Thursday, 21 May 2015

Triple Whammy

Bang. Dang. Wham.

Saturday, 9th May 2015

An excited me went visiting a big sister with high hopes of learning new tricks in the kitchen - as my marital days draw close na *wink*wink*. Very early I had set out before the sun rose in all its glory in the bright sky; dressed in a pair of jeans and a very simple sky blue chiffon top with cowl neck to match my jeans. Travelling quite light, I picked my purse over a carrier bag and as the very good girl that I am, I held a bottle of wine with some assorted biscuits for my would be hosts and their BOISTEROUS boys.
My sister, whom I will refer to as Ms B met me halfway somewhere around OPIC and our first point of call was the Odo-Eran market very close to the estate by Lagos-Ibadan expressway. We drove slowly through the mud, with the car galloping a couple of times, but still kept a slow pace even as cars blared their horns from behind wondering why we took forever to manoeuvre small ditches. For them mind, they were small ditches but to us ladies, they were damn biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig ditches! About 20-30 minutes later, business was all done. Ms B bought cow leg, 'orisirisi' (assorted) beef with red meat. Everything totaled N2000 and it was super much. At that moment all I could think of was to convince future husband to let us live in the area after marriage, you know (one has to be sharp o), at least we can make some sensible savings off food items. We concluded our buying and headed back to the road still maintaining the unhurried pace.

Finally we were home. I hugged the boys and their uber smart Beninoise maid. We played a little before their momma and I hit the kitchen. Ogi baba (brown pap) laced with ginger served as the appetizer for me after which we made yam pottage and just chatted away while it simmered on the cooker. In between chats and playing with the boys, she cajoled me to spend the night, promising to take me home in the evening so I could pick something to wear for Church the next day. I agreed. Next up, we had brunch and moved to the bedroom afterwards to do what ladies do best - try on clothes. I didn't say earlier that one other reason I visited was to check out some dresses *hehehehehehehehe* She had some lovely dresses for sale and fashionista me didn't want to miss out. I settled for four dresses (very sexy ones at that :*) and my happiness grew another notch. They were truly beautiful.
Just one of 'em
About 5 hours into my visit I decided to use the ladies and on my way back to the bedroom, my precious pink Sony Xperia Z1 Compact fell face-down to the ground. Yeeeeeeeeeeepa. I picked it up with trepidation but was happy to see just a slight crack *whew* what relief I felt at the sight of a very small, surface crack. But alas! My relief was short-lived as the phone wouldn't respond to my touch (it didn't even feel awakened by the sensuousness oozing from my fingers). I tried all the hard reset stuff, same. Left it off for so long, prayed on it - yeah I prayed on it. Rubbed anointing faith failed me this time.
So my happy visit was suddenly truncated. I was too sad to have fun. I needed to go home to get another phone at least to keep me in the "world" in the meantime. For 48 full hours I was out of the internet space which seemed like I was out of all that mattered. What balderdash!!!


Monday, 11th May 2015
I woke up feeling the need to rush to the office so I could run private errands before work started then I realized the opening hours for iCell was between 9 am & 5 pm so I decided instead to do some office work before heading out. Meanwhile, I also had another short errand to run for the Church which was to change a 100 dollar bill - all in the same route.

I went straight to warranty office opposite Computer Village only to be told they had no screen in stock and needed to visit another affiliate. I got the directions off the lady and headed towards Salvation in Opebi. Since my movement was going to require going through Allen I decided to stop to change the 100 dollar bill first. Fortunately, I had prior info from someone how much a dollar was going for so I tried to bargain a good deal. The Mallam who approached me took me to his office and offered N208/$, I declined. I saw another guy who offered N219/$ which was exactly what my contact told me but I wanted a ballpark figure so I said N220. The guy agreed, counted out the cash and gave me. I counted the money and saw it was N21,000. N1,000 short right? I called the guy's attention to it and he collected the money back to recount. He saw it was N21,000 truly and gave the money back to me he then gave me one extra '1,000 bill to make it N22,000. I withdrew the dollar bill from my pocket and gave him and we were done. A couple of other guys were around us and I was sort of wary any of them would follow me but they assured me nothing. They spoke same Yoruba language with me. We even laughed briefly. One of them asked for a bottle of coke as I turned to leave and I offered him my best smile.
Money in hand, not even in my wallet I found my way to Hellotech to fix my phone. I passed over my phone and the technician told me it would cost me twenty-seven thousand naira to fix my phone!!!


