Friday, January 16, 2009

Yes sirree, the world should revolve around me

Hola peeps. ¿Quién habría pensado que Sr. Bush tenía reflejos rápidos?

Been on vacation for a month, but it’s sure seemed longer. U know u been around too long when family start enquiring about ur return date. Ha. These the same folk who were mad ‘cos I chose to spend the Xmas holidays in Uganda.

Yup, that’s two consecutive Xmases in Uganda. Why? ‘Cos loved experience from 2007 that’s why. Got a problem with that u East Africa haters?! The Uganda folk were so chuffed I returned they kept suggesting I acquire some land and a Ugandan bride.

Pssttt, don’t tell the Ugandans but original design was to stop over there for a couple of days on way to Tanzania, but plans were scuttled when would-be TZ hostess couldn’t make it there from the UK; something to do with passport stuck at the Home Office…..or so she said.

Arrived Lagos from 12-day vacation in Uganda and discovered I had contracted malaria. (Come to think of it, started feeling weird soon as passport was stamped at Uganda immigration.) Shoulda known the mosquitoes there were fierce after I observed mosquito nets in hotel rooms. Yup, hotel rooms! Didn’t use the nets ‘cos I am macho that’s why….and also ‘cos the thought of sleeping under mosquito nets took me back to boarding school. No, no, no, stop it!!!!!

Slept for hour long trip from Entebbe to Nairobi, and was obviously uncomfortable during two hour layover at Nairobi that some dude came up to me and offered some drugs. “U look awful. I’m sure it’s ‘cos of travel stress. Take these two tablets and u’ll feel better in 30 minutes.” Now I am not one to take medication from a total stranger let alone medication I can’t read – tablets had Chinese inscriptions…did someone say melamine? – but was in such discomfort I bought a bottle of water and proceeded to the rest room to attempt to swallow the melamine.

Kept pacing back and forth in bid to psych myself up to swallow tablets. Reckon I was arousing suspicion ‘cos some Caucasian dude that looked like a lot like Larry Craig asked me what the matter was. Told him, “I hate medication, hence why I am trying to psych myself to take these tablets. Guess I never learned to swallow non-sweet stuff.” The wily look on his face convinced me I’da constructed the last sentence more adroitly. Quickly moved away from him, tossed tablets in my mouth and instead of swallowing I threw up the previous night’s barbeque (and the Smarties candy I had earlier that morning) in the sink, again and again. Felt slightly better as I staggered back to the waiting lounge and crouched close to the waste disposal basket until we were instructed to board the plane.

Thank God the plane wasn’t full so as soon as I affixed seat belt I nodded off and didn’t wake up for the next 5 hours. Surprisingly there wasn’t much of a line at the Nigeria immigration desk, and didn’t have to wait long to retrieve luggage either. Called Mama the family doctor on way from airport and she provided anti-malaria tablets when I got home. Spent the next three days convalescing and most of remaining ten days at home as part of reconciliation efforts to the family for being away over the Xmas holidays. That’s probably why they counting the days ‘til I return to Warri. Ha.

Oh, almost forgot: Feliz Año Nuevo peeps! Aquí deseándole todo el mejor en 2009. Another year, another chance to affect humanity in a positive I pray. So much to look forward to this year: Barack Obama’s presidency, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and erm, erm, more weddings. My bold prediction for 2009? TUNDE IS GONNA GET MARRIED. Maybe not ur fav blogger Tunde, but I am sure someone named Tunde will get married this year. Seriously though I need to get married ‘cos the moolah I spent in the last year on wedding activities is enough to educate two children up to high school. After the month of February this year I am taking a break off best man /groom’s man /host duties. Why February? ‘Cos got three mates are getting hitched on three consecutive Saturdays at three disparate locations, and been invited to play a part in each ceremony. That means gonna have to cop shirts, ties/cravats, waist coats, and in one of those cases a suit. Now y’all know how much I love suits, but since I’ve moved to the Niger Delta I haven’t had the opportunity to rock suits as much as I’d like so they end up lying fallow in wardrobe.

Now if I was a celebrity I’d auction them off for Charity…or Kate, or Angelina, or whatever stunner I’ll be dating at the time. Hee..hee. Seriously, don’t wanna be famous ONLY so I’d date Hollywood actresses, primarily wanna be famous so chicks cry whenever I hug them or faint whenever I whisper Hello, say who would like to cook me a meal? into a microphone. Until then guess gonna have to keep paying my dues by dancing for bored housewives while hoping to get ‘discovered’ for whatever innate talent can make me famous.

