NO FUEL, NO BLOG... LOL
My people, how dey go dey go. I know it’s been a while, but I have been on strike with my fellow brethren of Labor. A much needed vacation. Lol. I still had to work though but the ‘sit-at-home’ mood and lack of transportation sort of affected work. But damn Labor for giving up just like that. I think if they stuck to their guns, they just might have gotten it to N65. But ya’ll know N70 is the real increase and N75 was just a strategy with Labor being so darned predictable. Anyways I am glad I can get some fuel so that I can get out of this Island. I am beginning to see too many ‘crazy men’ standing in the middle of the highway stark naked. Anyways the following was an entry I wrote last week but could never got a chance to post it. And below that is an entry from my sister Nene. Pardon her writing and grammar as she is in that much educated despite the attempts to send her to school and make something out of her. As if confusing her about her origin was not enough (we told her as a kid that she was picked up from the gutter, hence her blackness) she was dumped at Unilag’s Philosophy department. Wrong move. She learnt about other crazy people and came up with a crazy idea of wanting to become a beautician. So you see, you can’t compare her writing with mine. Enjoy.
Oh by the way pick up a copy of July’s True Love West Africa if you can or wait for the post on the all so fabulous BellaNaija.com. Interesting article in there (wink, wink)
So I have survived six straight months in Nigeria without leaving the country. I am surprised I have not had a panic attack yet. You know the ‘what have I done moment’ like I had two weeks after I moved to Santa Maria. I have also not lined my co-workers up and used them for dart practice, even though I envision it every time. Picture it: dude is blabbing away and I am there just moping but I am really picturing him on a door coat hanger fighting off my darts. BOO YAH!!! BULLS EYE!!! Ouch…that must have hurt. I better get him off that door. There we go. Back to the present…blah blah blah blah. ARGH!!!!!
Anyways I said I was going to give you an assessment of my six months but I am not sure that will be possible today as I am on STRIKE.
Yes I have joined Labor in their strike to get the price of petrol reduced to N65 from the N75 that former President Obasanjo raised it to in the twilight of his administration. Labor is also protesting the sale of the Port Harcourt and the Kaduna petroleum refinaries to his friends Femi Otedola (Zenon) and the Dangote group amongst a laundry list of demands. Government agreed to reduce by N5 and conceded a few other things but Labor says it is N65 or nothing and hence ALUTA CONTINUA!! GO LABOR!!!! WOOO HOOO!!! Therefore fellow bloggers do as I do and go on strike as well. Lol.
Unfortunately it is people like you and I who have to suffer because those pansies in government don’t pay for their damned petrol. They are all bunkering chieftains’ as Tanure Ojaide puts it in his book ‘The Activist’. They probably have a pipeline direct to a tap in their fancy three cars revolving garage door siphoning fuel to them. Can you believe, I am still running on the gas that I bought on Thursday of last week. I used a half tank through seven days. I stayed home watching DVD’s through out Saturday and Sunday. I suffered through darkness and heat for a few hours in between as the generator now goes off at 9.30am only to come back on around 5pm. HELL!!! I was fortunate that NEPA decided to actually do their job and provide electricity for more than 3 hours at a time so I was able to get through one movie before the light went out again. Then on Tuesday I caught a bug and went down hard, sneezing and blowing my nose all over the place. There is nothing worse than having a cold in summer or like conditions. I was in bed from 3pm Tuesday to 7am Thursday when I decided I could not take it anymore. I did nothing but eat, sleep, sneeze, watch movies and get drunk and drowsy on SudaFed. My goodness what a miserable existence I lead. I woke up around midnight and had no one to talk to so I called my dad, my sisters and then my mom called and we chatted for a bit. I sent a few texts but no one called me back. Uh huh, you know yourselves, thanks for nadda. Anyways I did finally go to sleep and dragged myself to work but I was still obviously sick so I called it a short day and tried to go home and sleep. But guess what. NO LIGHT. So my ass is sitting in the wine red ikea-like loveseat at the This Day Media Centre at the Palms Mall. Ah!! What a relief. On days like this you really appreciate places like the Palms and the Galleria, even Mr. Biggs. I mean Nigerian middle class kids, for lack of a bracket to place them in are really enjoying. In 1997, my senior year in high school, we had to play ‘paper men’ or ‘table soccer’ to remain keep the sanity. Not kids of today. I see some of the effikos amongst them doing home work with their lap tops and notebooks and the cool ones are toasting each other, the boys still up to their old tricks of pressing breast while the girls still do the shakara thing. Anyways I am on STRIKE so I cannot give you any further gist. Hopefully the boys in the barracks would not vex and come out of hibernation and reduce fuel to N45. Yardie would have done the right thing by Nigerians by then if he’s as smart as his resume shows him to be. (Ya'll know how this STORY ended...so wack!!)
