WITH NO PRESENT TO OPEN
It is 4pm on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. I am still in my pajamas, which means that I am stinking up the house. I insisted on staying home today because I have not slept in my house for 5 straight nights. You know how it is with Lagos trips. You cannot drive on Third Mainland Bridge after 11pm because of armed robbers patrolling. Another fuel related tragedy happened at Abule-Egba, which I think is near Alagbado. A pipe line exploded killing several people as they were lining up for fuel. The scarcity is not letting up so it sort of pays off that I am staying home today especially after spending 5 hours in a queue with my friend on Christmas Eve. Actually she spent 5 hours, I only spent 2 and that was because I felt bad. As per she is the one carrying me around in her ‘Fashion Wagon’ as it is called.
Well let me try to recap on the past 3 weeks so far in Lagos. Did I mention that it is hot as hell? But ironically that has been good because it is oxidizing my skin. The food is very peppery and my stomach is not used to it yet. The other day at Soul Lounge when everybody was ordering ‘ASUN’, I was like ‘this sounds very exotic let me try it’. BIG MISTAKE. Basically, this so called delicacy was a bowl of stewed crushed raw ‘ata-rodo’ (an equivalent of habanero pepper). The next morning I had to go buy ‘some things’ for my stomach. I am seriously avoiding spicy food because it can be embarrassing when you are crashing in someone’s crib and you ‘have to go…as in go’. Hmh…not cute.
Let me start with the day my fellow musketeer landed to complete the crew. Mat-Mat’s arrival was highly awaited because that meant that I could shake off my small sisters and not rely on my brother for his car. We started the afternoon out at the infamous SUPREME hair salon where I ran into some avid ‘According to’ readers from Boston. Shout out to them for stopping by to say hello, they were very nice and basically kept me company as the hair dressers performed their miracle on Mat-Mat’s busted weave. I am sorry my jand sister’s but you people need to boycott the hair dressers till they get some training. I swear I have never seen any sister from jand yet with a good weave. I am sure some people will support me on this one. In fact I am angry on your behalf. Anyways we then went to La Hacienda. You have to excuse me for not knowing exactly where on ‘the Island’ these places are because Ikoyi and Victoria Island have always been confusing to me since I was a kid. I swear that I don’t know my way around there. I tried their Nkwobi (cow feet in oil beans) but it was not that great. I have had better. Anyways L’Tizzie, T-Opizzie and Ayisola aka ‘Shelele’ came to meet us and we ended up at A-bar for a little early ‘happy hour’ of sorts. I only drank Fanta and Red-Bull. We didn’t go out that night so I stayed home and just ‘warmed’ my parents up to the fact that my two weeks with them and doing what they wanted to do was so over. You know you have to psyche them a bit into realizing that you are not a kid anymore and it is not news that you plan to stay over night at wherever you are, otherwise they will set the curfew for 10pm. But I think my parents are getting in touch now that they won’t even call to harass you and disturb your fun. All they say is stay where you are and don’t attempt to be on the ‘Bridge’.
Thursday came around and I had business meetings much of the day including one with a reporter for the Associated Press. Later that night, I went out with a friend to Saipan. Mat-Mat wanted to warm her dad up so she stayed home and made dinner. The live band at Saipan was TIGHT but whatever happened to the AC because it was like a box of sardine in a microwave. Hopefully this would not be the case when I go there again because I was really digging their live band. I left early not just because it was unbearably hot but because I was also paranoid and concerned that there was no visible alternative exit in the case of a fire. I’ve noticed that many places in Nigeria, including the new structures have no fire exits or sprinklers. I would think that someone would be thinking of these things as they build these magnificent and well intended structures. Make me just wonder. Anyways, I ran into a few people I knew and it was pleasant seeing them (ok may be that’s not true for one or two but it is Christmas so I am happy to see everybody)
Friday came around and I am not sure what I did that whole day, but that night was the most fun I have had in a non-wedding setting in a while. We went to the very famous La Casa. In my head I was like ‘finally’ as I had been hearing so much about this La Casa place. They played a lot of old school music that took me back to my diaper days. That is about to be my joint of Friday nights. Now I have to look for my Saturday night joint as these are the only two nights that I will be out once I get in work mode. Anyways I don’t know what happened but when I left I am sure I had downed a bottle’s worth of alcohol. It all started with mixing sprite and white wine. Then I graduated to just the white wine. It tasted like grape juice now so I didn’t know when I had three glasses. Then came the champagne…and it was ‘Pink Mo’. Not that I have ever had it before, it just always looks cute when all those model chicks and celebs carry their glass of pink champagne. So me too I was trying to carry my own glass, but unfortunately for me it was sweet. I knew I had had enough when my speech was all slurry and I just could not stop dancing. I even took off my shoes. I am sure people were like who is this crazy girl. After a little while I calmed down, but Mat-Mat on the other hand was a goner. According to someone’s description, she was ‘just jumping anyhow’. A friend came by and was like make sure she is drinking a lot of water. We had to abandon the car because we were blocked in and crashed at a friend’s place. Mat-Mat gets the award for longest hangover because she did not recover till Sunday. While I am on the subject, I had no idea there were so many single-older women in Lagos o. I guess that explains the ‘Sugar-Mummy’ trend these days as observed in the few ‘City-People’ mags that I have been able to lay my hands on. That is the way forward now. Men have been doing it and are still doing it so now I guess it is time for women to feel free to do it. So props to the ‘Nigerian Cougars’ doing their thang, and not limiting their options.
