Thursday, November 20, 2008

Abuja Carnival Day 1

I had heard rumors that there was to be a carnival in town this weekend, though I couldn't really find much information about it.  Well, today on the way to work, I saw evidence of the carnival.  Floats.  Lots of them.  Coming down the other side of the road.

These floats were a little different than the ones I'm used to seeing in our little parades, or even in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  (Awww... I'm gonna miss that next week.)  These floats were made out of full-sized semi-truck tractor trailer flat beds.  And instead of being covered in tissue paper, or flowers, they were covered in fabric.  I mean covered!  On several of them, I couldn't find the windshield.

The floats were crawling slowly down the right lane of traffic, guided by people walking along-side them and the occasional police vehicle.  There were four or five floats in a row, then some traffic mixed in, then some more floats, then more traffic, etc.  In the other lanes, traffic flowed as normal.

Each float represented a different State in the Federation.  The first float I saw was a giant crayfish, complete with wiggly antenna-things and big beady eyes.  'Appropriate,' I thought, since crayfish is the most common seasoning in Nigerian dishes.  Some other very elaborate floats included a huge peacock (the fabric on that one was beautiful), a lion, a village, a coal stock-pile, and a dog.  The one I really didn't understand was Mickey Mouse, but, whatever.

The floats were really intricate and quite well done.   Some of the less decorated ones had generators visible in their flat-beds.  I wonder what those are for.  Maybe the floats will light up at night or play music or something.  I have no idea where the floats were headed, if they're going to be part of a parade, if this was the parade, but, I'm glad I got to see them on my way to work.  And at work!

Here's some pictures taken from the window in my office.  These floats are a little less done-up than the ones I saw earlier.

Traffic at Abuja Fest Traffic at Abuja Fest (6) Traffic at Abuja Fest (7)

Later in the day I heard a lot of horns and shouting so I looked out the window again.  This is what I saw:

Traffic at Abuja Fest (8) Traffic at Abuja Fest (4) Traffic at Abuja Fest (3)

Normally, this is where the freeway off ramp merges with the freeway on ramp, i.e. all the traffic is going in the same direction.  As you can see here, it had become two-way traffic.  The police had apparently blocked the intersection ahead but not blocked the road back at the only place to detour before reaching that intersection.  Traffic was turning around to either go down that detour, or, in some cases, go back up the freeway entrance ramp further back!


Jeannie said...

Roshan said it looks like Africa...

goldenrail said...

Well.... it is.

MaryRuth said...

Will they have corn dogs and cotton candy at this carnival?

goldenrail said...

I'm thinking they will. I've seen both here, although they go by different names. Gala sticks and candy floss. Ironically, unlike our corn dogs, there's no sticks in their gala sticks, just wrapped dogs.

Katie said... was the carnival?? =)