Friday, February 29, 2008

It's a Man's World. Really?

That's what they say. Isn't it?
Wake up, men!
That's a lie started by womenfolk to make us believe we are on top.
And we stupidly buy the crap.
Male ego, male chauvinists, blah blah blah...
Crap.

Want to know the truth?
Women have been pretending to be the weaker sex for centuries.
Just take a look around you.
They are very comfortable working behind the scenes.
Whether it's a sister, mother, wife, girlfriend, whatever.
Every man is answerable or can be manipulated by one woman.
Better it's only one woman. God help you if it's more than one.

Am I upset?
Nah. I just realised this fact after a score and dozen years in this world.
Realised and accepted it, actually.
Now, I can go ahead and plan to marry.

When it comes to sex, men tend to feel like the 'big kahuna.'
Over drinks, we boast to our friends about our 'legendary' sexcapades,
'Mehn, I chop that babe, easy.' Sharp guy.
Ever stop to think that the babe 'chopped' you? Or that she used you?
No way! We can't even think about that.
Infact, I shudder at the thought.
I met a girl once in Lagos, got attracted to her, and we had a freaking fabulous one night stand. Same day. A testament to my 'womanising' skills. Or so I thought. The next day, over breakfast, she calmly told me that we would not see again. No problem.
Saw her a few days later at Silverbird Cinema, wanted to renew acquaintances, and she almost literally said 'Do I know you?'
Damn! I felt used.
Scratch that. I was used.

My testosterone level is soaring up.
I need to find a righteous way to burn it out, so I've registered for the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon taking place March end with some of my colleagues at work. I have to jog 6km 3 times a week now. Hope to increase to 12km soon.
Funny thing is, because I'm black, they expect me to win the freaking marathon.
I tell them to take a chill pill oh. I'm Naija. We don't do marathons, talk less of win.
I have my own personal reasons for doing this. Faithfulness.

Hey, it's working.
There is a reduction already!
Thursday, February 21, 2008

So this is America?

Ok, here's the koko. (jist)

I'm a Nigerian. Born in Nigeria. Educated entirely in Nigeria. Work for a Nigerian company.
This background is necessary for my tale.
About 4 years ago, after working for roughly 3yrs, I suddenly woke up and decided to go on a vacation to Yankee (America). Not jand oh(UK or London as we call the whole country here) Yankee! I needed to see this place.
My friends tell me, ''Visa go hard with this your virgin passport oh. Try jand first, dem dey give visa pass yankee. You fit go yankee later'' (Funny, with other African countries visas on it, it was still labelled virgin as far as yankee or jand wasn't on it)
No. I wanted to go to Yankee, men :)
So, I apply, get an interview and get the visa. Easy.
Don't let me start on the embassy process. The whole thing is a Nigerian movie.

I buy the cheapest return ticket (I couldn't find someone to 'lap' me) - economy, last row, Iberia, via Madrid at the cheapest time - January end. (I asked the ticketing staff if I would get a reduced fare if I did not eat on the plane)
Time spent in Madrid waiting for a connecting flight: 13hrs.
Who cares? I dey go Yankee!

Landed in JFK. Chei! Obodo oibo. I honestly felt like kissing the tarmac as we disembarked. True oh.
(Bear in mind that all I knew about America was the thousands of hollywood movies I had seen, MTV, CNN etc, etc.)
Flew in with only a backpack, (went back with 2 mega boxes) passed through customs, no stress. Final checkpoint, Homeland Security. That name filled me with terror. ''Can I see your passport, Sir?'' I showed the bugger. ''Step this way, Sir''.(Naija passport) ''How long you here for, Sir?'' ''3 weeks'', I replied very humbly. I had heard that these guys could deport you in an instant, visa or no visa. ''This backpack all you got for 3 weeks, Sir?'' ''Yes....''(I be wan add Sir, but liver no gree me) ''Somebody picking you up?'' ''No'' I reply. My hopeless friend just sent me an email describing the way to his place in Jersey.
After strip searching my well packed bag, they let me through.
''Have a wonderful stay, Sir'' This their 'Sir' sef don dey tire me.

