Yesterday

I didn’t make it to church again! I was too wasted to get up – drifted in and out of sleep (and no, you evil minded person thinking evil minded thoughts about me – it wasn’t a typical hangover! I just didn’t go to bed early enough ūüôā
I promised myself several times now to make one of the in-week services, but I always seem to have an excuse (sometimes valid) whenever the time rolls around. I need to make an extra effort as my soul is in danger of …

My barber seems to have moved away, so I asked one of the workmen demolishing the next building to hop in and give me a skincut in exchange for lunch – well you know how that turned out! Actually, I asked my younger brother – and he did an OK job (not his first time of course). It could have been smoother of course, but since I decided at 10PM to get a cut, coupled with the state of the light, I have to live with the consequences. And if anybody makes fun of me and asks awkward questions such as “did you use a knife to cut your hair”, I could always reply “no, your brother did”

I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately, I think it’s the computer¬†– I am always at it day and night. I really need to get a life. Even though “edgy” is not a description one would normally apply to knife, still it conjours images of “sharp and mean” which is good? No? But when applied to a person it connotes touchy, snappy, ready to break?

By the way, that barber’s disappearance is kind of fishy – maybe he destroyed some groom’s hairdo on the eve of his wedding and the groom set his posse of 7 groom’s men on him (one could only wish)

Social Commentary 5 and 6

Social Commentary 5 (July 2008):

At the Greyhound bus station:
One “nigger” to another customer at the counter (making appropriate gestures)

“You have a great body, it would look even better on my phone.”
(Meaning he wanted to take a picture of her using his phone)

After whatever expression the lady gave him facially, he said laughing:¬†“Just playing with you!”

 

Social Commentary 6:

“Know Pain” – the signboard of some clinic just on the outskirts of Richmond I believe. I suspect it’s run by some non-native english speakers¬†(no offence meant – probably Asiatic). I wonder how much custom they get with that signboard – “Know Pain” – indeed!

do no harm

The person was obviously chasing me with intent to do me harm. After a long run, I ended up in a vast desolate landscape with shrubs and a few scattered trees hinting at denser forest on the horizon. The feeling it evokes in me is almost sadness coupled with awe. I soon came to a deep and wide chasm (the bottom was not visible). The only way across was a 10-story vertical slim “pillar” make of huge blocks stacked one on top of another and loosely held together by mortar. The was connected to a similar vertical pillar on the other side with a strip of land probably the same length across as the pillars were tall and about 4 feet wide. It looked really old and I got the impression that the surrounding land must have been at that level until something happened and everything fell away leaving only the “bridge” at that level.
I scrambled up the sides. At the top, there was a tractor balanced precariously and exactly the width of the thin strip of land that linked both sides together. It was so tight there was no way to get on top of the strip and I had to make my way across hand over hand hanging over the chasm. The strip began to unravel and as it came down, I swung to the pillar on the other side amidst the debris of the collapsing walkway. I then made my way down. I continued to run and from a distance I could see that he was able to make it across the chasm by jumping over the rubble from the bridge. I kept running and soon came to a settlement. I asked a group of people sitting down under some shade how I could get to my home town (strange) and an old man got up and asked me to follow him. He took me through a fence unto a windy tarmac road with clay-red earth on its shoulder. He said I should be able to get transportation from there. I thanked him and for some strange reason discovered I knew the place where I now was, and how to get to my home town. Then I woke up. I am sure I have seen that same setting in a dream many years ago when I was much younger – go figure.

(original draft on May 30, 2008)

urban legends

The sentence below is from “The vanishing hitchhiker” (http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/vanish.asp) . The last part “before things went to hell in a handbasket” just tickles my fancy for want of a better way to put it. It’s something I can re-read like 10 times and still want to read again. Certain novel combination of words (yes, I know it’s not new) just moves me that way.

