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Onyinye O: Eating Everything at An All-You-Can-Eat



dreamstime_l_39701598“Why is this line not moving nau?”, “See how that one is taking everything, is she the only one here? No wonder she’s on the big side”, “So because I paid for it means I should just be eating anyhow? No now. That’s not being civil”, “Did they pay for me or I paid with my money? Abeg o. Me I no dey send anybody”. Any of these sound familiar at all? These are the kinds of comments (and even much more) you hear at buffets.

Some weeks ago, I had lunch at a nice place. A really nice place and errr, let’s say it wasn’t cheap. It was more of a day I chose to give myself a treat because it was much deserved. So I thought to myself, since this place is so big, they’ll surely have a lot of variety which I can choose from and I’m sure I’ll have healthy options too as per, team FitF


. So I walked in, and they didn’t disappoint me, but my taste buds and stomach did. They began to crave the unhealthy “tasty” foods and when I saw the options I had to choose from, I began to wonder when last I had a cheat meal (as per, unhealthy food) so I chose to indulge. And when I say indulge, not the mogbomoya type o.
And then, I began to try out the dishes made available. Something here, something there, a little of this and a little of that. It wasn’t long before I noticed a family that had walked in. It wasn’t me pocknosing o, the thing is they just sat 2 tables away from me and they were in my view. It was a family of four; one teenage looking boy, one ‘lekpa’ light skinned sister that looked like she was in her early 20’s (I may be wrong), and their parents. So they also went about their business, and I could see them having their own share of indulgence.

But in the midst of it all, I particularly paid more interest to the girl because she was “odd”. I’ll explain. First off, the sister kept carrying her nose (and mouth, and eyes) up each time someone passed with their plates heaped with sumptuous servings and I wondered why. Well, it all came together for me when I saw what her servings were about. While everyone else went for pounded yam, pepper soup, spaghetti, chips, burgers, rice, chicken, fish, etc, she went for fruits. Initially, I had thought she was just starting off et al but nada, this was her own meal. My Miss-Healthy-Lifestyle went for grapes, and then, bananas, an apple, a bowl of fruit salad, etc and the icing on the cake? Green tea! I was dazed. I couldn’t believe this was happening in Nigeria! It was too good (or maybe not as good) to be true. In my head I was asking “Is this how you intend to waste the money being paid? Abi your own payment is half of mine?”

But yet, I still envied her. At that point, I began to tell my stomach “you betrayed me. I could have done what she did too” but my mind quickly cut me short saying, “hell no. You know you were hungry right?” and then, I just ended the blame game. Anyway, back to Miss-Healthy-Lifestyle and her family. What struck me about the situation was the irony of it all. In that same scenario, I saw her dad and mum take all sorts of foods up till the point that when they got up to leave, they could hardly even walk and their stomachs bulged like children who had kwashiorkor. At that point, I didn’t really feel like any money was wasted anymore because her parents had eaten all and even more of what she should or could have eaten.

Usually, there are always those 3 sets of people always present at buffets. The ones who eat too little, the ones that eat what their stomachs can take and the ones that eat beyond what they can take and constantly, I see quite of number of them being judgmental towards those that do not fall in their category. I remember having breakfast at a hotel I had stayed at when I attended a wedding some months ago. Breakfast happened to be a buffet and thankfully, it was complimentary.

So I got into the dining hall just about the same time as Mr-It’s-Just-Breakfast. He went over and picked a sunny side up egg, 2 slices of bread and took a cup of coffee. That was it. But this other guy, Mr-I’m-Entitled-To-My-Complimentary-Robust-Breakfast walked in and had a bit of everything (maybe larger than a bit).

When he was done, he went over to the sausages corner and apparently, there was no sausage left. He brought the issue to the attention of the attendant and the person apologized about the situation and went on to explain to him that they wouldn’t be making any more since breakfast was almost up. Hmmm. My people! You needed to have seen the way this guy flared up. He started shouting about it and creating a scene. I began to wonder if he was on a sausage-based medication and he was going to die if he didn’t have that sausage. But even more importantly, I was worried about what my “Mr-It’s-Just-Breakfast” was probably going to do or say. His facial expressions weren’t looking good at all. Anyway, at that point, I picked my phones from my table and left before correct kasala go burst.

