Addy and Nunu’s Excellent Road Trip Across West Africa To Ghana
(IN CASE YOU ARE NOT PATIENT ENOUGHT TO READ THE FOLLOWING POSTS HERE ARE THE PICTURES BUT YOU SHOULD READ IT THOUGH)
So the last week of August was odd and fabulous at the same time. I happened upon a few days off at work due to reasons beyond my control. I was quite upset and tried to sort things out but to no avail. Vex catch me and I was like omo, where I'm coming from (Yankee)is a very far place and therefore I shall not allow any ‘negative chi’ or 'Nigerian Factor' fog my head up. I called several airlines to find the cheapest ticket to London so that I can go sight seeing, as I have never been. When they told me how much it was, I thought to myself, “ How can I justify spending this much for only 5 days, when I am not Binta Yar’adua?” (Ok I just totally made that name up, I don’t think the president has a daughter by that name). I knew that no matter what, I had to leave this country called Nigeria otherwise I was going to go ballistics on some people. So like joke like joke I was like 'Bone, I am fading to Ghana". I called Ghana Airways and a round trip fare would cost N40,000. Now I tried to psyche one of my sisters to go with me but Nene had exams and Onyenachi…well she had more important things to do than indulge my spontaneity. So the only other person who was available was my friend Enuka, who just got done with her NYSC and by virtue of that was rendered penniless. So we had to come up with an alternative. So a wonderful thought came to my head. "Yo! Why don’t we take a bus."
What is Ya Mission?
We made a few calls and found out that the bus ride to Ghana would cost us only N12,000 roundtrip for each person. I thought about the fact that it was a 10 hour ride but then I thought about all the trips to my village and I was like, my butt is already flat and can take yet another 10 hours. We ended up going to Cross Country and boy were we lucky. We missed the 2nd bus and ended up being the only passengers on the 3rd bus. It was like being in our own personal car and the bus driver was very nice and became our tour guide along the Ecowas Road as it is called. We set out on the journey towards the Nigerian-Benin border around 10am. When we got to the very famous Seme Border, the customs and immigrations people asked us to get down from the bus and go to their office. Now it amazes me how different people ask different questions and address different people. When I was going to America for the first time, I had to go through customs at Amsterdam and Detroit. The officers that I met there had the same intentions as all border controllers but I noticed the difference. In Amsterdam, the guy smiled at me and was like, “Hello young lady, may I have your passport” I said sure, smiled back and handed it to him. “Oh wow… you are only 17 and traveling by yourself? What a brave little girl you are, so what brings you to America?” I’m going to school. “North Carolina has very good schools… it’s a long way from home so be careful.” He gave me back my passport and I trucked along. The same thing happened on the Detroit side, this time it was a woman. “Hi, hon…how was your trip…did anyone give you anything to carry…wow, you are just 17…my my my…when I was 17 I couldn’t take the bus to New York and here you are flying all the way from Africa. Welcome to America Darling” In between of course searching my bag, checking my passport and frisking me. Then upon arrival in South Africa I was greeted with a “Hello Sisi, Well-kom to Sad Effreeka…iz dis ya fest tam he-ya? Dis iz ah beauriful kentry… en-jaiy ya stey”. But do you want to know what happened to me on the Nigerian side the night before. Hmh… Just because I used RED pen to fill out the departure card, one baba-kasali decided to call me all sorts of names. I was like ‘This is a pink pen sir, and it doesn’t say any where on the card to use only blue or black…Ok can I please have another card and may I borrow one of your pens?” I was very nice and polite oh but this guy felt that since I speaking through my nose he would try to antagonize me. “ Is this where you collected the card? You din know before you were writing with red pen…did you buy biro for me?” Ha… see me see wahala. I looked back and the line was rather long. I boned and went to get another card and rewrote the stuff. But before I walked off I unconsciously hissed rather loudly in irritation only to incur the wrath of Baba-kasali. “Eh see dis small giel… iz it me that you are doing ‘chew’ for… you will come and tell me how you will pass here today… if you will get on this flight… you are hissing for me….I will show you..foolish girl?” Ha… at this point I was like Adaure, just calm down, this guy obviosuly does not 'LOVE MY STV' (LOL...it's a promo we're running). When I came back the guy made sure he ran to attend to me and instead of stamping my passport he went to report to some other guy and they asked me to walk into some space. Just as he started narrating and ‘telling lies on my head’, I was like, ‘Look Mister man, I don’t have your time, my passport and papers are complete, stamp it and let me go because you don’t want to mess with me in the way that you are intending this night because you'ld have picked the worng person to test.’ Another superior came and asked him what was up, by the time the guy said the reason he pulled me out was because I used a red pen and hissed at him, his superior was like, ‘stamp her passport jare and let her go my friend.’ Where exactly am I going with this story? Well, I was expecting the same reception at the Seme border.
“Hello… Good Afternoon.” Nunu and I walked up to this shoddy looking pair under a green canopy.
“Bring your passport (scrutinizing through dark aviators) Where are you coming from and where are you going?”
“We are coming from Lagos and are on our way to Ghana”
“Eh ehn ehn (still flipping through the passport) You are on your way to Ghana (I just said that…or did I stutter) 'Eye' see...What is ya mission?
“What do you mean what is our mission?” (this is me trying to extend the conversation)
“You mean to say you don’t have a mission?”
“We don’t have a mission…we just entered the bus to Ghana without any agenda… when we get to Ghana we will find a mission”
“ Ehn eh ..ok..What do you do?”
“I just finished my NYSC and am jobless with plenty time on my hands,” said Enuka
“I’m a journalist,” I said in the most uninterested manner knowing that that might prompt them to keep me longer or release us sooner, withut trying to extort money from us.
“Who do you work for and let me see your ID,” I produce my ID and she accesses it and passes it to the man sitting next to her and says to him, “They look like they are tourists just going on tour and sight seeing…ok you can go ehn…safe journey.”