Mattress Yam and Other Carbs

Abiola Biya
2 min readSep 21, 2019
Is anyone hungry? Cause we about to have some issues (I hope to God you people get it)

It’s early afternoon on a random weekday. The perfect time to head to the office cafeteria for lunch, not so early that the caterers haven’t actually arrived yet and not so late that all the good food is gone.

We are sitting at one of the low corner tables, there is a salt and pepper shaker in the middle of it and enough serviettes to go around.

I am having potatoes and some kind of vegetable stew (it looked a bit like efo riro but tasted nothing like efo so I refuse to call it efo). Someone is eating beans, I think, and the other two people at the table are eating rice. Someone takes a bite of my potato and someone at the table says “what are you doing? Rice and potato?”

“I have seen someone eat rice, yam, beans, and spaghetti on the same plate.”

And then, the conversation goes downhill from there.

This is the story of how I learnt that people eat yam and rice on the same plate and in fact, they eat yam, rice and several other Nigerian staples in one meal. I was scandalized.

First, I have IBS and this greatly limits my ability to try different things (I know I will only live once and I should try stuff but I’d like to actually live). And second, I don’t travel much (I would but I am also a broke babe) so I can’t say that I have experienced different cultures.

I thought about the concept of eating rice and yam in the same dish for the rest of that day and almost every day since then. I googled it and I found that there is a meal called Yam Rice eaten by Malaysians. And many many Nigerians actually enjoy eating some sort of yam rice every day.

I haven’t tried it yet (I try to avoid flare-ups as much as possible but you really only live once) and I am still unable to completely wrap my thoughts around it but don’t knock it till you try it, right?


(P.S: The first time I heard the joke in the photo caption, I laughed and laughed and laughed)