Saturday, December 09, 2006

MY FIRST WEEK IN NIGERIA

Calm Before the Storm

Finally, I have managed to find some spare time to actually sit down and put together an entry that will make a little sense considering this internet connection of mine lacks juice. The reason I am up past 2 am and watching Nigerian music videos is because I cannot sleep. Yes, I am stamped and certified jet-lagged. This is the second night in a row. Exerting all that energy crooning at the karaoke bar did not make a difference. I am going into my 5th day in Nigeria and all I have to say is that it is good to be with family again. The yelling, the door slamming, the harassment, the abusing and cursing, the duping and the dodging. That’s my home sweet home. The cacophony and canter chorus sounds rival that of the London Philharmonic Orchestra at practice. The sole reason I ran very far away to America, refusing to look back. Now I ask my self, what I’m doing back here. As they say, love is blind and blood is thicker than water. I did miss the silliness though. Like this morning I had a perfect aim with my slippers. My brother Chibuike, who basically tries to be a thug but will be at your mercy if you serve him a plate of fish, thought he had me and was running away after he smacked me. Little did he know that I had mastered the art of 'slippers-weaponry' very well. Despite the fact that I almost slipped trying to chase him and pull my slipper off at the same time, my aim was so on point that it drew the map of Africa on his back. Oh the joy and jubilation. He was so shocked. My sisters you will hear more about, and as for my mother, she is still paranoid and is only relevant when it is time to eat. Her middle name is 'mummy where's my food'. My father aka 'aka-gum' (hand of gum) is still allegedly stingy according to his other children and is only really seen when it is time to negotiate some monetary dealing. In some cases when a victim of 419 is needed. For example yesterday, the poor man got duped twice in the same 'graduation fee scam' perpetrated by my sister. She told him that the 'exit fee' for her and my brother was N9000 each when in actuality it was N1500. Now you would think that as a professor my dad would know what the University he works for is charging the students, but I guess he must have been aloof about it. Anyways, he got smart later in the day, after he had dished out the money, when he asked one of his graduating students what they were charging. By then it was juts a bit too late. I am sure the conversation went like this

Student: Ah Prof...Good after'oon sah
Prof: Ah how are you my dear... are you ready for the d-day
Student: Yes sah... we thank God. In fact I just went to pay my exit fee sah. The line was too long sah. I even saw your daughter there this morning.
Prof: Yes... I gave her the money this morning. After paying school fees they still want a whole ‘9 towzan’ just for graduation, when it is not Cambridge.
Student: ‘9 towzan’ sah? But sah it's only one towzan five hundred sah.
Prof: WHHHHOOOOOTTTT!!! One towzan five hundred?
Student: Yes Sah
Prof: You don' meanit....chai umuakanu egwuolem wayo (these children have tricked me)
(Picks GSM, calls the house...my brother Chiwuike picks up. Yes I know. I spelt his name differently. My confused parents can’t figure which it is. That, my and Ejike’s real birthday.)
Chiwuike: Hello. 9 thousand... (Sounds surprised) It's one thousand five hundred!?! Ehn ehn...Ok… lemme call her sha (places phone down) Onyenachi... your father is calling you…he has found out oh, the plan has scattered; find what you will tell him because this money is not leaving my hand.
Onyenachi: Hallo... who told you that? He must be an eediot. The department fee is this, the cap and gown is this. The scroll too is not free. Add that that and that and that is even 10 thousand. I even had to take money from my own pocket sef to add to the money. I don't know which graduation that person is paying one thousand five hundred for but it must be for University of Iwaya not University of Lagos. Ok...I will bring receipt. Bye Bye.