Uganda news: One word, three syllables: Bar-be-que. B4 I embarked on vacation Ugandan mate Dave advised me to pack loose clothing as a group of us would be going on safari. (*Adopting a Steve Irwin accent*) Oh goody, finally a chance to see wild animals in their natural habitat. As if, only animals I saw were grilled. Everyday there was an excuse for a barbeque, non-stop barbequing for 12 days! Had so much meat I became a vegetarian on return to Nigeria.

Ended up not doing any tourist-y stuff and barbeques became boring after a while ‘cos saw same faces over and over and naturally ran outta things to say. Though most of time in Kampala was spent within the Mutungo-Kitintale area, where Dave lives, didn’t fret much ‘cos unlike Nigeria there was uninterrupted power supply – ain’t we Nigerians tired of hearing this? Regrettably, as has been experienced in Nigeria, there was also scarcity of petrol so our outings had to be carefully coordinated….or so Dave rationalized as he drove me to another barbeque. Dude didn’t know I’d long figured out his car ran on diesel not petrol. The punk.

Only event that broke cycle of sleep-TV-barbeque-sleep was Dave’s brother’s wedding. It was beautiful man. Witnessing a convergence of cultures – the bride’s from Burundi – was amazing. However, just as experienced last year the wedding speeches went on and on like a US Senate hearing broadcast on C-Span. Oh boy. Even Dave joked, “the bane of East Africa is the microphone. Trust me East African weddings would be more exciting if peeps emailed their speeches ahead of time.” Righter – yes, it’s a new Tunde word - words have never been uttered.

Nigeria news: Never knew I’d say this but looking forward to returning to Warri tomorrow. Getting stir crazy in Lagos and itching to get back to dancing ‘cos all the barbeque and mucho lounging is causing urs truly to develop love handles.

Especially looking forward to kicking Parminder to the curb and cruising the town with her replacement Miss Beckinsale. Well, maybe not so much ‘cruising’ as crib’s less than 5 minutes drive from the firm so most times I am forced to take the scenic routes in order to finish listening to a CD track. U think I am joking? It took almost 2 months to listen to Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell II CD.

As much as I am excited about returning to work I plan to ease slowly into it, i.e. no jobs in Niger Delta swamps for a while. Reason for this is it gets crazy boring real fast and peeps who have been stationed there for a while tend to be as kooky as Seinfeld’s Kramer. Did a five-day stint there b4 I went on vacation and highlight of tour was the video of Dubya dodging the shoes thrown at him. Definitely the funniest thang I saw last year. Brilliant, sheer brilliant. Can u imagine if the other reporters were in on it and start flinging their shoes as well? It’d be like a live version of those shoot ‘em ups peeps play in the office when their bosses are not looking.

While discussing the Dubya incident with colleagues some veteran called Alhaji blurted out, “Lucky for Bush. If it had been Yar’Adua, or any of his predecessors who never mastered the art of reading without looking at the paper in front of them, that reporter woulda had a field day hitting him with shoes, books, bags, even kitchen sinks.

Though that was the first time we met I grew to appreciate Alhaji’s take on world events. Dude’s thinking is so outta the box no one could mistake him for “Jack”. (Geddit? Geddit? Jack-in-the-box? Aw forget yous.) Ask him any question and he’s got a ready answer that appears foolish at first, but ends up being ingenious.

Q: What to do about state of neglect of Nigerian infrastructure?
Alhaji: “Since the word ‘state’ is in the question let me talk about the Nigerian state governors then. We’d ensure they serve one 4-year term and the position is rotated around different local governments. U want to know why? How many governors’ villages or local governments haven’t improved spectacularly after their son/daughter got to power? Think about it, by the time it comes full circle all areas of the state would be developed. When Ogun State was created Abeokuta was made the capital ‘cos Obasanjo was in the government. When Delta State was created Asaba was made the capital ‘cos Babangida was in government and his wife’s from Asaba. Need I go on?”

Q: What to do about hijacking by Somali pirates?
Alhaji: “I say paint ‘Product Of Ireland: Pork Sausages’ on all ships. That way if the pirates are true Muslims their faith will prevent them from touching pork. Then again, the Muslim faith doesn’t encourage hijacking so that suggestion mightn’t work.”