My knees weakened I tell you. 27 kini???? It was important to get the phone fixed so I started another round of bargaining. I begged for twenty thousand naira but they said NO. I even promised never to spoil the phone again, to be a good and very careful girl. All three men laughed. Then another guy came in for the same purpose - to fix the screen of his Sony Xperia Z2 or Z1 maybe and it was the same cost. Finally, they agreed to accept twenty-two thousand naira. They requested I make a deposit but they didn't have any POS so I thought to use the cash with me and then withdraw on my way back to the office. I unfolded the money in my hand, counted out N10,000 to give the young man attending to me then I realized I had N3,000 left. Dazed. Disoriented. Shocked. Bewildered. Please how did 22k become 13k?


And there Ladies and Gentlemen is the sad tale of my phone-crash-dupe saga :(

What did this entire experience teach me?
1. To buy cheaper phones that I can afford to watch "rot" if the screen shatters

2. To make use of phone pouch; there is a very good reason those are being sold in the stores

3. To always recount every cash I am given

4. To never change money with guys on that Allen junction who do not have business names or offices for that matter

Writer's note

- Ogi baba is a special kind of pap made from brown sorghum. Pap is usually made from cereals either sorghum, millet or maize. It is a semi-solid food mostly given to babies but widely taken in West Africa by adults inclusive.

- Yeeeeepaaaaaa is an expression of disbelief, of shock. It would be safe to say it is an exclamation in Yoruba language.

- Orisirisi simply means a variety of...

Picture credit goes to bodhisutra

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Comrades in Naughtiness

Idris walked towards the carefully turfed front yard where people were standing about in clusters; some looking heavenwards, some speaking quietly in muffled voices...all of them looking everywhere but at him. None would meet his scrutinizing, questioning gaze. No one would even say a word! He took further steps into the salmon-pink painted house, closer to the side door that would lead him to the foyer before the rooms then he stopped suddenly for a moment to catch his raging breath and calm his roving mind, assuring himself that nothing could be possibly wrong or could there be? "Why would there be so many solemn looking folks at my front door?" he asked aloud.

Forty minutes earlier...
Sitting tensely in the Nissan Juke SL, Idris wondered what he would tell her after he had been gone for so long. Trying hard in his head to concoct a sorry ass tale; mechanical breakdown wouldn't fly he was so sure knowing mama is very assiduous when it comes to her material possession-they function at a full hundred percent. He could say he met with a young girl, lost track of time while fondling right? She loves to hear those kind of juicy tales but wouldn't that make him sound irresponsible? He was meant to be out for a quick prescription refill for her knee osteoarthritis pain and minutes turned into hours! Should he say he was ambushed, held at gun point?

"Arrrrrrrrrgh! I'm tired of rehearsing lines, she may not even be irked I was gone for twenty-four hours. It was just a day!" After all he's been the only constant one in her life, his younger and only brother had moved on to greener pastures four years before without as much as a backward glance-they weren't doing badly financially as a 3-throng family but the young lad just wanted at-the-twinkle-of-an-eye world fame at all cost. Idris' friends however consider him as odd. They understood his diligence as a dutiful son but for real what sort of 25-year old guy befriended his own mum; cracked risque jokes with and was unafraid of spilling all the naughty, dark secrets too?

He remembered at age 15 when he was becoming somewhat distant and locked-off from everyone, his mom had come into his room one random evening...

"I noticed you smell differently these days Id, all into yourself and cagey about where you've been," Mrs F said as a way of announcing her presence in his room, arms folded behind her back.

Idris turned around from the computer screen he had been glued to all day, conjuring the right retort. " different you mean what exactly mom?"
"Now don't take that innocent, unknowing look with me young man! I see your eyes all red and looking dilated almost every other day when you walk in through my door. I see the rolled up papers under your bed. I see th.."