January end, apparently it's still winter in NY/NJ. I had no idea. Frostbite and cold nearly finished me. Naija guy like me. We (Nigerians) have this illusions of grandeur. I wonder where we get it from. Walked into a shop the next day, put on the winter clothes I needed, went to the counter and paid for them with the clothes on.

Got to Penn Station in NY from the airport, I saw a guy carelessly urinating inside the station. My word?! Maybe he's mad! Got off the PATH train in Hoboken and an elderly wowan squatted right at the entrance and was urinating!! What is going on?? Did the plane miss road? What country am I in? America? I get unto another train, and drop off at the final station. There's a huge waste dump beside it and a stench. There's a strong wind on the streets and dirt is flying all over the place. The place reminded me of .......... Mushin market!
Right now all my five senses are reeling from the assault.
I hear my name and turn to see my friend. At last, someone I know, in this jungle.
We walk to his car, he unlocks the door, there is a steering lock bar across his steering wheel. The type my old man used to use in the '80's. He unlocks this too.
We drive to his house, there is a gate with a chain and a padlock across. He unlocks it, drives through and locks it back.
In Yankee! This is looking really bad. My first day.
WTF is all this?!

One time, NEPA even took light for about 45 minutes. At night! No candle to light (like the one on my profile picture) or torch/lamp to put on. They tried sha. They only took the light only once during my 3 weeks there :)

New York has a stark semblance to Apongbon and CMS. Ok, apart from some fantastic sites (Broadway, Times Square, etc), big TV's and bright lights. It was complete with proper Nigerian-like markets (just like the ones on Broad street/Mandilas in Lagos Island) right beside the skyscrapers, beggars (''yoh, homie, can I get a dollar''), people sleeping on street corners, people hawking $1 watches and wallets on wheel barrows, mad traffic (both vehicular and pedestrian), people selling hotdogs and whatever else at street corners (in Naija, it would have been akara balls/bole/guguru & ekpa)

How come I don't see all these things on CNN or the movies?

I eventually ended up having fun. Went to fantastic places, met great and not so great people.
Spent a few days with some childhood friends in Texas.
''Tell us,'' they asked me, ''how is Naija now?''
''Oh, not bad. Same 'ole, same 'ole. Some improvements here and there, the economy is improving. Getting better, but very slowly.''
They look at me, shocked. ''We've never heard anyone say good things about Naija. All we hear is bad news''

There you go. Different folks, different strokes.

So, this is America? By my experience, yes.
Was I in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Maybe. Correct me, Americans.

Lesson learned, America is a great place. Sometimes true. Not always.

P.S.
As an aside, Hasbro is creating a new Monopoly (remember the game?) with world cities. You can vote for your cities. Deadline is 29th February. To vote for Lagos to be included, click this link: http://www.monopolyworldvote.com/en_US/world
Probably too late to make a difference. But who knows.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Situation In Nigeria, Pretty Complex


This, cracked me up, big time!
Tell me, those of you in America, does the country really think like this?
Saturday, February 16, 2008

Marriage Proposal

I'm back in Naija sometime in April.
I want to ask my best friend in the whole wide world if she would like to spend the rest of her life with me as soon as I return.
But, I'm getting the jitters and I don't know where to start from.
I need HELP!

I have a gut feeling that she'd say yes. (Don't ask how I know) I just know.
Thats not the problem.

Left to me, I'd just get her to come over to my place and ask her to marry me.
I really wish I could do just that. (wishful thinking)

These are my problems.

I'm nervous, I'm nervous, I'm nervous.

How can I propose romantically in the city of Lagos?
I know the story would live with her for a lifetime and all her friends would get to hear about it, so, it has to be worthwhile. For her. For me? Zit.

I do not know what type of ring she likes nor her ring size.
How would I?!
I hear one can get good diamonds in South Africa. Not sure about that.
A friend of mine pointed me to a website http://www.bluenile.com/ for rings. Nice site.
An excerpt from their 'How Much Should I Spend' section, ''This is an emotional event, and a purchase that will last a lifetime. The two-months salary convention is a common starting point, but we believe that regardless of the amount you budget, your most important considerations should be quality and value."
Are they kidding me??!! Two months salary?! Starting point!!!
Maybe I should just take her to watch Blood Diamonds again and fill her ipod with Kanye's ''Diamonds are forevever.....good morning, this ain't Vietnam still, people lose hands, legs, arms for real.........''
Maybe, just maybe, she'd be put off diamonds :P

Anyways, I have about two months to think about the answers to this.
Something will come up. I hope.
Otherwise, I'd just do it the good old traditional way.... ask my parents to ask her parents for her hand in marriage!

