Sunday, May 28, 2017

The 40 year old bed-wetter

Hola peeps.

Currently on a Kenya Airways (KQ) flight from London to Nairobi and would normally spend flight time catching up on the inflight entertainment but the remote control is busted. Why can’t I adjust the screen manually? Yeah, the unhelpful flight attendant suggested the same after I summoned her (manually) by waving arms frantically. Can’t be bothered as I have flown KQ circa 10 times since the beginning of the year and the entertainment offering hasn’t budged since June last year. Punk ass KQ. Now I find myself staring at the awful The Accountant (dude seated to my right) and Harry Potter and Tunde Doesn’t Give a Hoot (dude to my left). Oh goody, crap airline food is being served. Shall return to the blog after this intermission…..

….I am back!!! Typing with one hand after my left hand was scalded with hot water. I suspect the guilty attendant may have read the top paragraph castigating KQ. I’d sue, but then again…..where was I? Sorry, Training Day is showing two screens to my right. Excellent movie. Yeah, KQ is lucky I am all for promoting African businesses so no chance of litigation here. Plus with my increased tolerance for pain from kickboxing training the burning sensation will soon pass. Punk KQ.

2 days in the UK, then 4 US cities in 10 days, and finally one night in the UK before hopping on this flight to Nairobi. I’d arrive in Nairobi 5am tomorrow morning and then board the 730am flight from there to Juba. Plan is to go directly to the office from the airport and know it’s going to be a tough week as jetlag has never been a buddy of mine and I have loadsa work piled up. No rest for the talented, eh?

Unexpectedly, US trip was very relaxing. Guess it helped that I stayed at hotels this time instead of with friends/family as was previously the wont. Domestic air travel within the US remains the acme of privation - charges for checked-in luggage, charges for carry-ons, sale of food and beverages on the plane, etc. The flights themselves were mostly uneventful except for Spirit Airlines where an audible sound was heard when plane taxiied. I thought I was going loco when I heard what sounded like a DJ ‘scratching’ a turntable when taxiing before takeoff from Atlanta airport, and then it happened again and again. Was about to panic until dude beside me, a frequent flyer on Spirit Airlines it turns out, guffawed and assured me the noise was normal. The “normal” sound occurred again, in the same sequence, just after plane landed in Baltimore. The experience/sound took me back to teenage years in Nigeria driving a jalopy where spare funds were used in purchasing shawarma and sponge cake from Dallas Bakery, Apapa for whomever I was crushing on at the time instead of replacing car brake pads. In order to cajole car to stop I would “pump” the brake repeatedly with foot while fiddling a rosary in hand not on steering wheel. The noise that emanated from car was similar that heard on the plane ride. I should thank the cheapskates at Spirit Airlines for taking me back to a simpler time when I had no money. Such memories keep one humble.

Speaking of weird sounds I heard a police siren while working out in New York and it took a while to register this sound was as a result of my fart. I kid you not. It was like my butt was conducting an orchestra. Siren would cease when I clenched butt then resume when I unclenched. Good thing only other person at the gym had his headphones on. I blame American food.

Since last blog entry I got over my cunctating tendencies when it comes to technology and finally activated my uber complicated new phone. Not impressed. Phone is heavy and I’ve had to buy a new wardrobe just so it can fit into pockets of my pants. Dunno if new wardrobe has anything to do with it or it’s all in my head, but I coulda sworn my pants fitted snugly on the day I left Juba for the UK, and throughout two week stay outside the country I did not need a belt. Today when I am set to return to Juba pants are slack around waist again. Same thing happened just over the Easter break when I travelled to Kampala. Moral of the story? There ain’t any.

Kampala was fun as usual and ace seeing David’s extended family again. Met one of David’s mates nicknamed A-Pork-Alypse ‘cos of his affinity for pork. He is the member of the X-Men you never hear about. By day he drives around in a van with a radio antenna scanning people’s telephone conversations for pork orders and by night, well, he does the same thing at night as well. It is a full time job. You know how Wolverine’s claws protrude when he is about to engage in battle, in A-Pork-Alypse’s case meat skewers protrude from his body when he is about to engage in battle…with pork. I witnessed this in the flesh, it was a sight to behold.

The night life in Uganda was interesting as always, but still do not get why David loves Guvnors night club. Yes, he gets VVIP treatment, but what use is exclusivity when…..how best can I say this…..at my age there’s no way I should be the youngest guy in the club. I mean c’mon! The women there were wearing their Sunday best – spanx did not help - and actually went all in on the Sunday theme by practicing their church dance steps in the club. It’s as if all churches in Uganda decided to have a gathering of deaconesses at the night club. Not gonna even talk about the men and their protruding guts - spanx did not help either. You know someone is too old to be in a club when he asks the waiter for a glass of warm water to place his dentures in before stepping on the dance floor.

Finally had a non-pervy massage. Well, had two - in Kampala and Nairobi – and they were great. So glad there were no “incidents” to report. Well, sorta. The masseuse is Kampala was very good and does house calls. She was probably a hairdresser in an earlier life as she regaled me with stories upon stories while giving me a hot stone massage. Funniest story was of a guy she diagnosed with STDs while giving him a massage. Forget hairdresser, she musta been a clairvoyant! She said she could tell from discoloration on his skin and suggested he get checked out. Problem is she announced her diagnosis while dude’s wife was in the room. She hasn’t been invited back to dude’s crib since.

