Did you know that blueberries are false berries?...apparently these types of fruits are found in plant species with an inferior ovary. However, true berries such as gooseberries, have an edible pulp.
I have met many people in life that want me to ingest their modified pepoes... or their falsehood... and like it. They think by packaging their inferiorities as something sweet, bright and juicy I will not recognise what they have tried to force down my throat. I think it is a shame that they fail to understand that had they given me the choice I might have enjoyed the simple truth better.
In my second year at university, I moved out of halls and started living with three other girls; Chixster was igbo but the rest of us were yoruba.
Let me start with introductions.
1stly, there was Bubbles. She was the youngest. Bubbles was just really sweet.
2ndly, there was Owambe. She was only months younger than me. I have to applaud Owambe…she went from a british size 20 to a size 12 (american size 8) over a period of four years…a mean feat. But her years of being ‘heavy’ meant she had issues…no, she wasn’t some sort of evil…no, she wasn’t inhumanly wicked or cruel…she just desperately wanted to feel among.
I loved the fact that Owambe tried to follow the latest trends and rock the latest designer gear but sadly she didn’t have the persona to carry off loud and quirky colours…nor did she put her outfits together well. Ladies one should know one’s own frame and by a certain age one should know how best to work with that frame to look good. Sadly, Owambe did not dress to maximise her new found frame…the girl was constantly adjusting her clothes that were too tight or pulling down her skirts that were too way short in public. I tried to give her some helpful suggestions but she made it clear that it wasn’t needed. I thought ‘nothing spoil’...not for me anyway...lol.
I found that Owambe was always looking to be the centre of attention…her advice was instructional…her ideas were best…she wanted to rule the roost. I don’t do ‘you are the boss of me’ well so when she started that nonsense I was like ‘abeg get out’. I guess it didn’t help her complex that Bubbles, Chixster and I refused to let her ego rise with us…anything she wanted to show off about was something or somewhere that Bubbles, Chixster or I could say ‘been there, done that and got the t-shirt’ to.
Anyway back to the intros…
Lastly, there was Chixster. She was the slimmest, the prettiest and the kindest…she was genuinely kind. Chixster was constantly worrying about everybody... as our mother hen, to some extent she looked after us. I got on with Chixtser the most because she seemed like a ‘straight shooting’ and ‘to the point’ kinda gal. She was slightly older than me by about two years but she knew how to have fun.
As girls do, we often gathered in Chixster’s room at night to gist. Sometimes we would stay there all night and leave just before the arrival of the morning rays of amber. On one late starry starry night, the topic turned to sex.
Chixster: What do you think about sex?
I decided to take a philosophical approach and said:
Shubby Doo: It is necessary. It can result in life. Creation of life is God’s gift. I think it is amazing that it is a very small way for human beings to really get to actually resemble their creator.
Owambe chose the more common Christian approach and followed with:
Owambe: As a born again, I don’t believe in sex before marriage. I think people should only have the sex after.
Bubbles: Me too I guess. It is not really right.
Eh? I looked from one to the other… I felt like I was in the twilight zone and in this alternate universe standard naija babes were trying to sell me tory! … na lie! I didn’t start the conversation…plus my initial answer hadn’t turned it in this particular direction…but now we where here, I just couldn’t help thinking ‘bloody pretenders!’.
Shubby Doo: Really…you do? hmmm…I guess I was brought up to believe that too but in reality I don’t think it is that simple.
Owambe: It is. Abstinence is not impossible.
Shubby Doo: I agree. It is not impossible. But when two people are together in the heat of the moment it is not easy not to give in to it...especially when those two people think they are in love...or are you saying that you haven’t had sex ever Owambe?
Shubby Doo: you nko, Bubbles?
I knew Bubbles she was no saint. My brother had a big problem with us living together because she had been with more than a few naija guys at his university. Bubbles was ‘one of the regulars’. As he tended to live by the rule ‘each to their own’ he’d never been interested in judging her behaviour. He was trying to support my decision to live with whomever I chose but he had issues with us flat sharing...basically because when ‘awon boys’ came visiting to knack Bubbles and he didn’t want anybody implying that it was his little sister that had entertained.
