Of ghosts of erstwhile lovers (1)

I’ve always been your easygoing girl-next-door kinda girl. Lazy some say, but let’s just say I have a wide comfort zone ; ). One of the perks of being laid-back was that i never really had the drive to pick a fight or be mistrustful of other people. I found those things energy-draining. Whenever people made statements like ‘don’t trust anyone’, I felt they came from another planet.
Fast-forward almost three decades into her life, and your girl-next-door has ‘hired’ a friend to help investigate her new ‘love interest’. When did I become this person that gets a panic attack because someone saw someone in her man’s car? Hey, before you judge me, let me give you a background story.
The first blow life dealt me in the area of trust was subtle but numbing. It was sometime in 2011, during my NYSC. Orientation camp was thick with ‘relationship fever’. Every girl wanted a boyfriend. Single girls, married girls alike. For the guys, it seemed they all had a common goal; to get in between as many thighs as possible in the three weeks that camp lasted. As for me, I wanted no part in all that frenzy, I hated every minute of camp! I couldn’t get past the dirty toilets, the boring lectures, the endless military-style marching, oh the endless marching! And don’t even get me started on the ‘illiterate graduates’. Grammatical errors flew left, right, centre like missiles during a war. What sort of graduates are our Nigerian Universities churning out? My heart bleeds for our education system. But I digress.
How I met this guy on camp, I honestly do not remember. Was he in my platoon? Did I randomly bump into him? Did I see him with a book and ask to look at it? It seems my brain simply refused to store that memory. Anyway let’s call him Johnny. He came around and warmed his way into my heart. Suddenly camp didn’t seem so bad after all. I even started to catch the relationship bug, but I had a criteria any potential ‘camp boyfriend’ must meet; it’s either he schooled abroad or he had a Masters degree. Why? Just because.
Johnny schooled in Malaysia, so even with his not-so-good English laced with misplaced Ls and Rs, I entertained his presence. We remained friends even after camp, and started to date a few months after we met. I wasn’t in love with him, but his persistence won me over. My instinct told me I had no business dating him, but I always told myself I was single and bored, so I stood to lose nothing. Little did I know i was setting myself up for the seed of mistrust to be sown in my life. I should have listened.
Things went well with Johnny. There were occasional dates and visits. I went with him to his church most Sundays. After every service I would throw a tantrum on our way home, but the next Sunday, yours truly will get dressed again and wait for Johnny to come pick her up. You see, it was a few months to the 2011 general elections and I found services in Johnny’s church rather political. Every service felt like being present at the manifesto of a political party. In retrospect I wonder if my tantrums were justified. But once again I digress.
My cousins and friends liked Johnny. It was hard not to like him, with his calm endearing nature and all. I never really nursed thoughts of him being ‘the one’, but I got very comfortable with him. Comfortable until a certain name ‘Joyce’ started appearing too frequently on his phone. Comfortable until I noticed his phone was always on silent mode when I was around. Comfortable until I noticed Johnny’s phone that usually lay carelessly around his living room was now always hidden in his pocket. I decided to do some investigation on his Facebook profile, and I was able to match the name to a face. I confronted him, and was told some cock-and-bull story. Naive as I was, I believed him.
I got to work early one beautiful Wednesday morning and decided to browse through my Facebook page while I waited for my colleagues to arrive. The first thing I saw on my timeline were photos Johnny had put up of himself and Joyce hand in hand, with that smirk typical of new lovers plastered on their faces. Wow, i certainly didn’t see that coming. STRIKE ONE!
I moved on after Johnny, met and fell in love with this amazing guy, Uzo. He was the perfect gentleman, mature, and did I mention tall, dark and handsome? We had our little disagreements of course, but these were nothing to be compared to the good times. It should have been the perfect relationship. Perfect if I wasn’t constantly nursing the fear that someday Uzo would pull a ‘Johnny’ on me. Uzo handled my mistrust with a lot of maturity, and we got along fine till I got a job elsewhere and had to move to a new location. Neither of us put in enough effort to make our long-distance relationship work, and we eventually drifted apart.
I moved on with my life, new city, new job, new toasters; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the dude that dealt me STRIKE TWO! He belonged in a category of his own. Let’s call him Abel. Ah, where do I start from with this one!?
Our meeting was boy meets girl at the bus stop, they connect instantly, share a cab, and then…
To be continued… una too like gist
DISCLAIMER: This may or may not be fiction…

