Sunday, May 31, 2009

Once bitten twice shy u turn into a vampire

Hola peeps. Nunca he estado tan alegre ser detrás casero.

As has been the norm in last few blog entries ur fav blogger should begin this entry by apologizing to y’all and promising (yet again) not to stay away for such a long time and……well, ur fav blogger ain’t doing that. He’s gotta be upfront with y’all that his entries are gonna be few and far between until his exams are done in July. It’s just the way it is peeps. Believe me, so much has gone on that I would love to write to y’all daily but there just ain’t the time. I actually planned to write y’all when I arrived Holland on the 3rd of May, but my luggage got nicked outside the crib by the beach I was renting….at 3.30pm! What a RUUD awakening. (Geddit? Ruud, a Dutch name? Aww, forget yous. Y’all are never gonna get it. Punks.) B4 I tell y’all what I went thru lemme just say I think this incident – soon to be detailed in the yet-to-be-published Nancy Drew and The Case of The Black Man’s Missing Suitcase – made me realize it could be a sign to hold off on marriage for a while longer.

Peep this: Earlier this year Neo called outta the blue and we had an encouraging conversation. Was so ecstatic I contacted my sis Nike in the UK and told her to order an engagement ring for me. I kid thee not. As I didn’t have the foggiest idea what Neo’s ring size was I told her to get me an adjustable ring – apparently such things exist - using her finger as a base case. Few weeks later she said the ring she ordered online was delivered, but wasn’t up to her specification. Told her not to fret as I’d be in the UK in April and we’d go ring shopping together. Fast forward to April 30th and after roaming around Hatton Gardens for 30 minutes I gave up and told her I’d get the ring in Holland. As luggage (with all of UK shopping) got nicked the day I arrived on Dutch shores had to use bucks reserved for the ring to purchase emergency clothes. If that’s not a sign I dunno what is. I ain’t thinking about anything else ‘til my exams are done in July. After then MIGHT cop an engagement ring….MIGHT!

Man, never could believe my luggage would be stolen. Arrived at the crib I’d be renting with two female (MARRIED) colleagues but they weren’t in. Kept knocking on door for 30 minutes b4 I decided to go search for a pay phone so I’d call the landlord. A 5-minute walk yielded no success – do the Dutch have an allergy to pay phones?- I returned to find my heavy as heck suitcase missing. At that point I didn’t put my Nigerian hat on; I somehow felt my colleagues had returned, seen my suitcase, taken it in the house, and commenced a search for me. It wasn’t ‘til when I saw some dodgy dude glancing at me my Spidey sense started tingling that something might be up.

Tunde: Excuse me, did u see any suitcase here?
Dodgy dude (*avoiding eye contact and trying to escape*): I don’t know. I don’t know.

Dodgy dude them bums a cigarette off a passer-by and immediately walks away. I follow him, asking God to forgive me for judging dude just ‘cos he looked bedraggled. Somehow though I knew luggage was gone. Followed dodgy dude ‘til he took some dodgy route to an underpass then I backed off. I still had my passport and spare cash on me and didn’t wanna lose those either. Returned to the crib to find flatmates who said they hadn’t seen luggage. Friggin’ dodgy dude. I knew it was him from the beginning! Ran to the police station and made a statement. From the look on the policewoman’s face I knew not to get my hopes up. Got home and curled into a fetal position while banging my head on wall repeatedly – yes, I am that flexible - for being so foolish as to think no one would take suitcase. Didn’t think anyone would have the balls to nick a heavy-as-heck suitcase – was so heavy I had to pay 110 quid from Heathrow for excess baggage fee – in broad daylight. U know what makes this hurt even more? Earlier in the day I was chuffed that I had done good deed for the day ‘cos two teenage girls had asked me to cop some weed for them and I turned them down. Who knows maybe they were in on it with dodgy dude.