I assured my brother that there was no problem because:
1. I had just come out of a long relationship that had been pretty serious. I wasn't looking to play the rebound game.
2. I said that I'd be ok...I knew how to handle such guys if they did turn up at ours...I'd use the steely resolve that I inherited from my mother...plus he had prepared me well as only an older brother could.
3. Bubbles was now in a committed relationship with Ayo (whom she did eventually marry) so I doubted she would be soliciting illicit visits.
I never mentioned my brother’s concerns to Bubbles because as long as she didn’t make it a problem for me, there was no problem.
But now Bubbles was claiming that sex was only suited for marriage.... hmmm...
Shubby Doo: Bubbles you no dey talk…abi wetin?
Bubbles: I think it is better in marriage.
Shubby Doo: I agree with you whole heartedly but are you saying that you haven’t had sex?
Chixster: I think sex should be with someone you love. Ideally, that commitment comes in marriage.
Bubbles: I agree with Chixster.
I was thinking to myself ‘chai!...these girls just dey dodge my question’…when I heard:
Owambe: As strong Christians, Segs and I have promised ourselves that we will only have sex when we are married. I say no to sex.
I thought ‘Owambe shut up!’. The babe was lying.
Don’t get me wrong…I understand that everybody lies…but if you cannot lie well, my advice is keep it simple or better yet keep quiet & don’t try. If you want to lie to me put some work into it…your story must be robust and your actions must support your story. Not just on the day you spin your tale but forever…I must never be able to pick holes in it…and before you start, you should remember that in time the truth tends to prevail.
In my humble opinion, Owambe’s actions did not support her words. Her room was next to mine so whenever her boyfriend Segs came to spend the weekend, the following would always happen.
12:00am: Owambe and Segs say goodnight.
They enter her room and close the door.
12:10am: I hear her bed springs squeaking…
I would laugh. This was like the tonal work of the string section of the orchestra playing the sonata...it signified the 1st movement of the great symphony to come….
12:15am: Owambe starts giggling.
From time to time Segs laughs loudly.
12:20am: I hear someone lock the door to Owambe’s room with a key.
12:25am: I hear soft moans…
Followed by faint promises of sweet nothings…
Then I hear groans...
I would laugh to myself again. This had to be the ternary movement of the symphony…but why had they re-arranged the order of this classic orchestra piece?… why had they skipped from the 1st movement to the 3rd movement and missed the slow movement?…
12:30am: I hear very, very, VERY loud music blasting out of Owambe’s room.
I have a fertile imagination… so to be fair I am now taking this opportunity to ask all the people reading this…what you think happened in that room next?
Just to help you make up your minds I’ll just say that I also remember that loud music from Owambe’s deck used to wake me up on Saturday mornings too but only if her boo was there with her.
I now realised these babes were true impressionists…they were trying to paint a work of art...they were using movement as the crucial element to distract me so that I wouldn’t focus on ‘the truth’…so I would simply believe what they portrayed as truth. I guess if people don’t see the real you from the obvious visual angles they may just catch a glimpse of a distorted image...one that seems amazing or remarkably refreshing. Well it wasn't working with me...their words just annoyed and irritated me…my mama no born mumu…
Shubby Doo: I think that is so sweet Owambe…to know that all you and Segs do is kiss and cuddle all night… on that small single bed…to loud music that starts at midnight and is on for at least 45 mins…That is love o!
Bubbles laughed out loud.
Shubby Doo: Bubbles I guess that is what you and Ayo do too abi? That is so sweet.
Bubbles: Ok. Let me fess us…surprise, surprise…I’ve had sex.
I was not surprised but I was happy that she had come clean…eventually.
Shubby Doo: Thank you for your honesty. Oya come and sit next to me as we are the only two sinners in this house. We have confessed our sins to God today again in the presence of Owambe and Chixster. Don’t worry confession is part of the Christian faith and practice. All will be well.
Chixster: I guess there is nothing wrong with having sex if you are in love and you are committed to each other…it does not have to be in wedlock despite what naija society tends to dictate but it is preferable.
Shubby Doo: I agree.
I was still wondering why Chixster had chosen to use those particular words...she still had not revealed...when I heard:
Owambe: Segs and I have made love...but we have decided to abstain now until we get married.
