Sunday, July 16, 2017

Kamala Harris is my new crush

Hola peeps.

Rainy Sunday in Juba. Just returned from kickboxing class and Coach was impressed I had not forgotten my technique. Due to number of trips I have made this year I doubt I have had eight consecutive kickboxing classes, i.e. an entire month, uninterrupted. Come to think of it I have passed through the (still under renovation) Juba airport every month this year and looking like I am gonna keep the record going for rest of the year. No rest for the talented, eh? I kid.

I know it’s a lot of travelling and apart from the exposure the other downside is having to see this one dude at the airport departure lounge that comes up with the same hackneyed line all the time. Recall the first guy in Juba that ever solicited a bribe from me? Yup, same dude. Since our ignominious meeting we have become friends, well, maybe “friends” is stretching it a wee bit, but we exchange pleasantries every time we meet. Our exchange each time is so similar it should be scripted.

Me: So how is work?
Airport dude: Boy, things are tough.
Me: Yup, things are tough everywhere.
Airport dude: But you are travelling again and leaving us behind.
Me: But I am going for work.
Airport dude: So nothing for us to buy water to drink?

And so goes our merry dance. Dude once saw me twice in four days and we went through same routine both times as if our first encounter earlier in the week never existed. Last month I tried to avoid him by donning a rasta hat once I was done with passport control, but there was no fooling this dude. Had to part with a granola bar that day as I had no spare funds on me. Wish he could use his detective skills to discover perpetrator behind vandalised side mirrors of car.

On way home from kickboxing class I stopped by local supermarket – and one of the largest in Juba – to buy insecticide and bog roll and was disappointed to find they had the same crap brand of the latter that has been chafing my butt for yonks. Am I gonna have to start importing bog roll now?! Seriously, it’s like using sandpaper with an extra patina of ground glass to boot. My annual medical check is due next month and since I am now over 40 I was considering asking about for a prostate exam. Now I am contemplating skipping that conversation until next year before doctor thinks I am some perv with a baboon fetish.

Was away in Nigeria for 3 weeks and returned a few days ago. Before that it was 4 US cities in 10 days – jetlag sapped my energy on return, needed the David S. Pumpkins video to keep me going…seriously - and before that it was a week in Nairobi. The Nigerian trip was meant to last 2 weeks but was forced to tag an extra week on due to a tooth infection. Boy, am I glad it did not occur in Juba else I would have hurriedly had to fly out to Kampala or Nairobi and in the process bump into my friendly neighbourhood airport taxman. Had to have a root canal done and a temporary crown is gonna be fitted next month. Between the Nigeria and UK dentists I should be given a plaque or some sort of recognition for keeping the dental profession humming along. Need to drastically reduce sugar intake though I suspect mouth problems are probably legacy issues from time I did not take oral health too seriously. Nah that’s not true. Ever since I saw the $1,200 bill for my first root canal in Atlanta in 2001/2 I ensure I brush and floss twice daily….most of the time. Sometimes I skip brushing teeth at night if I am too tired, other times, as recently as yesterday, I do it intentionally.

Mate in Nigeria took me to a spot two Fridays ago for fish peppersoup served with sweet potatoes. The pepper was just right and the sweet potato combo was novel to me. Meal was so amazing I dreamed about it yesterday! Meal was so amazing I purposely avoided brushing teeth that night just so I could savour the sumptuous taste in my dreams..and I did! Same happened with crab meal (cooked Hong Kong style) I had in Washington DC last month. Dreamed about that crab for two consecutive nights. Another “meal” worth paying a fortune to dentists for is the kettlecorn sold at CVS pharmacies in the US. That stuff should be illegal! No one cannot convince the popcorn isn’t laced with crack cocaine. And I know ‘cos after I was done quaffing down a jumbo bag in 42.53 seconds – a new record – last night I found myself trying to sniff the specks that fell on my bedsheet. Do…Not..Judge….Me.