Interprete as you like


I personally think this is a beautiful picture.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First Night Out in KL

I decided about 2 weeks ago that I needed to find out what night life in Kuala Lumpur was like. I'm not a club person, but what the heck, I might as well check it out.

Here I was, a total stranger in this town. No friends, no nothing. Apart from my colleagues at work. That meant I had no idea of what the town at night was like.

At about 8pm the following Saturday, I go online. Googled 'nightlife+kuala lumpur' and got tons of results. Hmm, good start.

After about 2 hours of sifting through websites, I settle on the 2 most popular choices - Beach Club and Hard Rock Cafe (that name sounds familiar). These were supposed to be the two ''happengiest :)'' joints in night time KL. Also found out that their clubs close by 3am. Very strange.

Anyways, I add the two addresses to my phone, look at the clock - 10pm and decide its time to hit the mean streets of KL.

I wave a cab, tell him Beach club, expecting to reel out the address of the place to the guy, but he says ''Ok, come in'' Hmm, seems the place is popular. ''Use the meter, la'' I tell him.

The place is impossible to miss. Bright neon lights on the streets, music blasting, people everywhere, I'm there. Apparently, its a street of joints.

Nice place though. Half the joint is indoors, half is outdoors. They have two sharks in a big aquarium inside. I stroll in and I'm stopped by a bouncer? He directs me to a sexy looking babe who points me to a displayed price list. Before I enter, I must pay for a drink at thrice the normal price - RM45. (I always do a mental conversion to $ & N just for comparative analysis) I pay up, get ink stamped on my palm, grab my drink and enter. Live band playing, when I say live band, I do not mean a Naija live band oh. A proper band playing rock songs that sound a lot like the originals.

The place is filled up. All sorts. guys, babes, chinco's, indians, whites, black? Wait oh, no blacks. I'm the only black person up in here! Funnily, thats the first time I realise that I have seen very few black people here since I arrived. (That's a topic for another post) I suspect the place is an expatriate hangout though.

I find a free seat and begin bumping my head to rock music! Hoping no Naija person catches me here. (Imagine going to a club and dancing to ROCK music in Naija) They also have a huge screen currently showing an english premiership game which some apparent brits were watching.

No shortage of babes here oh.

Permit me to digress and describe Malaysia and its women.
The country has 3 main groups/tribes/whatever - Malays 60%, Chinese 30% and Indians 10%, using rough estimates.

Chinese babes are the grooviest, but physically, not much - tiny ''nkiru'' and non existent ''azuka''! They love to wear short things.

Indian babes are boottyful and really hot. They dress sexy too.

Malay babes are cool too, but they are all moslems. They are not allowed to go to clubs. Typical dressing comprises of a head scarf (compulsory), blouse/t-shirt and a pair of pants (jeans).

I hit the dance floor and the chics are everywhere solo. Infact, all over. Some climb the tables dancing. A few smile at me, one approaches me for a dance, I oblige. Imagine dancing to rock. Any body part movement is accepted. As far as you are moving it aggressively

I begin to get suspicious. Are they prostitutes? I come out for fresh air and sure enough, there were a few of them soliciting by the road. WTF! Did I come to the wrong place or what?

I stop a cab and tell him to take me home. On our way, he asks me ''My frien. You want woman la?'' I say ''What?'', refusing to believe what I just heard. ''I say, you want fine fine woman? I give you real woman. Not man who look woman la.'' Shaking my head, I mutter to myself, ''this town is crazy''. I've just been offered a woman for the night at in the same sentence been told that some women here are really men!

I'm curious now. ''I no unnerstan. What you mean?'' I ask. ''I take you to real woman. You choose. Difren type. This one here, men la. Preten to be woman. They do surgery to change.'' ''But they look like women!'' I exclaim. Jesus! I've been dancing with men!

''Take me home, pls!'' ''LA!''

