whatever, talking less of buka joint. I didn’t know if to press charges, where do we start gathering and interrogating suspects, could it be that guy that was giving me the acid look? I just don’t know, it’s been a couple of months since this incident happen and one thing is for sure, I’m never eating out again.