The police asked me to return the next day with a list of the things that were in suitcase – apparently I was too distraught on Sunday to think straight – and as I made out the list I shed a tear for each item. As I had been in the UK for a week prior I’d done loadsa shopping and only thang I planned to purchase in Holland after paying for rent and food for 3 weeks was an extra suitcase and the aforementioned ring. (I think I am most in touch with my feminine side when I shop for clothes and shoes. I get a buzz that doesn’t dissipate ‘til a day or two later. U’da seen me during day of shopping. For all the shirts I picked out I already had a set of pants to go with them. Even copped two skinny ties that woulda killed with a purple polo shirt. Now u can imagine why I was sad.)

It was during break on the first day of the course I copped emergency items: a hat, a jumper, two shirts, a pair of jeans, a facial cum nose hair clipper, and 6 pairs of boxer shorts. U’da seen me the day after rocking a grey hat, green jumper, light blue polo shirt, tight as heck jeans; I looked like an orphaned, geeky stepchild nobody wanted that was dressed by Stevie Wonder. It was almost as if I was paying penance for being stupid enough to leave suitcase in the first place. For the rest of the week had a recurring dream where I found someone wearing one of my clothes and clobbered the dude b4 calling the cops. I even got in full Charles Bronson (from the Death Wish movies) mode walking down dimly lit alleyways hoping, nah praying, someone would try to mug me so I’d take out my frustrations on them. I am friggin’ Nigerian for goodness sake! No way my stuff should get nicked.

I won’t lie losing the clothes and shoes hurt – u’da seen the shoes I bought they were brown leather with tassels, yup, I am bringing tassels back in style – but what made me shed extra tears were the books. I had been studying for these exams for over a year now and had my study notes just right. Do u know how difficult it is to sketch out various choreographs? I had hoped to pass them down to my son in case he chose the same line of work as his pops. And now these heirlooms are gone for good. Oh man, where do I start?

Few days after the dodgy dude nicked my stuff mom called to commiserate on missing luggage. As is the Nigerian way she threw a positive spin on it thanking God that I didn’t observe my bag getting nicked else I mighta wanted to act and the perpetrators mighta stabbed me or possibly worse. That got me thinking of all the sympathy votes I’da garnered….hmmmm. I know, I know it’s sick to think that way but lately that’s the kinda twisted reasoning my mind has been coming up with. For instance, I also tried to justify missing luggage as a chance to refine my wardrobe from tight fitting tee-shirts to oversize baggy shirts, u know like was popular in the mid 90s. Why? ‘Cos back in the UK I was taken to a nite club frequented by Naija folk and in between avoiding the girl with dodgy breath that wanted champagne – I was a wingman – and noticing I hadn’t been out clubbing for so long that I may have lost my mojo I saw a plethora of guys wearing tight fitting tees, almost like a scene from a typical gym when guys flex whenever they pass a mirror. Always prided myself on being different (I started shaving head clean at 16 b4 it became fashionable to do so, dyed hair blonde b4 Sisqo came and ruined it for moi, etc) and thought what would be more different than wearing baggy clothes while everyone was accentuating their guns with tight tees. I know someday I gotta get married and have kids and become more responsible, but until then it’s baggy shirts and dungarees, baby.

Speaking of kids the highlight of week spent in the UK was hanging with nephews and niece. I felt crazy chuffed after nephew Taiwo was trying to replicate a paper boat his teacher had made earlier in the day, and I did it. I friggin’ remembered how to make a boat outta paper; something I last did in kindergarten! Taiwo and his sister kept producing paper from their mom’s printer and I kept churning out boats. I even got cocky with it, timing myself, building paper boats blindfolded, it was amazing. I was like SuperUncle to them that day.

Saw other nephew Zane three days later and dude’s still as cheeky as ever, in other words he still reminds me of me as a kid. Dude’s also an Arsenal supporter –poor guy – and calls all Man Utd supporters girls. Dunno whether I’d be proud of this or be wary I may have a future hooligan on my hands. He told me a funny story about a dude in his class called Adrian who acts all effeminate and wants everyone to call him Princess Adriana. Now this dude is 5 years old, how come he already knows he wants to be a she? This is one of those instances I wish I was a filmmaker so I’d shoot a documentary on Adrian(a) and see how he/she develops as he/she grows older. The wonders of life, eh?