Some things never change. Meanwhile, I was at the corner inflating the amount that the tailor charged. What? I am taking my quota for the past 10 years so allow me.
Anyways I was supposed to meet with one of my contacts but he had to cancel and so I planned to meet my friend Ayisola at the Galleria Mall at 5pm. She was stuck at work and could not show so my sisters and I were perambulating the mall till 7pm. We ended up going to some smoke filled bar called Havana's to meet my sister's 'suitor' (the word boyfriend is forbidden in my house because according t my father, just because he has 3 daughters does not mean his house should be turned into a brothel). After that we headed to the karaoke bar and acted a hot fool miming to Candy Girl and This is How We Do It. Funny enough I’ve never been so this was another interesting first and I loved it. As usual I took off my shoes, but that, my not wearing jewelry, no make up or nail polish seemed to be the focus of attention for one of the persons in our company so I take it Lagosians are not all entirely fans of the 'hippie-nearly-deeper-life-chick-thing'. But the experience had me thinking, gosh darn it why didn't they think of this place when I was a juvenile. But I am upset with the management though. WTF!!! How can you have a karaoke bar in an African country and not one musician on the list of the songs is Nigerian or African for that matter. What's that? I mean even a whole MTV Award winning song like African Queen by Tuface is not even on the list. Imagine the insult. Abeg the manager had better put some Fela, Shina or Majek on that bloody list before I write a boycott letter some newspaper.
I kinda told my story back words because I skipped the part of my horrendous ordeal with KLM Airlines, my gas problem on the plane, how the heat hit me and how I went weak at the share amount of people and baggage at the one and only baggage claim section that the airport has had since my mother first brought me through there in 1980. Just thinking about that alone can mess up the rest of ones stay in Nigeria, not to mention the traffic, bad roads, touts, mosquitoes, lack of light, water, abject poverty amongst other things. But we thank God for places like 'The Island' (and its inhabitants) where we can all create and live out our fantasies, as well as the glossy and gossip magazines that never fail to show what we should all aspire and aim for in order to get away from the reality that is Nigeria. A reality which can cause a brain tumor if one should think too much about.
Anyways ‘they’ are supposed to be going to church in the morning at 7am. Emphasis on they because I know I will still be in bed at that time (I’ll actually be bitching at them to stop disturbing my sleep). Anyways I have a phone now but that credit situation is rather interesting. I have to keep reminding myself that this is no AT&T or Sprint-to-Sprint. By the way those of you that are landing need to land quick quick abeg make the Xmas festivities begin. As chairwoman, I don clean chair finish put leg for table dey wait una. Ngwa biko bata bata osiso osiso kam ma wedar if it is skinny jims k’obu akwa kam ga wear (please land land fast fast lemme know if it’s skinny jeans or wrapper that I’ll wear)

34 comments:

Raskimono said...

Im 1st. Yipee!!!!!!!!!!
All i can say is LOL.
Addy, you tell it all so well.
God bless you my sista.
I find the best way with credit is to buy a week quota at once. if u keep refilling at will, you will lose track. once your weeks quoata runs out, you know its time to cut back on the talk.
:-)

Smoothvibes said...

lol.

Parazone Super Bleach said...

LoL...Nice to see that you are settling in small by small. Na wa for Karaoke with only awayrian songs and no Niaija songs! Anyway It's always a blessing to be with family..

Off the subject..I know u'll roll ur eyes but remember those loubos u featured a couple of months back?
Well nine west has some bad ones for cheap and they look like the loubous oh!! I know you'll be like "PSB, gee thanks but I'm in giddy now!" lol.. Just in case ur friend fit throw am inside your care package along with your gummy bears!

Anonymous said...

nice post adaure ... more more!!!


oliver twsit :)

Anonymous said...

nice hearing from you adaure how is naija hope u are enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

hey folks have u seen the pics from bunmiandsgun.com nice and lovely pics check them out

Anonymous said...

bunmiandsegun.com i misspelt it earlier

Anonymous said...

Thats it! peeps keep updating us with wedding websites..luv it

yankeenaijachick said...

Eh yah aduare, l love ya blogs. Shine ya eyes well, you are now in lagos nigeria. 2 different worlds. All l can say to you is make the very best use of the opportunity and you will be amazed how lucky you would be. Stay blessed.

Naijalove said...

aah nwannem nice to see u made it safely. Abeg keep us updated oo

Funmi said...

glad you are settling in well :)

NIGERIA POLITRICKS said...

Funny read! I enjoyed every bit of it and wish that we can trade places...but, you seem to be doing a good job, so you can carry the cross for now. We will join you later, ngwam!

kulutempa said...

LOL! don't worry, they are coming, eh? but your family is such a trip...i cannot wait to meet them...imagine having more than one type of adaure in the world...LOVE it! please enjoy the heat wave, it is better than the cold that is burning our faces here in kenetiket! and hurry with gist about the airport...i always get dizzy when i get off the plane. miss you!

Poetic Justice said...

Love it! you had me dying with laughter. Have fun at home!

Yetty said...

hahahah it's good to be home ain't it.. Have a kick ass time babz!.. do da darn thing..!

NaijaBloke said...