Quote: “This form of the legend often surfaces in the wake of a natural disaster, with the encounter said to have happened maybe al of a week before things went to hell in a handbasket.”
You may want to visit the site itself – it’s about urban legends.

iMAX

Went to the Dome Cinema owned by The Charlotte Observer today to watch “Sea Monsters” on their iMAX screen. It was incredible. I am in the “field” so I shouldn’t be so awed, but it was something. I wanted to watch some other film on the one in London, but the night I went there with my brother, they didn’t have anything I thought was worth the experience. Though now that I think back on it, it seems the same “Sea Monsters” was one of the 2 or so films they had on that night. We started watching the “Dinosaurs” documentary after that, but they had focusing issues and returned the tickets for a full refund or come back another day to watch any of the films they had playing (not in Nigeria). Took the light rail (intercity train) to and fro. Clean and big and fast.
Ok, 2 nights before I left Reston, I decided to do my washing. Put all my clothes in the washer (26 minutes) then the dryer (60 minutes). I think that was a mistake letting it sit in the dryer for 60 minutes. I noticed that some of my T-shirts had become jumpers afterwards. And the only pair of jeans I brought with me makes me look like some music star from the wacko jacko era (think Cameo or Cool and the gang). I think I need to put the jeans in a stretcher of some sort otherwise I need to “frequently adjust it’s settings”
Left out Juan of Honduras from my previous post. I met him at the Greyhound Springfield bust station. He spoke a little English and we managed to communicate while waiting for the bus. He had a 10-year VISA to the states (2000 – 2010) and seems he’s been around for about 6 years. He said he’s fed up working and working and paying bills and rent and that he’s going back to Honduras next year. I think what he does must be somewhat manual as when he was trying to describe his job, he made moves as if he was driving a bike (possibly some sort of lawn/grass cutting). I found it strange that he could barely speak English, possibly he didn’t mix much and maybe his work didn’t require talking to English-speaking folks, but 6-years here and no English

(original draft in June 2008)

Social Commentary 3 and 4

Social Commentary 3 (15/June/2008):

I sat in the “Wireless Internet” zone in the airport in Armsterdam (flight switch on my way to USA). But since the cheapskates at RIM only put bluetooth and no wi-fi in the BlacbBerry 8300 I couldn’t browse. I turned on the bluetooth and discovered the following devices:

SNAFU, Phone, Jes onty Ismael

Social Commentary 4:

Met “Juan from Honduras” at Springfield Greyhound bus station.

His work VISA (which he showed me in his International Passport) read 2000 to 2010.

He said he was going back to Honduras next year, that money was worth a lot more in Honduras,

but here (in the US), it just work, work, work and pay bills, bills, bills.

He doesnt have to pay rent in Honduras. He is been around for quite a while and could barely speak

English.I suspect he must be doing “physical” work and possibly doesn’t come in contact much

with English-only speaking people? If I could speak Spanish or if he had been able to speak

English we could have had a long interesting conversation while we both waited for our buses to

arrive. He was really going cross country Р not sure now, but possibly from California to Los Angeles.

“Hard Times Cafe & Cue” (on his T-shirt?)

Seems he has spent 6 years and probably does gardening of some sort – not sure as he made as if he was operating some sort of bike when trying to explan hisline of work to me. Spent about 2hours in Richmond instead of 40mins. Lots of people complaining abotu GreyHound’s service at the

various terminuses I visited on my cross-contry trips through 3 states in America. It seems they have delays galore and with very little or no

competition on the long-haul trips, they don’t seem willing to improve. In fact, on my way from North Carolina to Ohio, we had to stop about

an hour into the 13hour or so journey because we had “lost” some lugnuts on one of the wheels of the bus. We then had to wait for about 7 hours

while another bus was sent up from North Carolina. At some point even the driver suggested that as many people could, should write their head office

and complain about the service, that though he couldn’t guarantee it, but it’s possible they may get refunds or rebaits on future trips.

If none of those, at least it would let the management know that the customers are disatisfied!

Social Commentary 2

So I acutally used my GTB MasterCard debit card to buy a socket converter (3-pin to 2-pin) for my BlackBerry charger in Amsterdam.

Couldn’t be sure of the pin (6553) but luckily they had a POS and so the card was just swiped through that. So there – my very first credit (ok debit) card purchase – I am now a card-carrying technophile of teh 21st century – dont go anywhere without it – no, not your credit card – your brains!

 

A man came to the table where I was sitted charging my phone, first he whipped out his wallet which had about 9 cards in it, he couldn’t find what he was looking for, so he brought out a larger plastic holder of some sort and this one had probably 10 or more cards in it!

Finally, he went back to the initial wallet, fished out a card and put it in the inner pocket of his jacket. With that he zipped up  his hand luggage and he was gone.