Speaking of food my chef seems to be back playing hard to get with my food….again. I pay her a monthly sum to buy foodstuff and cook same. Even gave her a recipe book, but she decides what she cooks and when she cooks. I don’t fret too much as she has recently began paying attention and making me fruit salad but my requests to have other types of meat apart from chicken have fallen on deaf multi-pierced ears. The other month I thanked her for fruit salad and reminded her of my aversion for bananas she went ahead and bought bananas next time she went grocery shopping. Before I left for Nigeria I told not to cook ‘cos I’d be travelling and what do you know I get large meals every day during week I was set to travel. Had to give leftovers to the driver.

It’s been a week since I have been back and she hasn’t cooked one bit. Last time she did this and I told someone I was going to fire her I returned from gym that night to find a bowl of fried chicken. It’s like I said, she seems to be playing hard to get. Wait, could it be she has a secret recording device in apartment? Now I need to find a way to type rest of this blog in code so she doesn’t figure out….nah, no one has time for that. IF YOU ARE READING THIS FATIMA, COOK ME SOME FOOD OTHER THAN CHICKEN ELSE I AM GONNA GET SOMEONE ELSE. OH, AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, I AM ON TO YOU. I DO NOT BUY YOUR EXCUSE ONE BIT THAT HAVING A CANDLE-LIT MEAL WITH YOU WHILE SMOOTH JAZZ IS PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND IS THE WAY THINGS ARE DONE BETWEEN CHEFS AND THEIR BOSSES WHERE YOU ARE FROM. JUST GIMME SOMETHING NON-CHICKEN-Y (AND SANS BANANA) TO EAT!

Did not have to worry about food in Nigeria ‘cos every day I treated myself to something different. I definitely overdid it as had ice cream up to 5 times a week knowing best non-store bought ice cream I’d get in Juba is that at Crown Hotel that tastes more like cream without the ice. Another advantage of Nigeria was not having to shave self as there was a barbershop close to office and another close to the crib. The former was more convenient if one ignored the fact that the ever present proprietor’s a 52 year old aspiring rapper who spends his days “dabbing” along to Nigerian music videos when not trying to up-sell his clients a variety of goods. On last visit the dude suggested I buy some aftershave that’s supposedly “the best”. All I remember is it stung like crazy and left me with an after-taste smell of fish. Yup, fish.

Got to see family, which is always good, and boy, are nephews and nieces grown. Picked up Kinzo’s kids for lunch one Sunday and his son Kanye sat in the front seat. I remember when this dude was born and here he is discussing footie and teasing me at Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. #WengerandOzilOut

Just after I returned to Juba Loye called to break the good news about his newborn. That makes 24 grandkids (and counting?) for Chief. Dude’s truly blessed. Now I am tempted to go all DJ Khaled at the BET 2017 Awards and scream..”this is my best blog ever ‘cos I wrote it for my new born son nephew yo, for my son nephew!!!” Ha. Speaking of BET Awards the performance by New Edition was amazing, if you ignore Bobby Brown’s misplaced choreography. On another tip, couldn’t help but notice My Prerogative is the most atavistic R&B song title ever. Even antebellum soldiers writing home to their loved ones from the battle front with their marvelous penmanship never used the word “prerogative”. I sure woulda loved to have been there during the songwriting process. Was it one of those Learn-A-New-Word-A-Day days and prerogative happened to be the word of the day? Shall await the next BET New Edition Extended Special – y’all know it’s coming – to shine on light on this.

While we are on this I recently discovered the true lyrics to Michael’s Jackson’s Beat It. Always thought there was an F-word in that part of the song that states, “showin’ how funky..” Y’all can tell I am bored, right? Well, not really…well, sorta. Workload’s so insane I decided to take a day once a week where I don’t bother with work emails so I can stay sane. Plus, half the year’s gone and haven’t attended one Nigerian Union meeting this year. Doing utmost not to miss that for next month in order to have my doctor’s recommended dosage of Nigerian comic relief.

While in the US first saw ad for untuckit.com and thought it was a naff idea until I saw it again last week on CNN. To the uninitiated it’s about some dude selling a shirt especially designed to be worn untucked. Now why didn’t I think of that? Took a sleeve – geddit? – outta his book and currently working on ¾-length pants especially designed to be worn without underwear. Yup, going commando, or “sailing” as we used to call it back in boarding school, is soon going to be all the rage.


Tot ziens and God bless.

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