Made love ke?…you mean fucked each others brains out while you deafened me! Whatever sha…a confession is still a confession and I am not an enemy of any type of progress that results in the truth. In my mind it was not the whole truth because she was still claiming she wasn't ‘at it’ anymore...but I was happy that she could no longer look me in the eye and start her ‘hypocritical’ crap. The really sad thing is I don’t think she was ever really ‘trying’ to be even be living embodiment of her words…for her it was always about keeping up appearances and trying to say the right things so people could like her and listen to her.
Chixster stayed silent…then she excused herself and she left her own room to make a phone call on her mobile phone…
About 18 months later, Chixster started dating my brother (not the one that had had the problem with Bubbles)…their relationship lasted about 6 months…they were happy-ish but they knew it wouldn’t work when she decided to move to another country so they called it quits.
After they broke up he told me, he was not her first…she was experienced…from way back. I said nothing because I wasn’t shocked by it but his words somehow made me feel let down by her...there had been no need for the illusion. I guess some people simply choose not to share...I do understand that.
I have thought about this some more since then and after all these years I have realised something... as sung by Don McLean in ‘Vincent’, I just want to say that by starting the conversation and by walking out of your room, Chixster “…now I understand what you tried to say to me...”
My brother ended the conversation with a simple admission…Chixster was a bit of a ‘sex fiend’.
Sunday, 29 June 2008
Did you know that blueberries are false berries?...apparently these types of fruits are found in plant species with an inferior ovary. However, true berries such as gooseberries, have an edible pulp.
Sunday, 22 June 2008
Last Saturday, I got phone call which I didn’t answer because the roaming charges in Istanbul for my UK phone tariff were high. I sent a reply to explain. The next morning I received a text message asking me to call. I replied the text with another one saying I would call once I was back in England. Then I got another text message. When I read it I thought sod the roaming charges and I called her:
Shubby Doo: Hello. What happened?
Her: Hello. Shubby Doo calm down. Please.
Shubby Doo: Don’t worry about me. What happened? Are you ok?
Her: I’m ok. I’m in bit of pain.
Shubby Doo: What was it this time? Just tell me what happened?
He had beaten her.
She said when the first blow connected; she didn’t even bother to scream she just started running. She locked the bedroom door and then locked herself in the bathroom. When he broke down both doors, she instinctively raised her arms to protect herself…it hadn’t helped. He had just continued to beat her...she said he didn’t stop when she hit the ground...he had just kept pummelling her body with punches and kicks.
She laughed bitterly when she admitted that amidst her screams, she heard him saying repeatedly “I’m going to kill you”.
At one point I thought she said he had used something to hit her over the head. I stopped her...had I heard correctly? what had he used? She said no, he had ‘just’ punched her on the head again and again…
‘just’ ke?…there is nothing ‘just’ about his behaviour.
With every blow he has ever laid on her before last saturday, as well as those blows that he rained down on her on that day, he is ignoring the bible verse that says:
‘…husband love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her’ Ephesians 5:25
Good Shepherd, let your peace descend upon him. Please show him that the way to love is through, care, affection, commitment, understanding, trust, respect, and sincerity.
I do not understand why he runs off to his village so often...please who does business in the village these days?
Despite my plea for her to stay with her sister in Lagos, reluctantly she goes with him. Before she liked going to his village to see his mother...iya was the kind hearted soul who sheltered her from her monster. His mother is dead now...she said that when she arrived there after iya died he had held on to her tightly...he had wailed he in her arms like ‘a baby’. She was not allowed at the graveside but she heard he hadn't stop crying when they were burying iya.
She does not like going to his village now because it is full of lying and thieving beggars who will say anything to him for some money…that is how they earn their way. She can see through their deceit but she has learnt that it is better to say nothing...one word against them and she incurs his wrath.
I have no understanding why an educated and well travelled man likes to surround himself in such treachery...I guess it is simply because in that remote world he is idolised falsely...she says he likes it when they call him ‘oga’...‘sir…‘governor’…‘chief’...‘daddy’...‘baba wa’...
I think he also likes taking her there when he is itching to use her as target practice...in his village she is away from her loved ones …in his village she isolated.