Oh well! For the love of food. The one that baffles me even more are buffets at weddings. These days, you don’t even want to approach the service table. You see people quarreling and arguing over the line cause one person is taking too much time or too much portions when others have not gotten. In short, people go as far as forgetting the essence of why they were there (for the couple) and make it about “the food sef. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t sweet. It was small”, etc. as though they paid for it.

At the end of the day, let’s think about it, it’s just food o! It’s just food. After eating heavily, the toilet would still call out your name and you won’t have the food in your system forever. Worst of, you just might have severed relationships or possible relationships (I’m using the word “relationship” loosely) because of your conduct at that buffet.

So please my dear Bellanaijarians, what is the basis for judging someone else at a buffet? Is there anything as too much cause they tell you “eat as much as you can”; or is there such a thing as too little which amounts to “wastage” of the money paid? Do you think there are any slight chances that we could probably exercise a certain level of caution when it comes to matters of food especially buffets or it’s totally not possible? Please share your thoughts below and while you’re at it, please also share what category you belong to among the three and why you choose to act as such. It’ll be interesting to find out.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Elxeneize

Onyinye is a media junkie, beauty enthusiast, realist and aspiring team fitfam champion who glides through life believing that every experience is a learning curve. When she's not working, reading or sleeping, she's constantly typing away on her computer. Get interactive with her. Email: [email protected] Twitter : @theonyinye. Instagram: @beautifulonyinye_.


  1. Mabel

    November 18, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Maybe she is a The truth is you can only eat so much food, even if you starve yourself for the buffet the stomach can only hold so much. Buffets are alright if you like a lot of choices, I don’t like them when parent let their kids run wild and mess with the food.

  2. Delta geh

    November 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    They should have told that girl to sit in the car lol. I think the key with buffet is not to do olojukokoro. You don’t have to try everything and if you must, do it in really teeny tiny portions. But start with a salad, drink a lot of water you’ll end up not eating too much. But if you wan chop life that day feel free to indulge no judgement. For me it’s the ability to indulge that makes me want to go for a buffet.

    • ATL's finest

      November 18, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      @ Delta geh u are right. Sounds like me! I shovel salad & fruits down my throat & by d time it gets to d junkie mess, I’m full & ready to go out. That’s d only way to limit it.

  3. Christian Sister

    November 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Ahem *clears throat*
    I’m sorry o but some of you really indulge in fruits at a buffet? My Nigerian people talk true abeg. See for me, the thing with enjoying a buffet is getting your money’s worth, and that means having a taste of at least half of what’s laid down at the buffet table. In chigurls voice, monet cannot west o! Why go for a buffet when you’re not going to be enjoying the buffet benefits?

  4. abi

    November 19, 2015 at 12:18 am

    for me i love all u can eat especially at chinese restaurant,these days are usually my cheat days so i careless mandarinn restaurant am On my way!

  5. The real D

    November 19, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Ok growing up my dad used to say there is no such thing as eating for eternity, so no matter how hungry you feel you will get full at so me point and no matter how full you get at some point you will get hungry. His point was eat only what you need. Those that mean I have never covered myself???? Nah but since buffet usually equals public, shame no go gree me.

    However, my brother has this friend who keeps bringing with him to events and this dude is just down right embarrassing. The latest was a family friends wedding, my brother decided to make this dude his plus 1. Food was buffet and dude did not know family of couple just attached as par free ride and accommodation but he was the first in line and lawd his plate was 10x mine and that is no exaggeration. My brother self was embarrassed and teased him but it just rolls of him. That’s not the first time I have seen this guy at work as he usually visits Nigeria with us (Although born to Nigerian parents, he was raised outside the country and he does not like visiting Nigeria with his parents as par they don’t hang out with people in our age bracket) . Even my dad that can eat hails this dude and he will be first in line and it does not even occur to him that there are still 100s that need to eat after him. This is a mid 30s aged dude too. My sister and myself always grumble when he invites himself home with us since my brother always runs his mouth (tells him). I don’t care if your seams burst open but please be considerate of those coming behind especially at parties. You can always go back for seconds once everyone has had their fill.

