November 18, 2008
“She worries me. First she gets the Ferragamo clutch that’s 300 (actually 900 but the cashier rang it wrong, thank God), then she gets Dior sunglasses for 400, then she gets the YSL bag that’s way north of 1000 and then she wanted to get Manolos worth 750 before taxes. That’s where I drew the line…no efing way!” I looked up at my friend in awe…I wanna be efen pampered too! My other friend talks about how his girlfriend wants another bag and a puppy (puppies that she wants are like 2000). She has this thing for shoes and bags and he needs to keep up with the joneses. Most times he fumes about getting her what she wants…but at the end he ALWAYS succumbs. It’s efen genius!
As usual I always like to parallel the Nigerian man ideologies to what I have been exposed to. Where does a naija guy draw the line? Is there ever a line? Some of you might agree with me when I say that most naija guys who come to the States (I can’t speak for other regions) act like they are entitled to certain privies. Entitled in the sense that they don’t put in any effort but they are ready to reap where they didn’t sow. The naija girl is usually the one chasing after him…making sure he is okay…going to his house to clean and cook…throwing him surprise parties…mailing him food if he is out of state….trying her hardest to impress him…yet the guy treats her like crap but she keeps on doing these things – after all it’s her biological clock that’s ticking. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with the girl doing any of the above …but habah where does the reciprocity play in? Wouldn’t it be nice to show appreciation in some manner (without being cheesy about it- like feeding her, that is just weird and stupid. she has her own hands), like getting her something nice and perhaps needing to “draw a line” somewhere (I kindda like the line my friend drew).
Some “scholars” have argued that this phenomenon is as a result of a scarcity of decent naija guys in the States and because the demand surpasses the supply, the market is very competitive. This being the case a new phenomenon is on the rise. Girls have begun to venture into the international markets for offshore relationships and from the reactions that I have gotten from trend setters it seems to be the best way to go (there are some one offs which is dependent of the psychoanalytical results of both parties e.g. relationship btwn Bushlike and Chavezlike characters are less likely to succeed). Of course there are certain pull backs like paying offshore taxes and traveling to meet this partner but all in all the end justifies the means innit?
November 17, 2008
“This is going to be a yearly process…” the sentence echoed in the conference room; one of the best conference rooms on the floor overlooking the Hudson and if you looked a bit further you would see the statue of liberty in her radiance. It’s marvelous in the summer time; almost like an escape from the work day. That day, however, was a day in November and it was gloomy outside. There were three of us in the room, me, my compadre and one of our numerous superiors. The superior continued trying to keep a straight face and knowing very well that he would be breaking our hearts, ”…and this will be reviewed every 6 months”. Compadre and I stared at each other. We knew we didn’t want to be here this time next year and we both knew the superior was wasting his time giving us this briefing. We’d started planning our escape on our 6th month anniversary. It’s been 29 months and we are still planning. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve taken actions but these actions didn’t work out as anticipated.
Compadre and I stopped staring at each other but I was still lost in the future. Not mine, but his. I am the only one that knows of his interview scheduled for next Friday. I am happy for him but sorry for myself. I want him to get this new job but I don’t want to be left alone. Who will I fuss to? He is the best person to fuss to. I have fussed for 29 months to him. He understands my fuss. Who will he fuss to? Will he need to fuss in his new job? Suddenly I was saddened by the possibility of sharing my intimate cube space with someone else. What if they don’t measure up? What if I don’t like them? Oh crap!!!…I’m going to have a nervous break down! “Es..what do you think?”…I looked at my superior, then at compadre and tried to figure out what my superior was saying, then I replied, “I think it’s a great idea”. Wall Street forbids me to speak the truth that’s locked within me and how I think it is a waste of time and resources and how superiors keep scrambling for useless work to prove their worth in the organization. Main Street forbids that I loose my job at this time of year. What if I do? Life goes on…
Ps: Walmart reported HUGE profits this quarter.
November 14, 2008
The girl behind me is loud. She is a consultant…but she is loud. It’s annoying. I can’t meditate. Should I be meditating? Two days ago, while walking home from the dentist, I realized how unfulfilled I was. Do you have that void also? I think you do. Does that void ever close? I’m not speaking of the void of faith or Christianity or whatever religion. Don’t know, but I have a feeling you get what I mean…maybe.
So two days ago, after realizing how big the void is and in attempts to close it, I decided to take my mind of many irrelevant things, read more books and do things that I like to do. Perhaps paint mugs and play scrabble or checkers with friends – I might just get around to learning how to play chess and dominos…I don’t get dominos.
Being the spontaneous person that I am when I decide to be spontaneous, I walked to the Borders store determined to get me a book. I already knew what I was going to get (so much for spontaneity). I am on a quest to read all of Paulo Coelho’s books. I have read 4 so far and I liked them all. The Witch of Portobello! Coelho’s books seem to be all about spirituality. It’s odd because his books are fiction (or are they?) but they are placed in the metaphysical section of the bookstore.
Metaphysical; relating to the philosophical study of the nature of being and beings or a philosophical system resulting from such study
I read the book and I learn more about the Witch of Portobello whose nickname is Athenna. I curb my free mind so it races within defined peripherals. In those pages, I laugh, I cry, I prey, I pray, I chase, I’m chased and I feel the tissue move around my void. I am making progress. I shed my worries and I exercise my freedom to be free no more.