Since then, I look at ALL women here suspiciously. Are they really women? Are those bobbies real? What do they really have down there?

But, I had fun. Told one of my colleagues at work the next week that I was at the Beach Club and he goes ''Why! It's a prostitute place and most of them are Pinoy. (Philipinos - Another formidable force in the KL night scene) People just go there for pickups''.

''Whatever.'' I say.

That got me thinking, I suddenly realise why almost all the expats that come to work/visit Lagos ask to be taken to 'ynot'. That place is the most popular joint in Lagos for expats. But non of the locals go there. I've never been there. Don't ask me why. But I think it has to do with the number of ''ashis'' there. http://www.ynotclub.com/

Lesson learned. Don't rely on google for everything. Sometimes, it pays to ask around.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thumbs Up

I have laughed at all sorts of silly stuff here in Malaysia.
The latest?
The thumbs up sign.

In Malaysia, they point with their thumbs and not fore finger as we are wont to do in Naija.
So, ask for directions or whatever and they give you a thumbs side or up or down - whichever the direction they are referring you to is.

I once asked a scarved receptionist where I could find an office and she gave me a two thumbs up sign with a huge smile. I thought, she must think I'm black american and is trying to say hi the american way.
So, I smile, give her the peace sign and say ''Thanks. But where is XYZ company?'' assuming she understands me. She mutters some strange words in Bahasa Malay and gives me the thumbs up sign again!
Sigh, this is going to be difficult.
Slowly, I say ''T.h.a.n.k y.o.u. W.h.e.r.e i.s t.h.e X.Y.Z c.o.m.p.a.n.y p.l.e.a.s.e?''
The same response!
An aggressive thumbs up, a smile and more strange sounding words.
But wait, this time I pick out the words ''steps'' and ''up''.
It suddenly hits me that the thumbs up sign means top floor.

I burst out laughing. She joins me in laughing too.
''Terima kasih'' I manage to say, climb the stairs and find the office.

Update on Apple+iphone

Looks like the version 1.1.2 (bootloader 4.6) of the iphone has finally been cracked!
This is very good news as my iphone has been acting as an ipod only for the past couple of months!
Still at work unfortunately.
As soon as I get home, I'm gonna try the hack.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I'm freaking 32 yrs OLD!
Good GOD!
''Have you seen my childhood.....''
My girlfriend called me first at 12.01am. It was good to hear from her.
My family in Nigeria called later in the day.
Cool.
Some people remembered.

I spent the better part of last Friday at the Malaysian Imigressen office in Putrajaya trying to get my work permit. They eventually tell me that my company has to come pick it up themselves.
After 4hrs of waiting!
WTF!
I was pissed, but had to put on a smile and ask why I was kept waiting for that long?
A young smily chap wearing a uniform like a naval officer but blue in colour with his hair slicked back like an Italian mafiosi walks up. Apparently the most versed in English language, he says:
''So sorry, permit approved by director. Not work on this floor la. We go to big boss office to collect it. Big boss say company come collect permit. No you. Understand la?''

With another smile, I nod my head.

Nice and polite people here for government/civil employees.
Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fuel+Boom+Lagos

Took this picture on my phone in Lagos, some time in October 2007. I was frightened!
Ikorodu road at the Alaka Estate point.
Tanker capsized while descending the bridge spilling tonnes of diesel.
People scrambling for the liquid.
Is it poverty?
Ignorance?
Or plain stupidity?

Anyway, about a month after this, annother tanker this time carrying petrol fell over at close to this same point. People died.

You'd think lessons would be learnt?
Nope.
Another month later, scores of people died from scooping fuel from a burst pipeline in the same Lagos.
Conclusion,
We have a problem.
Serious problem.
Monday, February 04, 2008

Ha Ha!

Terima kasih.
At last, I have my work permit.
After one month!
Now I can come and go as I please, Malaysia.
Watch out Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia & maybe India!
HERE I COME!

On another note.....
I have not seen my girl in 37 days....
56 days to go.
Do I call her everyday?
Hell no!
Does she complain?
Hell yes!
Has my love faded?
What?!
No way! We have the rest of our lives to live together.
Does she understand this?
Now she does :)
I love J
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