Meanwhile, on Saturday morning I was able to sneak into bed at 8am, before my dad woke up. Just on time to avoid the ‘evil eyes’, ‘the talk’ and to get money to continue the trips. Saturday was Tunde’s wedding, which I almost did not go to. Everyone who could take me out was in line for fuel. My folks were traveling the next day so the option to have my dad’s driver to take me out to Lekki was out. I was kind of upset because I had this nice dress that I had a tailor make for me. The woman collected N5000 for express service especially for this wedding because I was not sure what to expect considering it is an ‘ATL CREW’ wedding. Ya’ll know how ‘dem folks’ can be with their ‘BCBG’…ha…I should now go there and start looking like the house girl of America. But as they say sha, where there is a will, there is a way, turned out that Mat-Mat’s sister was headed to a party in the high brow estate called ‘Park View’. Ok…now I know there are rich people in my country but WHO THE F*** are the residents of that place…let me shake their hand. Lol. Those houses are magnificently massive. I never knew of that place but apparently it has been around for a while. Interesting discovery it was indeed. Next stop Banana Island. I hear those are even gynormous. It is good sha, because as I was driving past, I was feeling like I was when I was in Beverly Hills, admiring the houses. I have become a tourist in my own country. Lol. (Eureka!!! Business plan radar/ money making scheme; An Air Conditioned Bus tour through the ritzy neighborhoods of Lagos, which would include a 'cross-continental' lunch buffet at Eko Hotel and Take-Away Suya from Ikoyi Hotel. Irresistible!! N5K per head)
I got to the wedding party really late in my alternative dress, hung out with the folks there and had some small conversation. Later the party ended up at Bullet’s crib. Mat-Mat braced her hang over and came to pick me up and we went to another house party. It is Christmas season so there were enough parties. At this very party though, some of the gentlemen were seriously clowning me and decided to give me a nickname, Maria, because of my ‘Americana ways’. I slept through the story but could hear them laughing really hard. It wasn’t till I woke up and everyone was calling me ‘Maria’ that I realized I was the butt of the joke. We stayed over at another friend’s house again because it was too late to be driving home (we should just move to ‘the Island’). On another note I was worried because my parents were traveling to the village and were bound to wake up at like 5am. That meant that my runs would be busted. My sister’s were calling to find out where I was and when I would be coming home. We tried to sync up our stories. I sent my dad a text and avoided the unforeseen ‘wahala’. We didn’t get home till like 1pm Sunday. We slept like bats. I went to take a bath and Mat-Mat went to queue up for fuel. I joined her later. Sunday night I think we went to Park and Shop to do some ‘grocery’ shopping. We ran into our neighbors, the Adekoya’s who were having a Christmas party and were stacking up. We also spotted Ms. Funmi Iyanda and ‘her extra long legs’. As in ‘Word to Yo Momma,’ because if I had legs like that, I too will be in booty-shorts every frigging day of my life. From there we went to Victoria Crown Plaza to meet a friend and have drinks. I stuck to my Fanta. We swore we would not spend X-mas eve away from home so we braved it home at like 1am and that was it for Sunday.
Christmas day was odd. No parents in my house, no house girl, no food. You would think that with 3 grown women in the house someone would have boiled some rice. Nah...Not my house. The only food that was available was reserved for the boys. The rest of us were on our own. We all got dressed for church. My sister Onyi went off to spend X-mas with her ‘potential future family’, Nene was at the Adekoya’s (in fact she spent X-mas night there because she was locked out…Onyi slept off and didn’t hear the phone ringing). I spent the day with my fellow musketeers, Mat-Mat and Ayis. We went from house to house dressed up and looking for food. We found it at Deyo’s. Her mom had a ‘spread’. Moi-moi, fish, fried rice, jollof rice, fried chicken etc. We had our fill, rolled out to Mr. Biggs for Ice-cream and then La Hacienda for pepper soup. We ended up at L-Tizzies’ where I ran into Eldee, Ikechukwu and the Koko-Master, D’Banj himself (with his ‘wearing-sunglass-at-night-self’ when there is no sun :). My darling friend Ugo was also there (hey Ugo let’s get married if we are still single in 2010…seriously). Anyways we ended up at 11-45 for a Salsa party. That in itself will require a special blog entry but before then all I have to say is that these Salsa dancers (especially Boomsy and Wale) can put the Salsa dancers in clubs in America to shame because they were just all over the place. I guess because there was so much space that the dancers had room to ‘show-off’ their skills. Ehm…me too I am thinking I should go and take lesson too so I don’t feel out of place when they are spinning and wining and throwing their legs about. As usual we did not sleep in our house that night. Lol. Hence I find myself just waking up at 1pm with a cracked voice, drinking lime and hot water, and trying to update you with the gist. I am sure I have lost some weight. By the way the next person that squeezes their face when they tell me I am very skinny will get a ‘konk’ on the head. They should go and tell that to Agbani (who is now on a commemorative Nigerian stamp) and Oluchi (who if you have not noticed is expecting a little atootoo-poyoyo).
This is all for now. Pictures will come later. On Thursday I am off to go fishing and farming in my village for 5 days. Please God let the roads be clear of traffic, pot holes and armed robbers. Ya’ll have a good New Year; fill me in on whatever I will be missing out on. Right now I am off on a date...ALREADY..HA HA HA...Peace.