We all live, we go about our daily lives, we die, do we pay attention to God? i think not

Another Bluetooth search returned: ADEEN (pc), Charles, Nokia 6021, Phone, Computer, Phone(x6s)

Another Bluetooth search returned: BlackBerry 8100, ADEEN, Phone, Computer, Phone, E50

Another Bluetooth search returned: STEPHENPARKINSO, ADEEN, W300i, Bill, OWNER-F02600525, W810i, Phone (5xs)

I did some “shoulder-surfing” and discovered the company and employee number of one WINNIE WONG. I have decided to lose the details because I had a strong temptation to post it here and that may do her a world of hurt somewhere down the line.

 

On the queue into the airplane at Amsterdam an elderly could behind me, the wife is on the phone and turns to her husband and goes:

“Oh dear God, we’ve had a power outtage” followed by a string of “Oh no”, “Oh God”, “Dear God”, …. as the party on the other end of the line supplied more details. Finally, I heard that they had had a storm.

Leaving out the storm, if 160million Nigerians call out “Oh Dear God” everytime we have a power outtage, that line would be jammed (from the human end of course), then blocked completely – no more coverage over Nigeria – because at least a quarter of the 160million would be taking the Lord’s name in vain!

Must Read …

“The book of three” – by Lloyd Alexander. It’s interesting, fantasy, adventure – highly recommended

“New Magics: an anthology of today’s fantasy” – edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden with stories by Ursula K. Le Guin, Orson Scott Card among others. I must look for other stories by Orson Card. His “Hatrack River” – the last story in the compilation made me want all that magic, discarding all my limitations.

Social Commentary 1

Social Commentary 1 (early/mid 2007?)
I am (sitting) at the UK VISA processing center and a couple of guys behind me made the following interesting “comments”
Personally, I think the more vocal of the two was just using it to bolster up his confidence level – he probably had the hibbie-jibbies!

Wetin dey London way no dey for Nigeria?
If I dey ok wetin I dey go find for London?
But I no dey ok
To get job – yawa, you go school gan – fuckup
Obasanjo no like as them they give us VISA, but they gat to
It is their right and they must give us
No be them colonise Nigeria?

If I wan go anywhere I go go – even London
London na paradise?
Na place wey God make
and if I wan go I go go anywhere I like
Na only paradise wey no sure for anybody

You know say Oyinbo no dey like wey you sit in front of am, dey beg
He go give? Lai lai, never!
But make you sit show them say you
know your worth for Nigeria, say you just wan go spend a few days come back, na dat.
Once you get VISA, you go just dey sleep
You no go hungry again. You open eye (wake up), na hin you go dey think about till you close eye
You wake up like dis look round, say I still dey but soon …
If anybody call you from London, you go say
“soonest, I go show”

You enter London you come tire
You go dey feel like say make you come back home again
but he good make everybody at least try am
. . . .
If na DHL (US VISA drop-off/collection), you go queue like dis, you go siddown for sun
the guy (agent) go mean
you go dey take money beg dem
(comparing the cool airconditioned environment with TV in which we were to the non-welcoming DHL compound in Ikoyi)

Flooded

 
It’s amazing where and how people connect/bond. It was raining cats and dogs this morning, so I didn’t leave the house until about 15minutes to 12 (noon). The street was flooded and I left the house in a pair of boots and an umbrella over my head and my PC bag slung on my back. Two streets away a man approached me from the opposite direction. He had on a raincoat reaching down to his calves and a pair of boots. I am looking at him and he is looking at me. On the street, we were probably the only 2 people completely immune to the weather. A thin smile spread my lips and he smiled in turn. As he passed by me he said “how are you” to which I replied “fine sir”. Neither of us stopped and it all took a split second. But it was us against the world briefly. Two members of the brotherhood of the rain-mockers. We could look amuzed at the rain as it tries to make us as wet and miserable looking as some of the unprepared fellow humans rushing to get out of the drenching downpour!
Another couple of streets away, I came to a building with a man and a little boy standing in front. I noticed a little rat cowering beside the drain at the front of the house. I bent down for a closer look, despite the fact that it was a vermin, i still felt sorry for it. I went forward a few feet, turned back, whipped out my blackberry and snapped a couple of pictures of the rat. The man watched me in action, then commented: “you wan snap the rat? There are others, look over there. Them dey live under the gutter. Na the rain drive them commot”
Within a radius of 2 feet, there were actually about 3 or 4 little rats shivering at various locations.
The pictures aren’t too clear and I will probably toss them. I should really get a compact camera.