She is still there now. The doctor has visited her at home several times...in the room with no door. She is now on some medication. She gets more immediate relief when he gives her an injection for the pain. She says hasn't been able to sleep since that night...she is scared to close her eyes.
She says sometimes she wishes it would end...it will someday but sadly I don't think one of them will survive it...she says if by some lucky chance he leaves this world before her as a Christian she is not sure she would observe iddah as his widow...then she says that a mourning period consisting of four lunar cycles and 10 days is a small price to pay compared with what she has endured already. At other times she says she can't help but smile at the thought of her dead parents patiently waiting to receive her but then she remembers the children...always...she thinks first of the children.
Good Shepherd, watch over her. Please take up her struggle and be her shield.
One time, he tore her clothes off as he beat her at home...the village onlookers just stood there and watched the show...that time he left her bleeding and bruised in their front reception room in her underwear...this was about six to nine months after she had had major surgery...he was not the reason she had been in hospital but she was still supposed to be taking it easy.
I do not understand why:
1) It is still considered ok for a man to beat his wife in Nigeria?
2) Such men are always so adept at hiding their true colours up until the time a woman has walked up the aisle and lovingly said “I do”?
Before they got married…he was her gentleman.
After they got married…he stopped her modelling work.
After she gave birth to the children…he stopped her career as a teacher.
Like I've said his abuse is not a new thing...but it is becoming worse...sadly not only for her.
On one occasion, his little boy stood up to him. That should have stopped a grown man...but not this man. Instead, he went to his child’s room and started to throw the boy’s things out…the child was not going to sleep under his roof. She had started begging him to stop…it was not the boy’s fault…she told him he could do whatever he wanted to her. He didn’t continue his attack because he had already satisfied his thirst for violence...but now he had also evoked such fear that she was willing to submit to anything....his ego had been well fed by this notion...so much so that he did not speak to his son for 2 months...can you imagine that they had to specially seek ‘an audience’ with him so that the boy could say sorry for taking mummy’s side.
On another occassion he beat his other son for helping mummy pack as she tried to leave... she had found out (yet again o!) that he was sleeping with someone else...enough was enough...when he wasn't at home, she started moving her stuff out a little bit at a time...he found out. First he beat her...then he asked his boy where had she been going?...where was her stuff?... his eldest son refused to talk. When he was done with both of them he locked each one in a different room to think about what they had done...to think about how they had betrayed him. It was not to happen again.
I could give other examples but there is no point...it always ends the same way...with violence...not because he was raised that way o!...his mother told her that his father would have been ashamed had he lived to see this.
I think he does this because he wants to be master of all he surveys...he believes his ‘might is right’.
She is both friend and family...I cherish her beyond words...simply put...she is too dear to me to loose...but I don't understand what to do anymore as I've realised that:
Their union cannot still be a blessing because it is based on fear.
I fear one day, in his rage, she will die.
I know, for now, she will not leave him,
I know she endures it for her children.
Good Shepherd, guide and guard her under that shadow of your wing. Please keep her safe.
Sunday, 15 June 2008
So I should be getting ready to go to my friend’s (i.e Pelagia) wedding pre-party but I’m mad…mostly at myself…so I’m venting.
I got hustled today…technically it was yesterday but I haven’t slept yet.
Don't understand why they picked me...ok I guess it is quite obvious here that I'm a tourist. Whatever sha...I'm upset because I’m a person that gives readily and I never expect it back. If I’m ever in a similar situation in the future, I hope that this approach will serve me well...I hope I’ll have built up enough credit in the world favour bank to withdraw some kindness and see me through it. In Jesus’ name I pray this will never happen.
Right now it feels like someone found my bank account details and siphoned out my hard earned cash. I don’t get how it happened...correction...I do not understand how I let it happen!
Istanbul is a place were you can barter and I have (or thought I had acquired) some hard-nosed negotiation skills being a Nigerian. Whenever someone tells me the price, a little voice inside my head shouts “half”. I then tell them that that is all I’m willing to pay. I learnt this method early on in my pre-pubescent years because my mother use to love taking me to markets in Lagos and Ilorin. As mummy's little handbag, I became fascinated with the way she always got what seemed to be good deals. The ‘the half technique’ was mine...plus I also thought the skill might prove useful in the event of a divorce…I’d have had enough practice to automatically shout “half” ...lol.