See what I mean? Dude’s a genius! Peeps, I think I have met my Mr. Miyagi. When I wasn’t talking to Alhaji, or reading, I was er, bored. As happens when I have too much time on my hands my mind starts doing loopy things. Here are a few thoughts that went through head….was so bored I jotted them down:

Last blog entry sure was prescient ‘cos just saw the ‘Single’ music video with Ne-Yo and NKOTB. It’s an unremarkable, formulaic song that Ne-Yo probably cranked out to get NKOTB off his back. Man, is there anyone Ne-Yo hasn’t worked with? Dude’s like the Robert DeNiro of the music industry, just has to keep working, don’t he? Hear Akon’s got a song with NKOTB as well. Wait, maybe question should be who doesn’t Akon have a song with? Between Akon, T-pain and Ne-Yo the entire music industry should be covered.

Lately Akon seems to be in the bizness of reviving calcified careers. Whitney, MJ, and now NKOTB?! I wonder if Akon’s Midas touch’ll work with non-entertainment related issues. For instance, if by hanging with Akon could Eliot Spitzer revive his reputation? Would Hitler receive less of a raw deal if Akon wore a tee shirt with his face on it? Would Nigerians forget that Yar’Adua’s asleep at the wheel if he’s seen at an Akon concert? Ha. Must try to keep promise to self not to bother about Yar anymore….er, is it me or does Yar’Adua bear an uncanny resemblance to Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons? Okay no more.

Man, NKOTB must be real desperate to attempt a comeback. Those teenage girls that loved them in their heyday have probably moved on to other things. I’m sure it musta been Danny who asked, nah pleaded, for a sit down. Dude looks like he’s fallen on hard times and to make matters worse he and Jonathan got stuck at the back in the video. Sad, sad man. Kinda reminds me of those two guys in East 17; yes, the ones that aren’t Tony Mortimer or Brian Harvey. While Tony and/or Brian sing and get loadsa video face time the two extras end up with silly haircuts striking gangsta poses in the background. Guess we can say the same about all Pussy Cat Dolls not named Nicole. Watching the ’When I Grow Up’ video I noticed the one with platinum blonde hair has started raising her leg up in a classic ballet 180 degree angle, almost begging us to take our eyes off Nicole for bit. “Hey, look at me I can point my toes to the heavens!!!!” Sad.

Back to NKOTB, I thought Donnie Wahlberg had a TV/movie career, why would he wanna rejoin the band? Maybe Bernie Madoff made off with his money. Lol…man, I kill myself. Man, sure remember when he grabbed all the attention in New Kids On The Block for of his wild antics. Then he was Donnie D, and vaguely recall an interview he gave talking about his then-unknown brother Marky Mark. Who’da thunk Marky would turn out to be such a good actor? Wonder what happened to the burgeoning music career of MC Biscuit (the New Kids On The Block bodyguard) or Tracy Trace (yes, u guessed right; she’s female member of the Wahlberg family)? Ha.

Uh oh, Keri Hilson’s video ‘Energy’ is on. She’s like the poor man’s Solange Knowles, and that’s downright poor. She looks hot at times, but there’s just something missing; can’t put my finger on it. It’s like she’s trying too hard…..also doesn’t help that her choreography in ‘Energy’ is like the Chicken Dance. Well, at least she ain’t Michelle Williams (of Destiny’s Child fame). The less said of her the better.

Arrrgghhh, so bored….maybe I’d flick thru channels quickly. Here goes: a documentary on P. Diddy showing on BET, an interview with the winner of the Nobel peace prize on CNN, Ne-Yo’s ‘Miss Independent’ video (hmmm, wonder if Miguel Mugu is watching it… hee hee), Beyonce’s ‘If I Were A Boy’ video, Jazmine Sullivan’s ‘Bust Your Windows’ video, Yar’Adua receiving report by Electoral Review Commission. Nope, still bored. Need to leave here soon. Great, just great. Now Estelle’s video is on and been in the swamps so long she’s looking like Halle Barry. Arrrggghhh. Where’s the GOD channel?!

