I Just Re-Dsicovered Why I Hate Weddings, Driving, Nigerians & Everything in General

There’s no other way to put it. I didn’t realise how much of a bad Easter weekend I was having till yesterday.

It’s 7.15am, the clouds outside the large windows are thick and dark with promises of rain, but all is still. Within, the fluorescent lights are a harsh, glaring contrast to the subtle darkness of outside, and there is a din of greetings, football criticisms and post-Easter cheer.

But I’m unhappy. Miserable almost.

Where do I start? With the tragic news I heard about my phone? Or my run-in with the law? How about the alienation I’m having with Darkman? Or wait, should I talk about how I was almost sent to a watery grave? No…

Financially Challenged
Let me start with my tragic case of BROKENESS. Yes. I was skint the whole of the weekend and a couple of days before even, which is very unlike me. No matter how little I have, I always make sure I’m not in a beggar-type situation before payday. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have savings, my little HoneyPot, as I like to call it, but I’ve gotten very good at pretending it doesn’t exist, so it upsets me HEAVILY when I have to dip my hand into my little honey pot. And what upsets me more is that it’s almost NEVER my fault. Everytime I’ve been really financially challenged, it’s because I lent out money to someone who I’d thought would never disappoint me, and they did. I’m yet to successfully borrow money and get it back at least a week after I was supposed to get it back. It usually stretches into weeks, with correspondence with this ‘friend’ fading to zero, as the said person tries to avoid me. Currently I have a LOT of floating cash out there, and I made a decision on Thursday, as I pulled the ATM card for my HoneyPot account out of my wallet, that I am never borrowing anyone money again. I don’t care what they think of me. I don’t care that these people are some of my closest friends. Call me stingy, whatever. I refuse to have my plans ruined, my phone creditless, and my HoneyPot dwindling because someone somewhere thinks, ‘oh, she’ll understand’. On Thursday night, I sent out venom-filled texts to the 3 people owing me and got meaningless promises and excuses in return.

Sigh.
My N95 is down the toilet. Literally.
My folks travelled for a relative’s wedding on Wednesday, so my sis and I basically had the house to ourselves. I went to the gym 3 more times since my last post, and they went quite smoothly. It’s a good feeling, working out, considering the way I sit in the same place for 12-13 hours of the day. On Friday, I got a call from the dude I gave my phone to fix, and he told me that I should just forget about it, that he’ll get me a new one, but much cheaper. At the time, I think I was really pissed at Darkman, I cant be sure, I’ve been pissed at him a lot these days, so I didn’t really digest the guy’s info. Or maybe I’ve just blocked it out, I don’t know. Basically the phone’s gone.

Road Safety officials Should be Hanged and Quartered.
In the course of that night, I had yet another irritating call with Darkman, and woke up sort of early to do some chores so that I could see him before heading off to a beach party. He, however, didn’t feel the same way and 1 ½ hours before I was set to leave, he hadn’t even had his bath. I angrily told him to stay where he was, and waited for my friends to come over instead. The party was titled Alcohol, Ladies and Sand 2. The first one was last summer. I made everyone contribute to the fuel, cos Alpha Beach is not beans. At Mobil office, we jammed traffic, and someone suggested I pass a shortcut through Oniru. Big mistake. As we passed, we were stopped by Road Safety officials. Guess what they asked for.

Caution signs and fire extinguishers. I mean, WTF??? I showed the guy the caution signs, but really didn’t know I had an extinguisher HIDDEN in the boot. Hello, it’s my mum’s car after all. They said I should show them my papers, but it was mostly insurance copies, and the guy proceeded to ask for the vehicle license slip. I almost told him he was crazy, but said instead that I didn’t have it. The part that mattered was stuck to my windscreen. He made to tear it off, but me and my friend blocked him, and I got livid. I told him he shouldn’t touch it. He said he needed something to hold until I paid my ticket, I felt like telling him to kiss my big, black hiney. He already had my driver’s license. After much cursing and spitting, and telling them they were all stupid for asking for something as unimportant as that when there were accidents out there causing traffic. Finally, angry and hot, I called my mum to ask if there were other copies of the stuff they wanted to confiscate. I refuse to pay 4k for no good reason. Because she was at a noisy place, I couldn’t tell her the full gist, and I wish I had, she would have told me about the extinguisher was in fact, there and all this would have been avoided. But whatever, you know. What’s done is done.

Party Poopers
We got to the party, where finding a non-alcoholic drink or water was impossible. It was too damn hot to savour any thing else, and after over-dosing on goat meat and barbeque fish, we went to stand by the water where there was breeze and easy conversation. It was another Babcock University re-union, but I didn’t see as much craziness as last year, alas. It was during that party that I was once again hit with the reality that there are a lot of sluts out there. There’s nothing sexy about walking about with half of your butt showing or in a scrap of cloth that barely holds everything in. I believe you must have an aim when wearing such, like bedding a rich man’s son or something. It’s disgusting. We were staring like idiots, and we were chicks, imagine those poor guys! Some artist named Shenk (is that correct?) came, and one of his lackeys came and asked me and my girls if we wanted to see him, and I was like, who the hell is he? The lackey seemed annoyed that we weren’t wetting ourselves with excitement, but I would have felt the same way if it was an artist I KNEW. Unless he’s Hayden Christanssen, or Justin Timberlake.