What is still getting to me is how can I be ‘the mark’ for a con artist? Seriously, they should have rules that you cannot cheat an honest person…‘the mark’ is greedy….‘the mark wants something for nothing’. I simply wanted to buy a nice rug for my mother so I'm taking offence to the fact that the fiends decided to exploit this sentiment.
So, I was in a good mood...I had stumbled on the old hippodrome and then I went to a museum called Haghia Sophia (the name means divine wisdom). What stands there now is the 3rd version after the 1st and 2nd structures burnt down. It used to be a church in its two previous lives. In its 3rd incarnation it has been a church, then a mosque and it is now a museum. This basilica is immense…complete and rich with both Christian influences (e.g. mosaics of Mary, Jesus, and Archangel Gabriel) and Islamic & Turkish decorations (e.g. a prayer niche called a mirab placed in the direction of Mecca). I digress…
Anyway, afterwards as I head over to the Blue Mosque, ‘the roper’ approaches me offering helpful suggestions (or so I thought). By pure chance, when the lucky bastard mentions carpets an image of my mother smiling with gratitude pops into my head. She has wanted a new rug in her living room for a long while. All attempts by my father and brothers have failed. She smiles as she accepts the rugs. Then they are laid down to check for suitability but very quickly all the rugs disappear never to be seen again. I’ve always wanted to get her a Persian rug…but they are expensive…so today I thought, this is providence...I’ll get a nice silk Hereke carpet instead.
I follow ‘the roper’ to the shop. There I am introduced to ‘the floater’....there is no ‘inside man’ but there is ‘the fixer’ who will secretly help to manipulate me later with his sleight of hand technique. I see ‘the temptress’ ...her agenda is always to get ‘the mark’ to let down their guard...sultry won't work on me so instead she offers me a small cup of hot apple cider tea...then she smiles knowingly as I accept the drink (which btw is not really tea despite its name).
Something is off...now I'm uncomfortable.
Then I meet ‘the grifter’…king of con...a real confidence man. He starts his sales story and goes on and on...I feign interest until I do actually see one rug that catches my eye. The the pattern is vaguely familiar but I cannot deny that it is a beautifully crafted piece made using unusual colour combinations. In this respect, it is unique. I ask “how much is it?” To his reply I say “half”… he says no...I say thanks for the hot apple cider tea but that is my final offer. After about 30 minutes of haggling we agree on the price....I’ve moved a little sha but I’m still happy at the thought he has had to move a lot. He says I have brought him “siftah”… meaning the fortuitous spirit from the first sale that brings good luck throughout the rest of the day.
I get back to the hotel...I want to know who got the upper hand with this deal...has he cheated me?...most likely but by how much? I check the internet for the price of Hereke silk rugs...I find out that compared with the price I paid, these things are being sold for “HALF”.
I hope very soon these guys come to understand that bad behaviour breeds bad luck.
I better go, I’m really really late.
Thursday, 5 June 2008
5th June…today all British Airways flights between Heathrow and Nigeria move to the dreaded Terminal 5…This post is to mark the occasion.
Will Nigerians suffer the jinx of T5?…I suspect some will fall prey to that place…I have. I don’t fly British Airways to Nigeria because I don’t like wahala…I believe in a stress free life so if anything or anybody tries to compromise that they get cast aside...case in point – British Airways.
I loved British Caledonia when I was younger but when they stopped my family switched to British Airways. About 3 years ago I refused to spend money on the disrespect and the poor service on the London to Lagos BA route so I switched to Virgin Atlantic…no regrets so far.
At this point I have to confess that about 1 month before I travelled I received an invite to join one of those never fly British Airways or boycott flying British Airways groups on facebook. I simply clicked ‘confirm’ without thinking about it twice. If you are Nigerian you will guess why…if not, the antics of ‘brutish airways’ are summarised perfectly in Solomonsydelle's blogs.
At this point I also have to confess to a dual truth…I still tend to use British Airways 2 fly everywhere else.