Nice to know u r enjoying urself alrdy ... damn gurl am Jealous o ..and no tell us say nobody never put butter on u toast u brown yet o,cos I trust my guys for Lagos ..LOL

U have a nice week

Dilch said...

Wow,
I can't believe you're back already, I admire what you did girl, it seems incredibly brave to go back home, my bro is back there you know, you should get in touch.....

Toni Payne said...

lol.. so thats how you left us in Cali huh.. as soon as you said KLM I knew it had to be something bad hehehe...Anyhoo pls stay safe and have fun for me

uzo said...

The fun is just beginning

Anonymous said...

Adaure, na you dey enjoy!
Nothing like Xmas in Naija

Keep us posted!

Naija Jinx said...

Hey Adau,
I'm glad that you are settling in Naija, but come oh, omo, you don 4get my number abi na wetin?
Either email me a number I can call you or call me sha. e be like say you don fashi my side sef.

9ja Opeke said...

Don't worry it is not who you know...and no, I am not stalking you. I just enjoy the good things life offers one. I must say, you are a wonderful writer and I have no doubt that you will make it in the broadcasting industry regardless of what people may say or think. Reading your blog changed some of my thinking. And it has made a great impact in my life and the decisions I have been afraid to take. When I read your blog, I read about someone who has worked so hard to get where she is and going. I have been in this country (U.S)over a year now and reading your blog makes me know I can "dust myself over, and try again"...Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hey adaure,
Oh my gosh, you home already oh. Well, you seem to be enjoying yourself. I have been waiting to hear your take on the ABC 20 20 profile on the Nigerian 419 situation. You are not missing much being in Nigeria right now, we have all been black listed as people who only thinking of stealing people's money.

Anyhoos...just writing to say hi...
Onyinye

Anonymous said...

only think of stealing people's money.

Typing too fast can do that to you...

Anonymous said...

you seem to be setling in somewhat..jisie ike and bring all the holiday runs gist here abeg.

Bella Naija said...

Awww
Keep having fun girl
I am proud of u for maintaining your style jo
Take care luv

Calabar Gal said...

Have fun babes!!! Abeg fash the wrapper and don the skinny jeans o jare!!!

Buzz L.Year said...

Na wa oh, so you were serious about jetting out ASAP. It's all good, have a blast out there. Don't worry about the MTN & V-Mobile situation mehn, if you run out of credit there's always Yahoo Yahoo lol.

Mutiu said...

Welcome back howm.Hope you will adapt pretty soon.

Anonymous said...

For Nigerian movies on DVDs, visit mynollywood.com

Titi said...

Wow girl, stumbled on your blgspot while reading about weddings..Very brave of you to move back home...Definately a good move-change is always good girl ...

Good luck in all you do

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I read with sadness - albeit wonders - that good people like you still spend their times and efforts concentrating news, insights, and discussions on internal affairs and ‘local championship’. Although, I am not a Nigerian, I admire Nigerians like the people who are behind the African Muslim Website www.esinislam.com because of their incise coverage of the international affairs.

The problems of Nigeria and Africa in general today is not internal politics. Whatever politics our people fight or kill themselves for do little to change destiny of millions of the Black people, especially their own as the world order is not made within their reach. Think about the UN, the IMF, WHO, Commonwealth, US, Israel, Palestine, Hague, G8, CNN, BBC, Ibadan’s Nigerian Tribune… Who really is in charge of how the Nigerians - sorry - the Africans are living? Shell or Dan Tata, Naira or Dollar, Obasanjo or Bush? Wake up! Get real!! Open your door for international engagements, insights, and informations.

My father who was serving as a pastor here in the United States before he returned to Ghana used to say to me many people don’t know who serve their meals. I couldn’t understand then. But, my world! How right a pastor. He also joked his Nigerian friends used to called Jesus Jesu but he could not find equavalent in Twi. Perhaps, the Africans are too lazy to pronouce Jesus. Thay are active to master English and therefore promote the heritage of those who enslaved them, chaining them and shipping them like commodities only to plant suagr cane for their…

Well, with website like www.esinislam.com - though Islamic and also available via www.islamafrica.com and www.islamicafrica.com

Wake up. Wake up Nigerians! Wake up Africans. Expose to a wider world. The problems today cannot be solved by talking only about ourselves. As African, we must see our problems from its ‘emanacium’. It is the international politics that define our destiny not local issues.

Thank you for given me this opportunity to contact you. I look forward to your response on this important matter.

However, I commend you for your efforts.

Kevin Kofi

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