My car got stuck in sand, but we rescued it and headed home at 7.30pm. Easter Sunday sucked. NEPA had been using us to play games all week, taking and bringing the light every 10 minutes. But that day, we saw no light at ALL. And it was scorching. I drove around, unsuccessfully looking for an open salon, then came back to stew. Desperate, my sis and I went to see a late movie at Silverbird, but couldn’t find an open filling station, so I drove home with my fuel on reserve, scared the car would stop on 3rd Mainland Bridge. It didn’t.

Weddings, Traffic and all the Reasons why I Hate Lagos.
Monday was the height. I drove around again, unable to find an open salon, and jammed a pointless 90-minute traffic at CMS. Guess why.

A (insert anger-fuelled expletive here) WEDDING. A bloody wedding. EEEEUUUURGHHH!!!!!

The parked cars stretched for miles, and reduced the 3-lane road to ONE. It was the bottleneck from hell. I was pissed. I’m so not having a large wedding. What’s the point of blocking the streets of Lagos and approaching bankruptcy for an event no one will remember in 5 days?

I also realised the cover for one of my tyres had flown off. Great. I decided to branch the road Safety office, which I only found after 15 minutes of fuel-burning, and I was told I had to pay to a bank (my mum insisted I get her documents back). Vexed, I decided to go home. On the bridge, the caterers from that stupid wedding were passing and they had a convoy of road safety officials (oohh, I hate them now). And they just had to pass by my side. The last bus hit my car. And I almost crashed into the railings. My heart stopped while I tried to swerve my car back into normalcy. Already angry, I got REALLY angry and drove like I’ve never driven before. I was speeding, over-taking like a lunatic, hell-bent on catching up with that convoy. I did a good job, I had them within sight up onto Maryland where I got stuck in traffic. And I calmed down a bit, and thought, ‘what’s the point?’ before turning off and carrying my still scary looking hair to the salon down my street (where I should have gone since).

I hate frigging holidays.

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Onyeka Takes on New Adventures Ep. 2

Ok, I’m back from a rather hectic and somewhat emotionally tasking weekend. I have a lot of things to go on about, so expect a lot from me this week.

Onyeka Takes on LASTMA and Evil Lagos Gutters

Now, it’s been officially a month that I’ve been cruising the streets of Lagos in ‘my car’. And while I’ve had a few issues… I never saw myself jamming those yellow-clothed retards anytime soon. Cue: Darkman. After waking up early to scout for gifts for him (it’s costing me physical and financial stress… the financial I can handle, the physical? Not so much!) We met up at CMS to go catch a movie. He suggested going to the drycleaners.

And it all went wrong from there.

First of all, I said let’s go to VI and do everything there. So, we tried to leave the bendy, confusing roads of Broad Street. He said I should enter a turning. I did. I knew something was wrong the INSTANT I did. A bus was coming our way and blocked us, while flashing his headlights. Darkman wondered why the guy wouldn’t use his own lane. I slowed down, and the words formed in my throat: “Are you sure this road isn’t one-way?”

It never came out. What did come out however, was a LASTMA guy. From NOWHERE. To my absolute horror, he climbed in. I was speechless. I had forgotten to pin down when Darkman had entered minutes ago. At that point I became mute. Didn’t say a word, while Darkman tried to argue with the guy, pleading that we had gotten lost. I reversed out of the street, but at the last minute he said I should take some funny road, and so, I had to engage in some funny manoeuvring. The more the guy spoke, the ANGRIER I got. Angry, because the ‘One-Way’ Sign was facing the wrong way, so that, you would only see it if you ENTERED the street and looked back. Angry because, I would have never taken that road, but I assumed Darkman knew where he was going. Angry because it was going to waste our time and burn my fuel.

So, naturally, my driving temporarily became rubbish. I was reversing badly and I hit a pick up at my back. I was also blocking traffic. And I didn’t care. Darkman saw I was in no mood to be criticized and told me to relax. LASTMA guy told me I should let him drive and I very rudely told him I wasn’t letting him touch my steering. The guy frowned and asked me what I said, and I told him again. Darkman re-phrased it to sound nicer. We perambulated Lagos Island – at one point, a danfo partially scratched my side, jerk – till we got to their office, at which point we parked outside and the guy decided to ‘help us out’ by only asking us to pay N22,500. I almost laughed at that sum. Darkman and the guy argued in Yoruba for almost 20 mins and finally we parked somewhere further away, and he told me the guy won’t come down from 10k. At this point I was just SO amused.

I was like yeah whatever. We agreed to split it 50/50, cos it wasn’t like it was really his fault, and I would have felt bad making him pay the bulk. After he paid the guy, he came in and sat next to me. There was silence for a while, and I felt like I ought to have been livid.

Instead I was fighting the urge to laugh. And that annoyed me more. I told him. And he said he felt so guilty. I just sighed, started playing Robin Thick on the radio, and got moving.

We decided to go to the cleaners’ around there after all. But then he changed his mind and we started winding and turning the streets of Lagos Island again. I had drifted into a better mood and we were talking when …

WHAM!!!

The car sank with a dramatic and heart-stopping thump. I panicked and looked out the window. I had entered an open gutter that stretched right across the road. Someone had thought it wise to remove most of the cement slabs covering it, leaving about 3 or 4 for cars to drive precariously on. I hadn’t seen it, and now the front left wheel was buried in a large pool of soapy water. I couldn’t believe it. And neither could Darkman. Luckily it was a very busy street and once again we were blocking traffic, so a few guys came out to help lift the car. Problem was, every time I tried to move, the wheel sent a spray of dirty soap water everywhere. Tired, I finally got out and let Darkman take the wheel.

We got out. But not before half drenching about 6 guys. And realising my speedometer had decided to stop working. Later on, Darkman asked me if I had prayed that morning. We went to VI, wasted so much time at the Cleaners’ we missed the movie. Then had a horrible lunch at Munchies. The day ended badly after that. I couldn’t believe it. I could have just gone to Agbara and slept. Sigh.

I woke up yesterday morning, reflected over the previous day and felt the anger I should have felt. So much that I couldn’t sleep. I decided to drive back to Agbara. At eight am. Just to kill the distraction.

I ‘m over it now. But I swear, if I see another LASTMA guy…

Onyeka Takes on New Adventures Ep.1

Onyeka takes on Sunday Drivers

So I FINALLY made the bold and daring leap from depressed pedestrian to happy driver. You know… sort of. Sunday morning, I drove down from Agbara to Anthony. I would have gone straight to Bus’s house, but I got a severe fear of getting lost.

I know, years and years of bussing and I never really paid attention to the routes that MATTERED. Oddly though, I didn’t lose my way, until I was about to make my way to Bus’s place. On my way out of Anthony, I missed the exit that would have taken me towards to Third Mainland via Town Planning, and found myself headed down a straight and totally ‘un-Uturnable’ road to Oshodi and beyond. After about 5-7 minutes of fuel burning, I decided to stop and ask for directions. I thought it would be REALLY SILLY if I had to get all the way to Mile 2 just because I missed a turning. Luckily I escaped that embarrassing situation and got to Ikoyi some mins later where Bus and Viva decided to give the car a once-over. They even told their mum about my ‘amazing’ feat, at which point she double hi-five’d me.

Getting to Darkman’s house? Not so smooth. First of all, Bus and Viva misdirected me (they refused to admit this though) and instead of finding my self on the way back to Third Mainland, i somehow ended up on Osbourne. I recovered quickly and got as far as CMS… then I took another wrong turning somewhere, and found myself going the WRONG WAY on a one-way road. I asked at the beginning if it was 2-way, and trust Lagosians, they nodded enthusiastically. I was just lucky it was a Sunday, and no LASTMA was around. After that, I managed to hit someone (more like brushed him with my side mirror – but saying I hit him gives it a more dramatic effect), while driving through one of the narrowest and congested streets I’ve encountered so far. Balogun. THEN, I performed the 25-point turn when attempting to turn a narrow U-turn. At a point there were like 5 people just yelling instructions at me… Hmm, I think I may have scratched the car, but who knows? The finale was parking in his compound.

I told him quite truthfully after that next time, I’ll just park and take a bike there. Saying all this doesn’t mean I’m a bad driver… I’m just not very good. Not like Bus (she’s my vehicular HERO) who dares the twists and turns, crooks and crannies of Lagos… and manages to do it LAUGHING.

Onyeka takes on the Kerosene Stove

So due to an inflation in gas rates and just a general scarcity of all things gas, we have resorted in my house to perpetually using the Electric cooker. While not a bad way of cooking, is miserably slow, so when we need to cook something large like soup or stews, we use…. CHARCOAL!! Believe it.

At Anthony however, apparently we have now been sentenced to a kerosene stove. Last night my dad unwrapped some random Christmas gift he had abandoned somewhere, which was the stove and together we tried to solve the mystery that was assembling it. It went pretty well. My sister was an uncaring observer, and halfway through she disappeared into our room much to my dad’s irritation. It was very rickety, and nothing quite seemed to fit into anything, but after about 20 minutes, with about as much ceremony as the lighting of the Olympic torch, the little stove came to roaring life.

We did this outside because we’ve all heard too many exploding stove stories. I looked at it with boredom – I wanted to go to bed – but had to smile when I saw the happy triumph on my dad’s face. Fast forward to this morning. I had originally made a mental note to get up a few minutes earlier, so that I could boil water AND still have time to make my dad’s breakfast. Well, guess what, I didn’t.

First of all it took ages to light the stove, then AGES for the water to get hot (I had to have a hot bath, mehn, it was COLD). Then I had to do my dad’s grub. The pots were nice and black by the time I was done, so I had to scrub it off. Oh yay. Then I forgot that turning off the fire was not as easy as turning a knob. I didn’t realise that till I was about to go and I still saw a hint of flame. I did all this, plus have my bath, arrange my hair and dress up… in 30 minutes. Can someone give me a virtual high five for kicking domestic butt?? Anyone?!