I think God wanted me to test out this dichotomy…I think I knew inside…somewhere deep down I would fall foul of this one day…such beliefs cannot co-exist in one person.
I’ll start with a song by R Kelly that described how I was feeling when I woke up that day:
‘…I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door …’
I believed I could fly…twice in one day…British Airways did not…the cretins at Terminal 5 slammed the door firmly in my face and then lost my luggage. At that moment my brain scattered…I was confused and tired…but mostly confused.
Rewind back to how my day had started…well…in Ikoyi. Nepa was behaving so the generator hadn’t disturbed my sleep. We thank God o!
I stepped out of bed. I couldn’t walk properly…my feet were on fire…I laughed as a remembered dancing at my aunt’s ‘birthday do’ in 4 inch heels…i love family functions like that...so i thought no long thing. I showered and dressed. I put on a cute pair of hoop earrings. Then packed, had breakfast and said my goodbyes.
I got in the car & gave the driver his ‘dash’…normally I do this at the airport but for some reason that day I gave him the money at the house. I think that the generosity sent Wale into some sort of euphoria. However, his joy started the run of bad luck that stayed with me the whole day.
Forewarning 1 – in an attempt to avoid the morning traffic in oshodi, Wale started diverting left, right and centre…this shortcut and then that shortcut…he would then loose his bearings and take the wrong turns. At one point I realised we were headed back to ikoyi. I lost it then…suffice to say I yelled at him to disengage all the loose wires short circuiting in his brain and follow the directions I gave. I routed us back through oshodi to get to the airport.
Forewarning 2 – My Baba was furious. He was at the airport and he’d been waiting since 7:30am. He needed to hand over some documents to me. It was now 8:15am and I was not there. He called me:
Baba: Where are you?
Shubby Doo: Good morning sir. I’m in the car to the airport
Baba: Where are you? What is your estimated time of arrival?
Shubby Doo: I’m not sure sir…we are stuck in traffic in oshodi
Baba: Why are you behaving like this?…awon uncle and aunty sachs are here already…oshodi ke? Why did you go that way? Kilode…Shubby Doo why are doing this today?
At that point, I tried to cut in to explain. He hung up…ha!!!…not a good sign…not a good sign at all.
My dad is a retired Air force officer and 1 minute late is unacceptable. He kept calling me every 2mins after that but I was too afraid to pick up…I got 14 missed calls from his number. I focused on just getting Wale to the airport…
Forewarning 3 – I faced my Baba’s wrath at the airport…I greeted him and he threatened to go military on me…lol…I laugh now but he did use those exact words…on hearing this, I ducked away, greeted uncle and aunty sachs and went to check in.
Forewarning 4 – When I got to the gate to board my flight I realised I couldn’t find my boarding pass and Nigerian passport in my handbag…my Baba has special privileges...it means he can stroll through most of Murtala Mohammed…so you guessed it…he was there when I discovered I longer had my particulars.
Baba: What is it?
Shubby Doo: I can’t find my nigerian passport and boarding pass
Baba: Not possible
Shubby Doo: I don’t have it. I’ve checked
Baba: Can you use your British Passport?
Shubby Doo: I can’t. It has no Nigerian visa on it. Plus I don’t have my boarding pass
My father just looked at me with contempt. I rushed back to the lounge. I searched…no passport or boarding pass. I returned to where my father was seated.
Baba: Did you find it?
Shubby Doo: No
For some reason I decided to check my laptop bag...thank God...it had my naija passport and boarding pass inside it. At that moment, I swear if looks could kill, the expression on my Baba’s face would have vaporised me.
Baba: You cannot be doing this...ara reo bale! You must always know where everything is kept. You need to be organised. How many times have I told you this? This could have been very embarrassing
Shubby Doo: Sorry sir
Baba: If it is work that is making you confused…
I apologised again, thanked him, disappeared through the gate and boarded my Virgin Atlantic flight to London.
The flight was fine. I called my younger brother to help me check in online for my British Airways connecting flight when I landed. He did. I got my bags within 10mins, said good bye to uncle and aunt sachs and headed for arrivals. I saw my older brother and we raced from T3 to T5.