Of Wedding colors and Bridal train brouhaha…

I love weddings, I really do. What’s not to love? I absolutely cherish the look on the groom’s face when he first sights his bride walking in. While everyone else is up and fixated on the bride, I’m busy studying the groom’s expression. Yes, I’m eccentric like that. For me, that look never gets old. I love the exchange of vows and all the emotions that come with it, especially when the couple writes their own vows. Read More

Of Lagos Danfo Drivers, Abuja Cabbies and Iya Bose

Moving to Lagos in 2010 for my compulsory National Youth Service came with a huge dose of culture shock, having done Primary School in Benue, Secondary School in Plateau State and University in Zaria. Everything fascinated me; The seemingly seamless stretches of water, the fast-paced nature of the city, the strong commercial presence, the crowd, the way fights broke out spontaneously and insults were hurled out so easily, that awful stench that lingered everywhere from the backstreets of Ebuta Meta to the posh parts of Ikoyi, the yellow ‘danfo’ buses that literally drove bumper-to-bumper.

Bus rides were an exciting part of my stay in Lagos even though I didn’t care much for the sweaty bodies that pressed against mine in the crowded buses or the way the bus conductor shouted abruptly at every bus stop, leaving me with palpitations. The names of bus stops in Lagos usually left me amused- Oshodi-Oke and Oshodi-Isale (which i never got right till I left), Transformer, Century, all sorts of unlikely names, even Cemetery. Uncomfortable as the rides were, I relished the opportunity to watch and study people; the careless drivers, the aggressive bus conductors, the impatient passengers, the drug peddlers who always had that one miracle drug that could cure everything from cancer to a heartbreak. The most amusing passengers were the religious preachers. These ones seemed to have a similar calling to declare an eternity of fire and brimstone for all fornicators and knew it was time to collect an offering when they had successfully manipulated the passengers into feeling guilty. The drivers particularly amazed me, with time i came to look at their recklessness as simply a survival instinct.

I moved to Abuja in January 2012, and it felt like I had lived in Lagos all my life. Every thing seemed so different. Everything except that reckless attitude of commercial drivers, especially the cabbies. This recklessness seems so out of place in Abuja with its wide paved roads, bright lights and easy-going populace. Four years later and I have come to the conclusion (true or not) that it’s the same danfo drivers in Lagos who moved here to become cab drivers. I however won’t make an excuse for the Abuja cabbies like I did the Lagos danfo drivers. Here, It’s beyond a survival instinct. It seems they are simply on a mission to frustrate me to tears every morning.

Have you ever questioned if the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is manifest in your life? Just visit Abuja for a week and drive around or commute by taxi.
Abuja taxi drivers will test your patience and self control! They will make you question your love walk. I can assure you the week won’t pass by without one ‘along’ driver making an abrupt stop right in front of your moving car because he sees a potential passenger. Yes, the 50 Naira he’s about to make is more important to him than your life.

Then the old Yoruba cabbies? Ah, they will test your gentleness! Those ones understand English perfectly till you guys get lost or it’s time to pay, then all he understands is Yoruba. The younger Yoruba cabbies aren’t as annoying as their fathers. But i must warn you that those ones have to make a stop at ‘Iya Bose’s’ to ‘make change‘ and have a quick shot of agbo, especially those mornings when you’re late for work or an appointment. By the way I noticed that the Iya Bose around the corner from us now sells ‘kpomo‘ in addition to the agbo… But I digress

What have been your experiences like with the cabbies and bus drivers? What has been the greatest test of your patience with these guys?