"Oh c'mon mom!" he cut her off, "rolled up papers where? You mean you've been snooping around in my room?" Idris stood abruptly throwing his arms in thin air in unbelief. "I thought we agreed you'd respect my privacy and let me live like a man without you double checking my every move? Going through my stuff especially when I'm not there and peeing under my bb..bed?" he dragged.

"When you decide to act like a silly boy, I will break the rules and act as I deem fit!"

"But mom, it's not even like you set any standard rules about whether I can take up smoking or not. Nothing fazes you really about we do, you are practically uninvolved in our lives particularly in my life so I'm kinda shocked about this sudden confrontation".

Mrs F feeling deeply chagrined at her son's words said in response, "My point exactly. I haven't come to lord anything over you," she interjected her voice taking a sombre tone "but If you are going to take up any activity in this house, I must be aware and be a part of it".

"A part?" Idris looked completely nonplussed, his eyes darting from his mother's face to what seemed to appear out of nowhere in her small hands, "are those what I think they really are?" She took a step closer to him, opening her palms wider for him to see..."yes they are. I made the effort to get some off Kosmas after work. The janitor is quite resourceful and he assured me no one would ever know. We can learn all the tricks together. You and I, like best friends. Man to man, girl to girl. Trade all the gory, growing up tales," she continued with a slight smile in her eyes...

And so it started, on and on it went for a few more years. His mom would come to his room after her daily 9 to 5 with marijuana and pipe screen. If it wasn't hashish then it was mama giving him a couple of magazines with luscious girls on the covers. They would explore together, him listening sometimes with her giving tips. Some days they would talk about his girl crushes, laugh at his initial gropings in the dark during his first make out. They will sit in the park for hours watching girls as they walked by and pass one lewd comment or the other.

On one of those teaching occasions, his mom had told him men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed but women somehow deteriorate during the night so he had started to take pictures of the girls he laid before and the morning after. Mama and him would share via Facebook Messenger during the day and would have a private joke over. Life was on a roller coaster. School was in the forgotten corner. Nothing else seemed to matter except the drugs and the girls and the bond between a mama and his boy until the knees started to weaken...

Dear Son,
We knew this day would come right? It's been one heck of a crazy year with the intense pains and your stay. Your mates are in college now, you should go too. Pick up a new interest. Maybe I've not been such a great mother, I let you slide on your studies for so long as I let the bitterness of your father's separation from us haunt us for so long. Maybe I shouldn't have encouraged all the things we did together but I do hope you will remember the sound lessons I taught you too. You know truly that a woman is the one who worries about the future until she gets a husband and a man never worries about the future until he gets a wife but I want you to begin to worry even without a wife now. I see you've become so complacent about life and it shouldn't be so. Your brother is doing extremely well for himself so I hear...There is so much good to do in the world, there are so many ways to be useful to the world. Please find a need, find a purpose and fulfill that need. Let me take a bow out this way. I really didn't need the pills because I already made up my mind to leave. Forgive my cowardice, and for ever leaving you this way without a proper goodbye.

All the rehearsed lines flew out the window, no one would be needing to hear them now. At a loss for words and things to think, Idris sat by her bed and shed his first tear in his 25 years. He never even cried when his father left all three for a younger, sexier model thirteen years ago. Idris wailed. 

Writer's note - At the time of writing this story, I honestly didn't know where it would end. I only had a post title which was inspired by another writer friend {thanks Oma for letting me build a story around this ;-) }. When I started to write, I racked my brain for all the naughty scenari that could be applicable to a young man and I settled for this flow. A lot of issues were raised in this piece, however little I touched on them. The lingering question is how should we train our children/ward? What sort of role as parents do we want to play in their lives. Do we want to be disciplinarians? Authoritarians? I'm not going to be judging if this was the best way or not remember, it's all fiction.
One thing I do remember about my growing up though, as much as a lot of rules were also not spelt not by my parents it was just common sense to know that some things were a NO-NO. In this part of the world, children are smart enough to understand sign languages or maybe I should say "were" as everything seems to be changing now. 

What is the best way to train a child? 

I read a couple of articles which built up my knowledge base for this piece and one particular piece that stood out for me is this article on parenting styles. You can read up some more by clicking on that highlighted link.

Many thanks to Google as always for the image. Please don't leave this page without dropping a comment :-)