I got there & started to repack some things into a new smaller case. My phone rang…it was my mother calling from Nigeria.
Shubby Doo: Hello Mãe
Mãe: My dear, how are u?
Shubby Doo: I’m fine Mãe. I got in safe at sound. We are at T5. I’m just repacking…I can’t talk but hold on
Mãe: Shubby Doo…Shubby Doo…wait…just listen…
I didn’t. I passed phone to my brother who explained that I had 10mins left to repack and drop my bags off.
Forewarning 5 – when my brother hung up he told me that my mother had said I was not to check in any of my bags because of the T5 fiasco.
Forewarning 6 – There was something wrong with the handle of the small suitcase so I had to take the bag to ‘oversize’...yes o! against my mother's correct advice, I checked in my small case (with my flat keys, my car keys et al).
Forewarning 7 – My brother told me to go through to the departure lounge straight away. I said I’d rather sit down, relax and jist small. I started telling him about my trip to Lagos.
With 30mins to go, I waved goodbye to my brother headed to security…the guy asked for my boarding pass. I gave it to him. He asked for ID. I handed over my driving license…I was still smiling and humming to myself in my head…yes o! I was humming I believe I can fly! He swiped my boarding pass…I stood there and waited for him to take my picture...to myself i thought strike a pose... lol...he still had not let me through security for my domestic flight...why? I gave him a puzzled look...he simply said “I’m sorry. Your boarding pass is invalid.”
Invalid ke? Not possible.
At the British Airways desk…they told me that I missed the 35mins deadline to get through security. None one told me that. My ticket conditions said check in 60mins prior the flight and baggage drop 45mins prior to the flight. British Airways didn’t care. Apparently they had already off loaded my case too. There was no way I was getting on that flight.
The test had failed...or maybe I had failed the test...
I sighed. I called my colleagues and told them not to come to Manchester airport to pick me up. I wouldn’t be there.
I went down to baggage reclaim to get my case… it was still in the system and they were trying to find it. They couldn’t estimate when I would get it. I was weak...
The guy at the desk felt sorry for me…he kept telephoning people to help…they kept saying they weren’t trained to use the system to check for my case...how?! My blood began to boil...
I needed to be in Manchester for 8am tomorrow. I could catch a coach to my place and then drive. No…I didn’t have my flat or car keys! Any fix to my dilemma needed something I had packed away in the case that was now lost in the system. I should have listened to my Ma’a.
I called my boss and told him I had missed my flight…could I take a hire car?…he said yes but as it was now 8pm I should consider taking a taxi to Manchester instead…I was to find a way to get to Manchester by all means.
At 8:30pm I got a text from my boss saying ‘I hope you are enjoying having the time to inspect T5’s excellent baggage system’…I swear if he wasn’t the company director I would have called him and finished him…
By now tears were welling up in my eyes but I was too tired to cry. I was emotional and cranky. I was about to explode and I needed an outlet for my frustration that wouldn’t land me in jail.
I wanted to call home...‘Home’, when my siblings & I are talking to each other, automatically means our parents place…I moved out right after I graduated and now live just outside London.
But I didn’t call home...my ears started ringing with my father’s foreboding voice from earlier… I don’t do ‘I told you so’ very well.
My brother called me at 9pm...had I landed safe and sound? I said yes...irrational I know but I just couldn't tell him what was going on without breaking down...
At 9:30pm…I gave the guy at the British Airways baggage reclaim desk my work address so that they could deliver my case there…he said it would get there the next day…yeah right!…It actually arrived 2 days later! To keep me calm he started trying to console me…I would get my bag back…a lady yesterday had waited for her bags but she got them back after 3 hours…opari!…my blood pressure started rising again.
At 9:45pm…the British Airways desk at T5 closed and I still didn’t have my luggage.
I called a number of taxi companies… it would be about £450 to get to Manchester…Since I had cleared it with my boss I knew the company were going to pay me back but saying yes meant I would have to get cash out of my account and wait 1 month to be paid back. No way!
At this point I have to thank the guy at the baggage reclaim desk…he had called a taxi firm British Airways use and priced it down to £240…I called the number and booked the taxi. It arrived at 10:45pm.