  6. xag

    November 19, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Na so, after paying 7k for buffet at Wheatbaker or Federal Palace Hotel, na to begin eat fruit. Am I mad? Focus on your own plate and leave those of others.

  7. Downfall

    November 19, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Buffets, weddings and parties are my downfall. I always eat 1000% more than i need. Not a good look. However i wouldn’t just eat fruit even if i had self control

  8. queen

    November 19, 2015 at 8:58 am

    kids of these days want to eat everything the see,which is very bad.

  9. Nonamespls

    November 19, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I wont eat only fruits at a buffet …. Never .
    I like to have a bit of everything usually just tiny bits then dessert i overindulge that is my weakness

  10. JADE

    November 19, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I rarely go to buffets but when i do, oh lawd! there was this chines buffet near my house when i was in the UK, 5 Pounds for all you can eat, omo if i go there ehn, i usually go around 1 and ensure i dont have breakfast. Na to chop n chop n chop chop n chop. but then i hardly go, only when i want to treat myself

  11. whocares

    November 19, 2015 at 10:40 am

    LOOOOL. The picture brought me here. Ahh Oyinye, I am one of those “I paid for it, I must eat my money’s worth” people o. I just eat a little, just a little of everything, but I must eat everything. The trick is not to fill your plate up that way I can linger for 2 hours or so (I rarely eat out, or do buffets, but when I do let me take my time plix) in that time frame (maybe 3) I will chat with friends, give my stomach chance to digest round one, and then continue until I have sampled all the food. However much I go to get more food, my plate never gets full to overflowing. That is the trick. I only drink water on those occasions. as well Just a sip here and there too. Wo, there is nothing like too much food at a buffet I paid for jare. At weddings or other complimentary places however, I like to maintain my champion and respect myself. My helpings are moderate as if I cannot finish a plate of rice. People then look and say “is that all you are eating, no wonder you are so slim”.. I laugh in Ibibio in my head and just smile and go my way. loool.. Until I want more food anyways.. loool.

  12. Zeeebby

    November 19, 2015 at 10:55 am

    They shud have bought her pineapple and water melon from mallam now. I take buffet very serious oh, I dress for it sef… Wear a free dress. carry my phone and portable charger, go with my friends wey sabi good food, gist, laugh and eat till you can walk no more. …..My money cannot waste.

  13. Ba

    November 19, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Why will you eat too much. Too much food, is equal to too problem in the system. Eat smaller qty even if you want gain or lose weight. Not my thought but experts say so.

  14. been there

    November 19, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    i’ve laffed so hard reading this. ur too funny biiko. its hard doing the fitfam thing at abuffet.

  15. forbisi

    December 21, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Interesting. I have attended several buffets, but interestingly, I haven’t had to pay for any myself. At events, seminars, conferences, trainings, etc. When I first see the settings I feel like having everything, but I can’t, have to comport myself well outside also cos many people there will be taking small small. I firstly take small in my plate, dn if it’s not ok, go for a second helping. But I eat only one thing, not a little of everything. If it’s swallow am taking, I take only one wrap and “pack” plenty soup. I love soup. But two things I don’t joke with at a buffet, meat and cake. I take d first set of meat and go for second helping. And no matter how full I am, I must eat cake, it’s just a must.

  16. Ella

    February 24, 2016 at 9:47 am

    lol, buh how can one go to buffet and end up eating only fruits.

  17. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    February 24, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Fruit at a buffet, fo real? I can always buy it afterwards. unfortunately I always overindulge when I go to a buffet so I go occassionally

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