Expectedly, I caught up on movies during my time away from Juba. Saw the New Edition (NE) movie on BET and it’s as impressive as Straight Outta Compton. Really need to appreciate what these guys have accomplished coming from where they came from. With success of NE movie, are we gonna have copycats like how superhero movies keep going on and on? We gonna have The Search For All-Black Leather Outfits: The Jodeci Movie soon? The NE movie showed importance of ‘other’ members of the band. Learnt a few things I never knew about the group. Movie took me back to…..crushing on Feyi Faye Fasan in primary school…..Oti Barrow trying to repeat steps to If It Isn’t Love music video in boarding school…..listening to Hit Me Off just before leaving Nigeria for Bradford……dancing to Something About You in Bradford with some Asian girl called Anita and desperately searching for Ricky Bell’s kangol hat from the video.

Also saw Fate of the Furious and can see Tyrese’s dealing from the Chris Tucker Rush Hour series deck of cards. Hey, who am I to question someone’s career path? I chose to relocate from Lagos to Juba for goodness sake. Being in Juba reminds me of time in boarding school where one looked forward to visiting day – quarterly board meeting in my current scenario – or when term ends – planned trips outside the country in my current scenario. Do you know as soon as I unpacked bag from weekend trip to Nigeria in April I immediately packed for Kampala trip which was two weeks away? Did the same for UK/US trip after returning from Kampala even though travel date was over a month away! I clearly needed this trip as hectic workload – and no work-life balance - in Juba was getting to me. Woke up some Saturday wondering whether or not to go for yoga and that’s when it hit me that all my weekends in Juba are alike. Can’t even say for sure if yoga is helping with stamina during kickboxing class, but I know it made me flexible enough to lance a boil on back two months ago.

You know you need a life when highlight of your weekend is kickboxing class. You know you need a life when you believe birds on windowsill are not so much singing as ululating like Tarzan to invite other animals over to window. You know you need a life when the only part of dream you can remember is paying a cable bill…..in Juba Arabic! Told ya I started Juba Arabic classes, right? Going okay. Actually took my Juba Arabic text with me to the US fooling myself into thinking I would read it. I practice the language with my driver and design mnemonics for grasping certain words. Even tried to teach my daughter to say Ma salaam (goodbye) during one of our weekly FaceTime sessions. Her response? “I do not live in South Sudan, why would I ever need to learn to say the language?” Touché.

Dunno if it is my chef’s cooking or drinking tamarind juice, but don’t seem to need air freshener again in Juba. First day I noticed it was when poop smelled like curl activator and next time it smelled like freshly cut wood. You know you need a life when poop is redolent of hair care products. Sadly, had to cut down on tamarind juice when I happened on its laxative properties during a 10k run last month. You don’t wanna know how that story ends, trust me. Just leave me with the patina of self-respect I have managed to cling to. Next topic please.

Yeah, observed I have to have cloth hangers face same direction, blinds have to be drawn just right and all cupboards shut while executing HIIT, I mean it’s driving me insane. So now I am trying to observe behaviour properly to “surprise” my pseudo-OCD. For instance, which leg goes into pants first, reason for applying deodorant after body lotion and why not before, etc…..

Going back to chef’s cooking for a minute, I sure am glad I hired her as I do not look gaunt anymore. Her cooking has helped reduce consumption of crap….somewhat. During previous trip to the UK in February I filled a duffel bag with chocolate and stuffed freezer full with chocs hoping the sight of all that chocolate would shock me into giving up or curbing amount of chocolate I consume daily. Did it work? Peep this: Had a bad sore throat last month and someone recommended honey and lime. Did not have any honey or lime so this 40 year old punk ended up gobbling chocolate and a can of Sprite. Sad thang is it made sense to me at the time. See why I need the chef in my life?

Other things I need in my life include a kickboxing fight. Actual fight, no more sparring. Exhibition flight planned for April 21st was cancelled as my opponent backed out. Not that he was scared of me or anything, just that he had other priorities. Trying to simulate what a real fight would be like with regular household practices. The other day I popped a zit on nose just to imagine what it would feel like to be punched on the nose, and I have taken to quickly guzzling freezing water hoping the brain freeze would provide a clue to experiencing what getting hit in the face would feel. You know you need a life when….yeah yeah I am sure you get it by now. Really need a fight so I can get my macho on. Recently, after having not spoken in about a fortnight the first words outta Chief’s mouth were “I have missed you”. You what? Tried to play it off as if I did not hear and he repeated it again. “Didn’t you hear what I said? I said I miss you.” I quickly repeated the same to him sotto voce so he would stop harping on about it. You gotta love the dude.

Rest of family is good and I continue to thank God for them. Lost my aunt Kate to cancer few months ago and recent death of friends’ parents have got me thinking about my relationship with God and what I would do when my folks pass on. Like to think of myself as hard especially when it comes to emotionally issues but I really surprised myself after mom had a near fatal car accident in 2011. I recall sobbing like a baby and didn’t even know why, tried to stop myself but couldn’t. Even worse I did it in public! Trust me I tried my darndest to stop and I couldn’t. I remember Nike talking to me on the phone and I couldn’t stop crying. She (and I later discovered the rest of the clan) could not believe what they were hearing/seeing. I couldn’t either. Man, I hate to think of that time. Chris Rock has a line in his new standup special where he says he hopes to find God before God finds him. Hear, hear.

Tot ziens and God bless.

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