chronicles of the traveling legs I

November 8, 2008


I proceeded to write a masterpiece on the plane but I fell short and ended up striking out the intended paragraphs. I’m headed to Florida right now by way of Charlotte. I haven’t seen her – N.U – in months and all of a sudden I am excited to hug her. 

On the plane and I my mind roams to November 2006, my first and only trip to Jand. Jand trip was interesting in every sense of the word. It was an adventure….very far from sophisticated and I guess that was what made it memorable. You see, N.U left NY for a semester for one of those study abroad programs and I decided to pay her a visit. It was the perfect excuse for a vacation. I was done with school and started working in the summer and I needed a break from the monotony of my daily task; why not? After all, my very good friend was there.

N.U had one of those tiny dorm rooms that we shared  during my visit. We didn’t have much money on hand but N.U was very resourceful…as in this is a girl that can find her way if you left her in the middle of the Atlantic. N.U and I fed on indomie and crackers and fruit punch…no water! I remember one time we were so hungry and we heard from the grapevine that Leslie (one of the guys upstairs) was going to make eba and ogbono that night. N.U and I conveniently showed up at his door like we were just paying him a visit. Poor guy had only made eba for himself but of course we weren’t leaving that room without eating something. As a matter of fact, we ate everything…pretending to pay attention to his gist and bounced as soon as we finished his food (to his credit the food was sweet sha).

We were always getting on the National rails without tickets and at risk of getting caught. One time we got reprimanded ‘cause we were in a zone that we didn’t pay to get into. I quickly played the tourist card and we were let go. The London tube is too confusing sef and their officers are too rigid. When we weren’t out being mischievous, we were in “lecture” all day. I didn’t matter to me; it was just nice to be away…I’m somewhat like the runaway child who never quite runs away.

I’m on my way again…I can’t wait to get to Florida and boy am I hungry!


the appointment

November 7, 2008


*Es yarns*…Good morning. I am exhausted. I need chocolate. No, I don’t need chocolate. I would like to have some but since my dentist the atheist filed my two front rabbit teeth I’ve been a little conscious of what I eat. It’s all in the mind.


Did I tell you about my Dentist? He is the greatest guy. You see, I had never been to a dentist my whole life until this past Tuesday. I left work early to get to 85th and Park at 5pm. I didn’t want to be late to my first appointment. I was nervous, not too sure what to expect. I had spoken to Dr. S over the phone and he sounded pleasant but from experience I know voices can be a bit deceiving – sidetrack: guys usually have this dilemma – my friend Babs had wooed a chic over the phone and well, lets just say things (by things I mean she) didn’t turn out great. Anyhow, I get to off the 6 train on 86th at about 4:45ish…and walked my way to his office. I get there and of course it’s a ritzy neighborhood which was the plan. I had contemplated seeing a dentist on the 110th to 116th Street area but a few phone calls and some “mamis” on the other end of the line helped change my mind. This was my first time and I didn’t want to be irritated, hence 85th between Park and Madison was just sufficient. I walk in and he comes forward; “Cava, Cava!” he says, “Cava!” I reply. He is older of course, maybe in his 50s, full of life and he smiles. He gives me some forms to fill and says he’d be right back. He had a patient waiting on the chair.


Fast forward. The patient leaves and it’s my turn to sit on that dreaded dentist “lounge” that I have seen many times in cartoons and on TV. He starts asking me questions about my dental history and of course I have no answers ‘cause I have no dental history. He asks me to say “AHH”. I say “AHH”. He goes on to do what he does and the following conversation ensues:


Dr S: Amazing!

Es (trying to speak with some apparatus in my mouth): Is that a good thing or a bad thing.

Dr S: Oh definitely a good thing. Your mouth is fantastic! Unbelievable especially for someone who has never been to the dentist… Whatever you do keep it up. How long have you been in the States?

Es: 6 years.

Dr S: Wow. What usually happens is that when Africans come here they eat lots of candy which isn’t good. But 6 years and you have a great mouth?? I should show you to my other patients.


So now, I’m feeling very fresh with myself. And he goes on:


Dr S: And you have such a pleasant attitude. I can tell that you are a very nice young lady and very conservative and such a beautiful smile, absolutely gorgeous. And those lips! They look like Angelina Jolie’s lips.


Okay, dude, it was all going great until you brought Jolie into this…as in seriously??!! Why are you trying to cramp my style? Never the less I am flattered and I know he didn’t mean that in a perv way. He goes on to say how beautiful I am and asked if I have a boyfriend and how he has a lot of guys that he can introduce me to. Was he serious? Who cares??? All I know is that he was such a pleasant man and I was comfortable.


The Caveat:

Dr S: I noticed 2 things when you walked in. Can you guess what they were?


I couldn’t guess so he goes on.


Dr S: The cross on your neck and your rabbit teeth.


So now I’m laughing hysterically ‘cause only a few people say that to me.  It was just one of those random remarks.  He proceeds to file my “rabbit” teeth without charge…I had chipped them back in secondary school when I fell in the stair well leading to my dorm with a pale of water on my head. Story for another day.


He goes on to say that he doesn’t believe in God and that if there really is a God why would God make animals only for them to be killed and eaten by people. He had been an atheist for a while now although raised Jewish and he succeeded in convincing his parents that God doesn’t exist. “My Uncle had cancer”, he said and pauses for a while “…and he was treated 5 times and each time we thought he was cured of cancer and we kept thanking God, but he wasn’t cured and my Uncle died the 6th time he had cancer. So God can’t exist. I mean…He is God he has the power to make things better. God can make the world better but the world isn’t. If there is God why is there AIDS?” and he goes on and on…We obviously have a difference in opinion and I was unwavering in my faith but at the same time, I wasn’t sure what to say to him. Do I respond? Do I listen? Do I counter attack? I listen and he goes on, “I believe that if we all try our best, we can be “god” to one another and make people around us a little happier. That is what I do everyday and in a sense I am “god” too”. I wanted to tell him that God created each of us in his likeness and glory and yes, we are “god” because we are Godlike…but I didn’t.


I suppose that sometimes living your life in the right way serves as a testimony to others and maybe this would make them curious to know about God. I don’t know what this man had gone through, I don’t know what made him denounce his faith but from our first meeting I could tell that has a good spirit and I can only hope that he sees something in me that would inspire him to believe in God again.


My x-ray appointment is next week. Pray for me, pray for him, and pray for our world

btw: I had 3 hershey kisses already. so much for being conscious of what I eat.