Kinda surprising that throughout years I spent at Bradford I didn’t tour Europe so this time I decided to visit friends in Sweden and France. Thank goodness I copped tickets to both places b4 the ‘incident’ in Holland else I’da spent airfare on clothing. So here’s a synopsis of both countries:

Gothenburg, Sweden: Arrived about 10pm Friday May 8th and took bus from airport to mate’s crib. Kinda disappointed there weren’t better-looking girls on bus, after all Scandinavian women are supposed to be blonde and beautiful. Met mate, had dinner, fell asleep watching Season 1 of Entourage. Apparently, she has links to websites where she downloads movies and TV series. Tsk, tsk, tsk. That didn’t stop me from wishing I had Vincent Chase’s lifestyle though.
Woke up about 11am the next day and went to explore the city of Gothenburg. Quite small city center. Things seem more expensive than the UK – I gather Norway’s even more expensive - and discovered alcohol’s regulated by the government and only one store chain is allowed to sell the stuff. Amazing. Wasn’t awestruck by any of the women ‘til went to a café with mate and her mates. U’da seen this girl peeps. She took my breath away with her looks. Everything was in slow motion the minute she walked into the café. Funniest thang is I’d tell just by looking at her that she has a better looking sister. Dunno why, I just could. After my exams I am desperately seeking a job in Sweden.
Left for Holland on Sunday May 10th and wished I’da spent more time in the country. As they say it’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all….even if it’s a girl across the café who (possibly) has a better looking sister and doesn’t know I exist. Oh yeah, also added fika and sanbo to my vocabulary; though I reckon the latter’s origin is from a pejorative.

Paris, France: Arrived about 10pm Friday May 15th and saw the most beautiful older black lady at the airport; think Bimbo Oloyede of Nigeria’s Channels News. Took subway from airport to hotel I shared with colleague. The subway stations are way larger than those in the UK, but aren’t maintained as well. To be honest they downright stink. Was crazy hungry so black nose led me to the KFC closest to the hotel. Quickly learnt to queue up in the line in front of the attendant that had a Union Jack and French flag inscribed on his nametag. Noticed some big black dude close to the cashier and later discovered he’s the security guard. Seems ALL shops, eateries, etc have BLACK security guards. In fact over the next few days I saw more black people in Paris than I had seen growing up in Nigeria.
Woke up early next day and did the touristy thang. Wore a short sleeve shirt hoping the weather would cooperate. Boy, was I wrong. Went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and couldn’t enjoy the view as much ‘cos it was crazy freezing. Impressive though. Amazing what man can achieve when he puts his mind to it. Was just as impressed by the Notre Dame and the ace shops on the Champs-Elysees. Last up on the agenda for the day was the Moulin Rouge. Now what can I say about the, ahem, art on display at the Moulin Rouge? The juggler was ace, the ventriloquist was amazing, but man, the breasts on display were…how best can one describe them? C’est magnifique. Suffice to say I dreamt of breasts so much for three consecutive days after the hour and a half of entertainment at the Moulin Rouge that I wanted to become a gynecologist. In a recurring theme in Paris there were loadsa black security guards outside the venue but just two black people on stage performing, and they were kept at the back. The black girl on stage wasn’t even allowed to show off her, ahem, assets. Maybe they were afraid she’d steal the attention from the other women ‘cos they all seemed to be about the same size. Oh to be a fly on the wall during the audition process. Er, we love ur dancing skills but er, ur breasts are slightly larger than our recommended size, and ur ribs aren’t protruding enough, so we can’t take u on. Ha. I’m sure it’d be the opposite at Hooters.
Left for Holland on Sunday May 17th and reckoned I spent just enough time in the country. At least we (i.e. moi and the Moulin Rouge girls) will always have Paris. Oh yeah, tried out my Pepe Le Pew French accent a few times, but luckily I wasn’t deemed unimportant enough to be punched in the face.

So that was gist of European adventure. Funny ‘cos after I spent 6 months in Arnhem, Holland in 1998 I felt I’d reside in Holland. I loved the place so much I even culled blog signoff phrase tot ziens from the Dutch. It took a missing suitcase and an obnoxious policeman to convince me the only Dutch words I’m gonna require next time I am in the country are reis verzekering (i.e. travel insurance).

Tot ziens Reis verzekering and God bless.

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