Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Finally, proposal

As you may or not have noticed, I have brought back my earlier posts on Marriage Proposal and Still on Proposal after taking them down because I did not want J to see them. I got so much advice from y'all and at a point I was confused.
What didn't I think about?
The movie theatre proposal moves, proposing in Dubai, even the stadium proposal moves. Not sure what would have happened if I tried it at a local football match at the Lagos National stadium. Probably would have been flogged off the stadium.

Anyways, proposals are so over-rated :P
Yeah, I know, I can say that now.
But that's because, I DONE IT!

So, last Sunday, she came in to visit me in Port Harcourt from Lagos.
I picked her up from the airport in the morning and we went to church.
Hang on....
What am I saying?
I have to start with the pre-work. Can't just start with the proposal day itself.

The day before, Saturday.
I decided that the proposal thingy was going to be a private affair.
Just the two of us.
I had to prepare a meal by myself, just for the two of us.
Staying that long in Kuala Lumpur alone had taught me how to shop for food and cook the basics.
So, I drew up a list of necessary foodstuff - tomatoes, pepper, etc.
Called a few friends and they told me to go to a market called "Slaughter".
I got the directions and drove off.
The market was true to type. A real slaughter house.
It 'stank' to high-heavens of raw meat and that's all I saw everywhere. RED RAW bloody meat.
I needed to get live chicken. (from experience, live chicken tastes better than frozen ones. I have no idea why) Eventually found them, bought two and they were killed, disembowelled, skinned and cut up into bits within 10 minutes. Trust me, this was no sight for animal rights activists. I was impressed with the speed and dexterity of the butchers. A fellow customer remarked that they kill the chicken with respect as they were living things. Just like humans.
I stifled a smile. He was going to eat them wasn't he? Carnivore.

Anyways, I succeeded in getting all the necessary food stuff, including her favourite ice cream and chocolates.
Got back home and cooked my life out.
Hmm, tasty.
Was done by like 8pm.
I knew what I had planned for tomorrow and went ahead to do the necessary writings and recordings.

Cut to the story of the ring.
I got her engagement ring specification down to the picture and size from a friend of hers and called a friend in Texas to order it and ship to me in Malaysia. This was sometime in April.
It got to Malaysia in 3 days (impressive) and spent the next one week at the Malaysian customs.
Everyday I would check the tracking number online and get the status report "Awaiting customs clearance". That was my final week in Malaysia. I was due to leave the country on a Saturday and as at Thursday it was still waiting for the freaking customs people to clear it!
Made frantic calls to no avail.
Friday evening, I checked the website and the status had changed to "Returned to sender".
Upset I was, but happy that at least there was some update on the site.
My friend, Das (who writes beautifully) and his lovely wife, F were too happy to send it again, but this time to Nigeria at their own expense. (By the way Das, your blog is overdue for an update).
I got the ring in my second week in Lagos.

Back to Sunday morning.
Came back from church by about 1pm to my place.
Brought out my camera and started taking snap shots and videos of her. I told her I was practicing my hot-shot photographer skills and she really humoured me by giving me fantastic poses. I was really just trying to get her used to the camera before time.
I was going to prepare her lunch, I told her. "Don't come into the kitchen."
I set the pasta to a boil and put my delicious sauce in the microwave.
NEPA was not going to mess things up for me, so even though electricity was on, I asked the 'mei-guard' (gate-man) to turn on the generator.

Whipped out my camera, started filming and asked her if she saw the email I sent her last night and she replied in the negative. