Mugabe …

It was in a busy pub in Ghana. Mugabe was sitting at a table with some of his security operatives. There was some young men also at the same table – discussing football, and some other issues.
Mugabe says “I like Ghana very much, especially the constant electricity. Foreign policy is dear to my heart”
Fortunately I was at the same table and with my brother-inlaw’s camcorder. I apprehensively put it on and started recording. The security operatives had a hostile look but didn’t make any attempt to stop me. I wanted to ask if I could take a picture with Mugabe, but the atmosphere coupled with the operatives’ unease and my own fiddling with the camcorder, I lost the opportunity. They soon got up and left.

It was 7:15am. I got up, time to go to class (Oracle 11g RAC), we had agreed to come in early to do the practice labs.

19-July-2008

Visit to the hospital

I finally decided to go to the hospital today – haven’t been feeling like myself for a couple of days.
I couldn’t find the company’s special medical card which we were supposed to present at the hospital
to show that we are part of the scheme, but i went all the same.
One of the ladies at the reception insisted that there was no other way to register a new patient
unless I produce the card. So I asked her that what will happen if i drop dead while seated in front
of her, to which she started smiling (she had no replies to that!)
Her colleague took over, asked for my ID card, gave me a couple of forms to fill and that was that.
As a background, 3 weeks ago, I had a bout of Malaria – took Nivaquine, then Atesunate. Was OK for about a week, then the fever returned supported by headache and this hourly stomach cramp that screamed “You have got to go now!” Took Amoxyl for 5 days (dont self-medicate, a doctor prescribed the drugs to me)
Anyways, I am at the hosptal (a couple of streets away from my house) and the only thing In was missing was either a pregnant wife or a wife plus little baby and I’d have been right at home amidst the bustling crowd.
I was taken to the office next door, where a friendly lady took my vitals (reading). Digital thermometer under my tongue took my temperature in about 5secs, digital blood pressure reader (was a little too tight I think). The scale was still the common type that had the little counter weight that was moved around until a balance is achieved to read ones weight (I came in at 74.5Kg).
Saw the doctor who was a little curt at first, but thawed somewhat when he learnt that my dad was a retired member of the frat ūüôā
2 young ladies took my blood (reminder to self: drink lemon tea, blood tonic and Milo to replenish what you lost to the hospital) One looked like she had a “sucky” morning. I thought a little too much fuzz about locating a suitable vein – “right there ladies, I can see at least 3!” After much tapping and proddinh, followed by a vigorous scrub with the spirit-soaked cottonwool, and in we go!

Then it was back to the reception area to wait for the test result. A good opportunity to observe the human traffic. I couldn’t resist the urge to take the picture below (sneaky sideways snap while pretending to do something else) – cute little baby.

Dr ( ….) came out of one of the offices. She was immediately recognisable from her picture in the True Love magazine column she writes. She looks good but in my opinion (held for quite a while from just her picture in the mag) she needs to lose some pounds – but hey! If the husband is not complaining, who am I? But don’t forget the Cholesterol …

A well-dressed woman came in walking so gingerly that a little touch would probably have sent her sprawling. But trust Nigerians and “form” – one would have thought a woman who could barely walk would have on flat heels but she had on these 2-inch heels! I guess “form” thrumps comfort any day!

Conversation between a woman with a baby and another couple:
“You should do exclusive” (breastfeeding)
“Let me tell you, it’s very good, the baby will be doing what 11/12 months odl babies cannot do. They will have no fat you see. It’s one of the best gift you could ever give your baby”
“6 months is a long time o!” (the woman half of the couple commented)
“Let me tell you, I did exclusive for 9 months when I was younger” (husband, this of course elicited various funny comments from his wife – the idea was that¬†the way he put it, it was as if he got his mother to the exclusive, and not just the fact that he was just on the receiving end)
My mother (were she present) would have contributed spiritedly to the discussion (against exclusive)
A nurse with years of experience “knows” that exclusive breastfeeding does not satifsy hungry babies. Also babies should be given plain water frequently. I was heartened later when I saw another woman cajouling her baby to take some water¬†from a feeding bottle.

After about 3 hours, I thought something was wrong and went to ask the receptionist what was going on. I was then informed I should have gone to the reception area in the other office – partly to blame for not using my brain – even though the lab attendants told me to go to the main reception area, I should have known better.
The doctor finally noticed me after a while and said he’d been looking for me earlier. I explained that I was sent to the other reception to which he appologised. He then told me that nothing was found in the test and with his emphasis on Malaria, I finally asked if I was tested for Typhoid. He then explained that blood test for Typhoid was unreliable and that only a stool culture would do. He said I should just “watch” over the weekend and if I still feel something was wrong, I should come back next week. OK, I was really disappointed, despite my recent history, the drugs I had taken, I would have assumed he would at least have ordered the typhoid test which was easier than the much more involved stool test. I spent 4 hours to discover I had no malaria parasite in my blood, what the …!
Anyways, I decided against going to work. I returned home and went to bed. I felt so unwell and cold, I still think there is something wrong with me.
Zero marks for the Doctor on this one. 

Fast falls the evening tide

Fast falls the evening tide
I am he that walks the beach with feet unshod
I am the Iroko, I stand fast: unmovable
I am the Oracle: I foretell your discontent
Why call you from afar?
What ails thee?
The thunder strikes but does not split asunder
The storm rages, but not a leaf leaves its sheath
The sea rises, but what do I care
Now that beneath my shade you stand
Call again, maybe I will answer
Be swift for fast falls the evening tide
When none should be abroad lest woe betide

(28/August/2008 1:41am)

follow the money

Right in the middle of the street was a man literally chasing a 500 naira note. Fortunately the street wasn’t too busy at the time, and the oncoming pickup truck found it sufficiently amusing to halt and allow the man finally grab hold of the note. There he was with the slight wind playing havoc with the man’s timing such that he had to bend-scramble after the note. Quite a few people stood still to watch too.
Here is a suggestion for anyone that suddenly gets an urge to overspeed on Nigerian roads: go for a holiday in Germany and “do” the Autobahn. Floor your engine all out, let it scream, work out the desire from your system in a “safe” environment, then come back home and do 100KM/h on a regular day and 120KM/h if the roads are really free (and that once in a while)
Nigerian roads are not meant for speeding – our natural method of controlling speeding on our roads is to allow boreholes and ditches to develop over time. We then encourage huge trucks, tankers to help “maintain” and “enhance” the “speed controls”. Like all good things taken to excess, the side-effect of too many too large potholes are the numerous daily accidents that happen on our roads. The PIP (people-in-power) are of course not bothered about the human casualty – afterall, what’s the loss of a couple of hundred anonymous people in a population of (according to the immediate past president) 160 million give or take 10million?
Chew (the curd) on that ūüôĀ

Speed Daemon

I would not send my child (if I had one) to a school named “De-stronggest God International School”. The name is cheesy at best and may be passable for some local one-man firm but definitely not a school.
I came back to Lagos with a friend, and despite the fact that he mentioned there might be a problem with¬†one of his back tyres, we were still pushing 150Km/hr regularly. He is a competent driver, but given the state of roads in the country and the number of reckless/incompetent drivers on the roads, I think he is taking “liberties” (un-necessary risks). I have mentioned it in the past and since I am just a passenger – what else can I do but to find alternatives.¬†I say a silent prayer whenever he gets on the road¬†–¬†even though I am not travelling with him.¬†And of course by¬†the morning of the next day, the tyre had gone completely flat.¬†