One Week Down, 103 to go, minus 2 weeks Vacation
What a week this has been. I thought I was a soldier, a die hard chick that could damn the consequences, bone up and head out this way. As in I don't remember ever feeling this home-sick since I left Nigeria. If my week of training was long, the weekend was double that. With no fridge, cable or internet yet, I had to resort to hanging out at Walmart, Costco and Target, browsing through their home section. This was after test driving a couple cars and going through the odious task of trying to get approved. E go better! Let me start from Wednesday night, which was fun. I went bowling for the first time o. Hmh.. this african girl can bowl o. I don't know where I got the skill from. May be it's all that yam power. Then there was an attempt by some forces to put my butt on the line on Friday but that didn't work. The guy who was training me called in sick (and true true he was sick because today he sounded really bad, I was afraid i'ld catch something). So I was left alone to run the desk, find and assign stories, on a very slow news day, only 4 days in. You can imagine everything went wrong...paper jam, computer jam, toner jam, momma-bubba-jam etc etc. At to make issues worse, none of the agencies were returning my calls. Eventually, I got everything done without letting anyone see me flustered, If they did, I guess it won't matter because i've only been around 4 days. Then I went to Walmart, bought a 20inch tv for 90 bucks, hopefully it won't crap out when lightening strikes. Thinking it was one of those tvs that had UHF-VHF band like the ones in Nigeria that can get reception from Port Harcourt to Kano, silly me forgot to buy darned antenna so I was staring at the tv and it too was staring at me. I was supposed to go hang out with the crew at the bar at the 'Santa Maria Inn'.. it's like the Hilton/Sherry around here. I don't know what happened but the last I remember was looking at the clock and it was just 9:30pm and then waking up and looking at the clock and it was 1:30 am... I was like "R-U-Kid'n me?"
Saturday came around, I woke up early as usual, for some reason I can't sleep past 8 am any more. Before I'd be snoring away on the weekends till noon. Anyways I got up and headed out to search for 'moto'. Being that i'd been there done that I kinda knew what the deal was so I was not letting none of these dealers try to BS me. But even as I tried to kill time, time was just not wanting to die. I came back to my house at like 3, ate my Carl Jr's Burger aka Hardees, which I am sick of by now because I have already had 4 since I got here. Men it was still like 3.30 in the afternoon and I tried as much as possible to entertain my self. I forgot I brought my laptop so when I found it I was so excited. I went and got my gospel CD, prayed, read my bible, then I got on the phone and tried to talk to a couple a peeps. NO BODY WAS ANSWERING. I looked at my clock again...Chei!! A tokwa n'um o!! Before I realized myself I just started crying....I knew it was coming, but I was not expecting it so soon. It started out with the kind of cry that we like to call 'Mammy Water crying' in my house. The kind of crying that is soft and silent, then I went to the 'Locomotive Engine' type of crying that sounds like a V-dub engine. I cried for like 15 minutes and I just could not stop, my nose was all stuffed up and my head aching and I was just crying. Then I looked to my right, there it was my 2 year contract... I cried even louder, got my pillow and just started screaming into it. Then my crying graduated to the ultimate level, the kind of crying that sounds like an Asthma attack, like you'ld need an oxygen mask. As per no more tears and no more vocal capacity to carry the cry. I didn't want to call anyone at that time but I knew if I wanted to stop crying I had to talk to someone, so I called my girl and she managed to console me after I kinda let it all out. I was like "I-I-I- DON'T LIKE THIS PLACE"....lol. It's kinda funny now, but men it was not funny that Sarruday. Then my uncle now called after I had finished crying and drying my eyes, he now ask, 'So ha're you likin' da place?' That's the wrongest question any one could have asked me at that moment because I JUST STARTED CRYING ALL OVER AGAIN. Then he was like 'You wanna come back?" And still crying I was like 'I can't I am stuck here for 2 years'. Anyways to cut the long story short I went to bed once again at 9:30 after attempting to hang my clothes and color code them (I ran out of hangers and cried a bit about the frustration of that situation). You can imagine I woke up on Sunday morning my eyes swollen shut and red. A few dabbing with warm towel and good concealer got it down a good notch.
Then I got dressed and went to this black baptist church. Another story. They had a capacity of 150 people, but only 20 people where there. I went for their Sunday school at 9.30 and the 11 am service. Under normal circumstances I would have faded, but men.... fade to where biko! I stayed O. They were so nice and excited to see another new black face in town. They were just hugging and cheek-kissing and the pastor even treated me to lunch at Red Lobster (another 1st). They were so funny too with all their stories about their baptist conventions (water melons, falling skirts and getting stuck in the mcdonalds diner booth) I didn't leave their company till 3pm. I guess I'll be visiting them again If I don't become a member (but i'll have to go to a couple more churches before I decide which wil be my new church home)
After that I decided to go and buy me a bicycle o jare. As I am seeing it this car may not come any time soon since they wont allow out of state co-signer. That'll be a sight, one for the tabloids, "Miss Nigeria International Rides a Bicycle to Work". Lol.. una neva jam!!! I also bought an antenna because I wanted to make sure I coudl watch Desperate Housewives. BUT GUES WHAT!!! Fuzzy reception. The ABC station is in Santa Barbara and I gues with all the mountains, hills and valleys you just can't get them clearly this far north into the county. My people, this is how desperate some situations can be that you just need 'extra-desperate plans'. I got a couple of bobby pins, bent and twisted and linked them in a funny way that I at least was able to LISTEN to the show without static and see just a little bit of color. I have never seen tv reception as bad as this, not even in my village. Abeg my people join me and laugh small. Sometimes laughter can cure some ailments that doctors can't even diagnose.
But God is good and I must say this year appears to be my year of unexpected favor. First I have to be bold, be courageous and have faith that i've made the right decision to head west. I've not signed that contract yet, I am reading and marinating every sentence word for word. I'll then fax it to my agent and a lawyer friend to check it out and double check. I just hate signing contracts or anything in general these days, I have what I call the 'Faustus Syndrome' (don't know if anyone else has used that phrase)...it always feels like I am signing away my soul to the devil. I'm sure I am not the only who gets that way.
Anywho, another week's begun... we go jam later.