Ever been real broke u start thinking of times when u were hungry in boarding school and thought to yourself if u hadn’t skipped those meals during the holidays maybe u’d not be hungry now? I know, that sentence made no sense to me either. Well, after I returned/escaped from the swamp discovered I was crazy broke, probably broker – yes, another Tunde word - than I’ve been in years, ‘cos cheques I had written months before were only recently cashed. Was scared to go to the ATM ‘cos kept thinking of The Real McCoy sketch where fly-looking dude goes to the ATM with his girl only to find he has no cash. At first the ATM voice prompt politely informs him he’s “temporarily run outta funds”, but when he insists it’s a mistake and keeps jabbing at ATM the buttons the voice prompt responses in a gruff West Indian accent, U are broke, nada, nothing. Razclatt come hia wit him gal trying to impress. Gal, u best lef him. Me sure that chain him wear round neck ain’t real gold even.

Kept racking brain wondering where all my money went and thinking up ways to generate additional sources of income and/or threaten debtors. Got so bad I thought of mate in primary school who stole my lunch. I remember it like it was yesterday. The family had hosted a party at the house the night before so school lunch consisted of party snacks: peppered chicken, sausage rolls, cakes, donuts, ‘stick meat’. Yum yum. Didn’t eat at school ‘cos was saving lunch for the ride home so I’d tease siblings with it.

Rushed to car park class soon as classes ended. Then, as now, I always over-packed so backpack was overflowing with books and soon-to-be-consumed meal musta popped out. Felt something touch backpack and when I turned around I noticed mate (name withheld ‘cos shrink/pastors/Oprah/Dalai Lama advised me to “let it go”) staring at me, but dude denied doing anything wrong. Jumped in car and started teasing Ayo and Nike about the ‘surprise’ I had for them. Opened backpack and boy, was I surprised. Dumped books, toys and other tchotchke out of bag but lunch was nowhere to be found. Burst into tears at the thought of my peppered chicken being consumed by someone else. The next morning I accosted so-called mate and he confessed, “Yes, I took it. In our church they told us not to lie.” And I am thinking, But they were silent on stealing? ‘Cos of dire financial crisis went searching for him on Facebook in the hope I’d guilt-trip him into paying for the current value of the meal he nicked twenty two years ago. Oh, u think I am joking? One small hitch though, couldn’t remember his last name. Called everyone I knew from primary school but they couldn’t remember it either. Bah, humbug!

Raised some money from mates and flew to Lagos. Spent four days there before embarking on trip to Uganda. While in Lagos didn’t gorge on movies as is the norm ‘cos had seen most movies on show. Settled on The Day The Earth Stood Still and wondered what the point of the movie was. It shoulda been called The Earth Musta Stood Still The Day This Movie Was Greenlit. Boy, that movie was awful. Just plain bad. Utter crapfest. It sucked as bad as the food on Kenya Airways on the Lagos-Nairobi leg.

(Now normally I’d not divulge the name of a company that messed up in case it was a one-off but can’t be bothered anymore. Decided on this after I could not make cell phone calls for four days last month due to Globacom’s inefficiency…..more on them later. First, what was I saying about Kenya Airways?)

On Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi – which was delayed by more than two hours (…did see some girl I had a crush on from uni during the delay so it wasn’t that bad…wait, she was there with her husband and kid so yes, it was THAT bad!) - I was offered the option of chicken or beef and chose the former. U know how when peeps tell u they’ve sampled some exotic animal and u ask how it tasted and they say, “tastes like chicken”? Well, Kenya Airways’ chicken tasted like sour cardboard. Come on, how does one get chicken wrong? Never been hungrier on a flight before, and to make matters worse I had seen the movies that were on display so there was nada to take my mind off growling stomach.

Now if I had been on Ethiopian Airlines I am sure I’d not have been too bothered. Haven’t had the pleasure of flying with them, but if the air stewardesses are anything to go by then one shouldn’t have much of a complaint. Saw some of them wander by while entertaining aforementioned crush’s baby girl (and trying not to think how she’da been mine if her mom had given me the time of day) and almost dropped the baby. I tell u peeps if another airline has hotter air stewardesses then it hasn’t been founded. It’s almost as if they hired only beauty pageant winners! Haven’t decided on destination of next vacation but I tell u this, it’s gotta be some where Ethiopian Airlines flies to.

Tot ziens and God bless.

Oh man, almost forgot to tell y’all about Globacom. Nah, I’ll save that for next time as blog’s long enough as it is.

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