November 10, 2008
The pilot was on point. He predicted that we’d be on ground in Charlotte in 10 mins, it was 9 pm at the time and we were on ground by 9:10pm. I wasn’t sure where I was. I knew I was in Charlotte but I didn’t know what State. One would think I’d have mastered the cities and states of the US but nope. I could be in Virginia or North Carolina. I’m leaning more towards North Carolina though. It didn’t matter to me because I was Florida bound anyways. On leaving the tiny jet and getting to the gate, it hit me, “THIS IS NORTH CAROLINA”. I was trapped in this forsaken airport in the summer of ‘07’.
Replay: It was the summer of 2007 and Sede was graduating from Uof H. As usual, I had slacked in booking my flight and so I was stuck with a connecting flight to Texas. My first meeting with Sede when I was seven years old and we’ve been friends / “cousins” ever since, so needless to say there was no way I would miss her graduation. I had left work a bit early that day (just as I did today) so I could make my flight. Everything went well until we were on the runway and the plane was about to take off: for some weird reason there was traffic on the runway and my flight was going to be delayed. Chances that I would make my flight to Texas were slim but I kept hoping for a miracle. But of course that didn’t happen. On getting to NC, I went looking for someone to talk to “listen, my flight from NY arrived here late and I have missed my connecting flight, I have a graduation to attend tomorrow morning, can I get a flight tonight? The attendant looked the least bit interested in my plight, he replied there is nothing we can do ma’am there was traffic on the runway and we are not responsible for that. By this time, I was agitated, “well can you find we a room then, so I can spend the night”…. I said. “No ma’am again, it is beyond our control and we are not liable for getting you a hotel room”.
I was stuck in this useless airport, no flight no room, no sweater and it was freezing. I felt like crap! To make it worse I was roaming because I was not in my service area which meant I was going to be charged extra for making phone calls. After walking aimlessly around the terminal, I found a nice comfortable spot by the vending machine and I fell asleep with a bag of Sunchips in my hand.
Arrggghhhh!! I hate this airport.
I approach Gate B6 and wait to be called to board my flight to Florida.
November 10, 2008
Who remembers what it was/felt like to be in Lagos in the beginning of 1999, or April 1999 for the sake of specificity? I’m not sure where the government kept all those area boys but the advent of Nigeria ’99 made Lagos peaceful overnight. The roads were clean, there was light 24-7 (at least I can speak to Maryland), and of course the agberos were out of sight. It was a wonderful thing…
On April 24th or 29th the day of the closing ceremony, WHAM, NEPA took light. I knew it was too good to be true. Then WHAM, again, armed robbers attacked my home. It was too coincidental; like they were waiting for the ceremonies to be over before they attack. It was the perfect paradigm for a rude awakening. I thank God that none of my family members got hurt but I can’t seem to shake out the possible conversation between me and one of the traitors. Obviously in my head I am able to recognize each of them; one especially.
The scene: A beer parlor. Alcohol has a way of bringing people together, good and bad, for very different reasons.
Traitor – Ah! You look familiar.
Es – God still never kill you? I promise you this night thunder go strike you.
I know. That is actually a stupid pointless conversation and I can’t believe that it took me so long to think that up. Then again, I’m not sure I want to see, meet, let alone exchange words with any of the traitors. I have convinced myself that thunder has stricken seven of them and the rest are struggling with leprosy and begging for change on the road connecting Akure to Benin.
The pilot announces that we will be on ground in 10 mins….
November 8, 2008
Still on the plane; Close to Charlotte, Wherever. Who remembers Nigeria ’99 theme song? It goes;
This is a land so rich in culture
This is a land hosting all nations
This is a land so great
Where milk and honey flowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwss
This is a land of rain and sunshine
This is the land where football reigns
This is the land so greeaattttttttttttttttttt
Where milk and honey flowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwss
Though our tongues and tribes may differ
But in football, we are onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnneee
We are joined together in peace and unity
We are bound strong together we are oneeeeeeeeeee
Welcome to Africa, Welcome to Nigeria ‘99
Welcome to the land where milk and honey flows
To be continued….
November 8, 2008
Still airborne to Florida and this yeye carrier isn’t serving food. Hunger is killing me so I resort to writing.
Do you know this song that goes like “I burst the windows out your car…” If you do, awesome, if you don’t you’ll probably hear it on the radio soon – if you listen to black radio (strictly Hip Hop and R&B stations). So the story behind the song is about this chic who finds out that her man is cheating and she burst the windows of his car…for revenge and immediate satisfaction. One of my NUMEROUS brothers and I had a argument about this.
His argument – I don’t like that song. She is promoting violence and I am no in support of violence. How can my girlfriend destroy my car because I cheated? ME! I use my own body o to cheat and she destroys my car? Yes, she can leave me but she has no right to destroy my property; car, house, clothes anything. The car is MINE, not hers hence she has no right whatsoever.
My argument – I wanna destroy the car die! It is vandalism not violence! It’s a risk you assume when you are committed to someone. I am a proud owner of a louisville slugger (I really own one actually) and I aint afraid to use it. Some might call it irrational but you cannot play with someone’s emotions and expect everything to be all right. Yes, its short lived satisfaction to burst the guy’s windows but most times than not, we look back and get a good laugh from it.
I look out the window. It’s dark and I can’t figure where I am. I’m excited..still hungry though.