Too Hot and Boring
Call me a scrooge but I don't do Christmas. Not in America at least. The one compensation would have been snow, but it's the end of Christmas as we know it. It's like 65 degrees and feels more like Easter. Actually, white Christmas is a new concept to me outside the movies. I should say I always fantasized about that, but coming from Africa one is always excited about snow. And who's this imposter dude, Santa Claus, last time I checked, he was 'Father Christmas' and he was a skinny old black man not this jolly round perp I see around town. Ok so it was just Baba the janitor slash gardener at my nursery school who sometimes doubled as a mascot and Father Christmas at the end of the year. Oh boy...those end of the year parties where we'ld sing silly songs like 'Christmas I coming Baba buy shoe for me, O yaya O yaya Oyaya Oyayaya!!!!" Did get no shoe this year.
Speaking of getting stuff. The most annoying thing about Christmas for me is that everybody assumes that because you are an adult you don't need to get Christmas presents. Are you kidding me? Ok so yeah I am a bit jealous because I never get any presents when my little cousins are opening their gifts. I mean can I get even a Walmart gift card. But that's aight though, is houldn't complain because I don't buy presents either, i always get books and they always end up trashed and that gets on my nerves. Liike dude.. I got you classic literature and al you could do is rip the pages and scribble crayon on it. Hell naw!!!.
I have never gotten into the Christmas spirit. It's hard because Christmas is a pilgrimage for our family and I guess I miss the family time. My peeps are on their way to the village...actually they should have arrived by now. Gosh, i remeber how excited we'ld get when we make pit stops in Ore(usually to fix something that's messed up in the car), Benin(at De Chubby's store and one finger licking good road side restaurant that was really a bukateria), Agbor (to buy garri from Mary), cross River Niger and then suffer through Onitsha traffic, where we'ld fill up the car with 'Ejidike Bread'. Kai Onitsha bread is the best after Agege and Ghana Bread. As much as I do complain about village runs cramping my style because that means I have to accomodate it over some gen-gen party, it's the one time you get ultimate freedom walking or riding bicycles from house to house (as a kid, now I can't be eating any how). From one relatives to another. They always had the wooded stools, logs, cement blocks and mortars arranged in a circle waiting for our arrival. The august visitos from Lagos, 'Umu De Walter', 'Umu Ozuome' and 'Umu De Chubby' etc etc. (Uncle Walter's kids...). We were like a gang. The boys would usually leave church first and get to the 'food destination' first. It amazes me the different ways to make one delicacy. We never eat fufu or eba at other people's houses except for certain family members so rice and stew with chicken or goat meat was usually the meal. One time this old lady didn't have chicken to cook for us so instead she plucked 'shower chop' (Guanabana) and udara (agbalumo) and ube (african pear). I guess that was our desert to balance everything out. We usually won't come home till like 5pm. Since my house was in the interior, going towards the stream, we always made pit stops at my cousin's houses so they could change out of their clothes. Dinner was usually at my house, but we'ld play off all that food doing 'Oro' (tag) and still come back asking for food around 9pm. Village life is sweet o.
Anyways I managed to call a bunch of folks and got several text messages of good tidings. Fortunatley or unfortunatley, depending on who's looking, I didn't get to do much visitation as planned. You know to tell my peeps in Charlotte that I am off to Cali. Right now I am at one family friend's place, the dude is not related to me in any remote way, not even by a 12th degree, but my cousin's insist the old man is their granpa so I joined them too. It ain't like my real granpa would mind, we never really called him that anyways. It was 'De Achi' or 'Papa-Kuku'. I also just finished one huge mound of fufu with Oha and snail soup. Didn't know you could buy snails at the grocery store. I think if there's anything I'ld miss about Charlotte is going to people's houses and eating a copy of good old village soup. I say village because sometimes the lagos version is a bit watered down. It's good but sometimes you just want the soup that most of the ingredients came from the back yard bush and not some farm.
Oh well, I am expecting a phone calll from my Santa Claus later tonight. Santa may be hooking me up one this move to Cali. He just has to get all ya'll kids first so I hope no one wrote a long list. I had planned to document a list of things but I can't be too greedy. There are some kids that won't get nada this years so I'll be aight.
While I am on the subject however I might as well just say Merry Christmas. Even though Jesus is the reason for teh season I want to also extend a Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Diwali, Barka de Sallah, Season's Greetings. Happy Holidays, Yuletide shout outs to all and sundry. Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR TOO... Can't wait for this blasted 2005 to be out and done with. Shoot... now is the time when I really should be in the village with my knock-out, banger and carbide at the mission square for 'E chu Afor' (New Year's Eve, literally to chase the year away). You know what bump all that, the way this year has been (despite trying to redeem itself at the end) it deserves to be blasted out with a 12 gauge double barrel and some Ojukwu canons. The kind that when you blast it in Owerri you can hear the sound in Lagos.