Friday, July 13, 2007

Yours and mine

In Nigeria
Wealth and weeping
Want and reaping
Tinted pleasure
Sinful leanings
Checkpoint robberies
Daylight rigging

Restive south’ners
OPEC quotas
Poisoned waters
Flawed unseatings
Reasoned verdicts
Sword unsheathings

Aso rumbles
Party stalwarts
Secret meetings
Whiteman sightings
Mass kidnappings
Cash transactions
Drastic actions

Yahoo option
Double standards
Fight corruption
Pipe explosions
Crawling traffic
Surging oceans

One Nigeria
No Bakassi
Census figures
Looted billions
Crashing airplanes
Sans blackboxes
Blacked out cities

Bloated contracts
Shrunken children
Increased tariffs
Labour congress
This our country
Work in progress…

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Today is not Monday

I got back from my 3week visit to Lagos on Saturday. The journey took all of ten hours and I think I suffered some nerve damage from all that sitting down. You've heard of dumb-ass now here comes numb-ass...I wish I could fly especially as it's been a while since any plane fell out of the sky in these parts. we thank God.

Port Harcourt hasn't changed much...same old same old. Traffic. Rain. Parties. Violent crime. Beautiful women. Craters in the road. Native soup (loaded of course,with an assortment of seafood...delish!). Money-hungry girls. Control Babas. Demented okada riders. Politcal Intrigue. Fresh fish peppersoup.

At least ASUU has called of the strike so we can get on with it. Person don dey old for dis school. It's going to be a hectic semester and a-half squeezed into a couple of months, but I think I'll live.

Lagos was interesting. Bridges. Amala. Nice clubs. Stinking gutters. Huge campaign billboards (take them down already!). Icecream. Suya. Molues. Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. Effizzi. Hustlers. Yahoo boys. Suya again. Radio. Lagoon. New money. Hasta La Vista baby, but I'll be Back!

Apparently, the people there dress up to the nines just to visit the mall. There was casual old me surrounded by men, women, and children in designer gear. Girls in tapered jeans, twelve-inch heels, and huge Gucci shades. The joke was them. There's no excuse for being overdressed in the mall, whether it's The Palms or anywhere else. There was this particular lady with make up that gave the word highbrow a whole new meaning. But then again, I guess they don't refer to Lekki as being highbrow for nothing.

It felt good to be able to wear my clothes without thinking too much about the colour. I can't do that in school. Apparently, almost every colour in the colour spectrum is the adopted 'flag' of one cult or the other. We innocents can not risk being wrongly identified just because you wear a certain combination of colours. It's impossible and ridiculous.

  • no wear red and black o! you know say na those people wey get school now.

  • hmmm, dis your yellow shirt fit put you for problem my guy.

  • shoo, na wa oh which one you wear black and white when you no be law student abi you don turn to axe man?

  • this kin socks wey you wear today, i don dey suspect you!

It goes on and on. You end up having to wear the safe colours like brown, grey, or purple, pink, or lime gets ridiculoser and ridiculoser.But I'm certain that in some similarly shitty school in a parallel dimension, even those colours are forbidden. How we go do? We wey be Jewmen. You may think it's stupid but people have been killed for wearing the wrong colours. Last year a guy was killed in a cult hit because he had a red shirt on. It's that bad.

So anyway, I went to Lagos and for once I could dress as colourfully as a pimp, but with slightly better taste. It was fun. I'm back to Earth and my earth tones now. And I'm back to the small off-campus apartment I share with my friend, a total megalomaniac bigot. I'm back to arguing with him and getting irritated by his attitude and frustrated with his absolute inability to have a logical argument. I didn't miss him at all when I was in Lagos. He gives me my respect and we live peacefully but I can't stand all that prejudice and bigotry even though it is rarely ever aimed at me. He's such a bully and I can't help but step in when he starts harassing someone. The boy too do. Did I mention that he's a misogynist as well. Thank God I have just a few months left to be in this school...can't wait.

In all the time I spent in Lagos(21 days), I had just one bottle of beer. It felt like I was cleaning out my system. It felt good. I've been back in Port Harcourt for less than a week and it seems my friends are intent on upsetting my blood-alcohol balance. It's crazy. These Port Harcourt boys can be notorious. I've danced in a restaurant (not a dancing resautrant, mind), been to a couple of parties, scaled the gate of my compound to get in at 3am (my landlord is an old soldier, I've seen his double barrel twice). I've had enough adventure. Time for school work now. Dem no go see me.

So it's good to be back, but there's work to be done. My sly neighbours upstairs are timing me- waiting for me to finish cooking so that they can come and visit. E no go happen. No be everyday be Christmas. I'll lock windows and eat while they watch me from outside, begging to come in. It's all fun though, na moving train we dey call dat one! We'll all laugh about it later, as they wait for their chance to do me back. Life is good.