Bless our table

Bless our table

“This bag is too small. Is this all you have?” (Policeman at baggage check-in)

“Yes.” (me)

“There is nothing in here. Oga, you don’t want me to have my breakfast?”  (Policeman)

“Maybe that’s why I didn’t put anything there.” (me smiling)

“Oga, if you have you will give, if you don’t have nobody will force you.”  (Policeman)

“But bless our table, it is the first of November.”  (Policeman)

“You are already blessed.” (Policeman)

“You too sir.”

I moved the bag to the next table. Policeman continues to talk.

The couple of ladies there (one in customs uniform) made no attempt to move at all. Just continued watching me expectantly. But they agreed with the police man by saying practically the same thing, “Bless our table; begining of a new month; etc.”

I just smiled.

Finally, they decided I should go on. But you could see they weren’t happy.

After dropping off the bag, made my way towards the depature lounge.

“Happy new month sir.” (The officer at the choke point)

“Same to you.” (me)

“Good morning  … eh .. Mr. Itayemi. How are we going to celebrate the new month. There is a lot of blessings in this month o.” Hands back my passport and I moved on.

“Ha ha, let’s celebrate the new month now.”

I didn’t stop or look back. 

At the immigration desk (where passport is stamped) before the scanners.

“Where are you going?” (officer)

“Cameroon.” (me)

As I walked away, “Happy New month sir.” (officer)

I smiled. (me)

To and Fro

To and Fro

I think it was just as the train doors opened at Northfields that I heard the “heave”. The lady doubled over and the content of her stomach came up and out. She waited for the doors to open and stepped out. Continuing to heave even as she did. She sat on one of the benches and continued to throw up. I felt for her. It must be one of those really embarrassing moments. That on top of the fact that she was ill. I think if it had been my stop, I would have offered her assistance.

Not sure if it was the “puke” (excuse me) that smelled like chips afterwards, but I only seem to notice it around about then. I looked around to be sure no one was eating, even though of course, the food may be in someone’s bag.

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And the old lady tottered to the escalator, and unfortunately, the old lady rolled (tumbled) down the escalator – all the way to the bottom.

An accident waiting to happen: she wasn’t fit and the escalator was as had always being the case very fast: blink, and you “take off”. Fortunately, she seemed to have survived it intact. Someone commented that she was probably in shock but not injured. But of course, the adrenaline may mask the pains from a sustained injury until much later. The only service offered by the immigration officials (mostly due to the anger of the crowd at their negligence) to the lady was to expedite her transition through the immigration process, after that she was on her own.

Lots of people verbally took the immigration officers to task. As one person commented, in foreign lands, the old lady would have been looked after and conveyed round in a trolley, only to return “home” and take a tumble.

Some dude in a jacket but with a funky Afro commented that immigrations had nothing to do with it.

Of course, that caused several comments to be directed at him “No home training; one day he will take the same fall; etc.”

More comments on the immigration service as money grubbers: “going; they say what do you have for them.  Returning, they ask what did you bring for them.”

Someone commented that in other countries, as in the UK for example, citizens zip through immigration, but in Nigeria, as usual the reverse is the case, we had a double line that snaked back up the escalator and the stairway.

While the foreign nationalities line (foreigners sounds xenophobic for some reason) was quite short. And it took them forever to “reconfigure” themselves so that the now “free” officers start attending to some of the people on the “citizens” queue.

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It’s amazing how many things/experiences you can pack into a few days away from your regular territory.

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On Friday night, “we” tried to get seats (for 3 people in case some people start on “flights of fancy” 🙂 for SkyFall (latest 007 reboot) but it was booked solid. Even the IMAX option was fully booked. I think the fact that 007 is a British Spy was responsible to a large extent (quite separate  from the fact that 007 is one of those “Franchises” that have become part of the cultural fabric of society irrespective of country, and it was the 50th anniversary of Bond, etc).

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I brought back a bag for a colleague and when the brother who gave me the bag put it on the electronic scale at the airport, it was exactly 23.0KG. I think that’s the first time I saw such a thing! Did he throw in a pencil or face towel just to get it to that exact figure (which is what the airline stipulates as the max size for luggage)?. Mine was 22.7KG (I think)

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I like to think at least I tried – harder than almost any other time in my life – maybe I tried too hard too late. Sad. Is there anything else I can do? (Completely out of context statement. 99.9% of those who read this blog entry will have no clue of what I am on about – which is how it is meant to be 🙁