I called my colleague in manchester...I wanted him to tell the hotel that I was still coming…I didn’t want to get there and find I had nowhere to sleep. Plus I sent him a text with the car registration number of the taxi that had picked me up…if anything happened to me the driver would at least stand trial…if not go to jail. Plus I came right out & told the taxi driver what I’d done and why I had done it lest he got any funny ideas…
I got to the hotel in Manchester at 01:45am.
This is the clincher…with no change of clothes I went to the presentation in the same clothes I’d been wearing the day before…can you imagine?!...I’m a consultant, participating in a whole day presentation with our biggest client...potentially this alliance could bring in 10s of millions (sterling) for us annually...everybody else was looking sharp in their suits but I turn up in low rise blue jeans and a ‘off the shoulder’ white and pink pokerdot top! Oh…the shame!!! I took off the hoop earrings sha!
I called a close family friend of mine to recount this tale to her…this is why I love her to bits:
The Doctor: My sista, welcome back. how now? How was naij?
Shubby Doo: I dey o! That part was fine. It was the journey back. Heathrow T5...
The Doctor: Sounds ominous…what happened?
Shubby Doo: They bounced me...can you imagine?...said I needed to be through security 35mins before my flight. I was 5mins late. They no even give me face
The Doctor: Walai…they did that to me too…I lost over £200 and had buy another ticket to Scotland
Shubby Doo: Kai! Pele my dear but why didn’t you tell me? When?
The Doctor: About 6 weeks ago. Walai talai. I was traumatised by the whole thing. I wanted to start rushing about to see if I could get on the next flight to get to work the next day but then I thought there is no need. No need at all. They will survive without me. Life will go on.
Now why didn’t I think of that?!!
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
There is this lovely guy at work...in his late twenties …we are part of a group that goes to the same resort for outdoor sports training…I ski or snowboard for about 2 hours but he goes all the way there just for 15minutes in the wind tunnel to perfect his skydiving techniques…“pure madness” I tell him but he simply replies “the good kind.”
I just found out some frightening news about him and I’m floored…
I came in from lunch to an announcement…in my mind I was like ‘what is it again…these execs in my company just like to talk sha’…I was shocked to find out that this guy is in an intensive care unit in Paris…what?!!!...I can’t believe it…he only just took the secondment to go to France.
They say he was in car accident on his way to work this morning. British consulate will only release info to his family. The company are flying his family to see him.
Adam you are in my prayers.
‘…the Spirit of him… who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life …through his Spirit who dwells in you.’ Romans 8:11
Good Shepherd help him to get well
Sunday, 1 June 2008
‘…A Squash vine grew beneath a towering tree.
In only twenty days it grew and spread and put forth fruit.
Of the tree it asked: 'How old are you? How many years?'
Replied the tree: 'Two hundred it would be, and surely more.'
The squash laughed and said: 'Look, in twenty days, I've done
More than you; tell me, why are you so slow?'
The tree responded: 'O little Squash, today is not the day of
reckoning between the two of us'
'Tomorrow, when winds of autumn howl down on you and me,
then shall it be known for sure which one of us is the most resilient…’
I’ve started blogging…I never thought I’d do this…I considered it but always thought nah!
About me…I’m not in the music or arts business…I’m not a comedian or literary critic…I read books sha! …all sorts….love books. What else…I’m not in the fashion industry but I have very strong opinions about what works and what doesn’t on me! Don’t do ‘I go die if I no fit wear designer by force’… rubbish …I have my style and I like it.
I won’t pretend that I have something to share that is politically inspiring, profound or vaguely entertaining. I’m just an engineer…I work as a consultant…it pays very well...I remember studying politics when I was much younger…one of the texts we were studying described engineers as ‘barbarians’…so apt!...my teacher and classmates teased me as I was the only one planning on studying engineering in university in that class…somehow the idea has always stuck in my mind!
Whoa!… I digress…I’m typing as I think… you’ll find I do this a lot but I usually come full circle…so back to the initial quote…I’m not a towering oak tree so I am scared that the winds might cause me to falter in this endeavour…why am I doing this?…time will tell. I guess what they say is right… ‘what is on us is from us’…blogsville is upon me…allow me to share that which is from me with you…a little at a time!