AND THEY HID BEHIND THE BUSHES
A tale of a Traumatized Nigerian Girl
So many nights I cry and ask myself why. Why? Oh Why? What were they thinking when they stalled? What were they thinking when they ran? I ask myself day and night what my status quo on the social and economic ladder would have been if they waited and got on that ship. The ship that would have taken them to the New world, far and far away from this continent of black-outs and election rigging. To a land of possibilities, opportunities and chances, a land of milk and honey. Whether that land is truly what they say it is, I know not now, considering the fact that Muritala Muhammed Airport has been my junction. I reach… but I branch off, waving good bye to those lucky bastards who come here every holiday to oppress me. The most I say is ‘Goodbye… Safe journey…don’t forget us suffering here…send dollar and buy me tops.” When these baskets return for there routine Christmas and Easter visits, they tell me ‘their load’ was too much, that they had to drop some things behind and even pay excess baggage fee (not because their baggage were overweight but because they themselves were overweight). Now why is it that it is my own present that they are always dropping behind each time? These are the same people because of whom I sleep on the living room floor, feasted upon by mosquitoes while they enjoy the warmth and coziness of my bed and pillow further depressing my already depressed Vono mattress. I don’t blame them, it’s because they have gone to Ala Beke (abroad) and I have not. In fact, I was insulted today. Can you imagine? Just because I mentioned that some place in a movie I was watching with the hungry parasites also known as my family members, looked like a city in New York, I was told to ‘c’mon shut-up’ and asked a series of questions; Where do you know? Have you passed the border before? Have you spent forex? Do you have a valid visa on your passport? In fact do you even have a passport? I consoled myself in the knowledge that I at least had some brand new Naira notes and my unused Ecowas pass in my wallet. In the worst case, I could take a bus to Seme in Benin Republic and do a bit of second hand shopping, or what my Americana-sister deceives her self in calling ‘Vintage’ shopping, after all they speak French there. Then I ask myself, how would it feel holding a blue or red passport? Priding in the fact that I need no permission from a man who has only a high school certificate in his country to travel where I please. I wouldn’t have to answer to questions like ‘What is your mission?’ and him telling me “I’m sorry but you are not qualified for this visa,” as though it was an entrance examination. On another attempt I was actually asked, “do you think you are beautiful enough to go to America?” I was very upset when this happened that I cursed the man, saying, “God will punish you and bad things will happen to you.” I was shocked and perplexed beyond the knowledge of whether to laugh or cry when the man replied, “God is already punishing me… I’m in Nigeria.” At which point I went home, drank my garri and groundnut and pondered. If this man is complaining about just being in Nigeria, despite being paid loads of money, then perhaps I should hang myself for being a Nigerian because that means that there’s no redemption for me in the sight of God since He made that decision. But then I continue my dream about how much better life would have been had they not hid behind the bushes. This thing is paining me so much because here I am subjected to a country where my father can threaten his wife, who happens to also be my mother by divine ordinaton, that if she votes for a particular person in the Lagos gubernatorial race, she might as well pack her load and go and marry that candidate. Even her children were in support of that action, seizing her voter’s card; after all, the candidate was the worst of the bunch. Rather than let him get one vote from this house, no one voted at all. Here I am in a country where my vote does not count. In fact I have a friend who sold her vote for Maryland Cookies, the other for Celtel recharge card and another for a ride to Unilag Gate. See how useless all my friends are, dim wits the whole lot. But you cannot blame them after all ‘na where belle face e go go (it is where the stomach points to that the body will follow) especially since Baba Iyabo had already done the s-ELECTION for them. In fact that is just the tip of the iceberg. The thing that annoys me now is that people travel every weekend and come back with British and American accents. When you ask them, in the normal lingo for those who just returned from abroad i.e “When did you get back?. Their response, “Ah Charley, I just got back from Ghana yesterday.’ Hmh… small boy Ghana of yesterday that we supply electricity to. I wonder what would happen now that they have discovered oil, supplying Nigeria with petrol. Speaking of electricity, the entire week before the election, we suddenly had constant supply of electricity, but after the deadline we did not have light for two whole days. We resorted to eating half sour soup, saying, ‘iz the flavour’, when truly deep down in our heart we know that there no money to cook another pot of soup until next weekend. Had they not hid behind the bushes we’ll be talking about frozen ham and bacon, chicken nuggets and barbeque. Put it in microwave and it is good to go(in a country American accent). We won’t worry about refilling the kerosene stove or fanning the flames for the fire wood. The part that frustrates me is that I am already very black and the more I stay by the firewood and the kerosene stoves, the blacker I get because of soothe that coats me. The sun that shines does not help my case. My mother would have solved my problem if only she had re-eloped with an ‘OYINS’ (white man) when she went to find love in America. Had that been the case, perhaps my story will be different. Let me even make a confession, a friend of mine admitted that she became my friend because she thought I was a Ghanaian. She was being optimistic in wanting to raise her level on the social ladder. The thought of having an international friend can take her places, open doors for her and move mountains. That was a smart kid, since her grand father hid behind the bushes too; she wanted to pave the way for herself to get across the ocean, whether by canoe, plane or swimming across herself. Being a sharp kid, she left me for another friend, who had lied that her mother would take all her friends to America for her birthday. But the poor girl…her dream was shattered when the birthday came and there wasn’t even an single cake. All this lying friend could tell her was, it’s coming, it’s coming. One thing did come though, closing time and the girl was no where to be found, neither was the cake. Getting back to the topic, every thing that is in a bitter man’s heart is the hope that tomorrow will be better, that our wishes would become horse so that we can go on a joy ride. If history repeats itself and knowing what I do know now about the New World and the ‘MAN’, I wonder whether I too would not have hidden behind the bushes. Indeed the grass always looks greener on the other side. But you never know what you’ve got till it’s gone or snatched away as was the case for those who didn’t get a chance to hide behind the bushes.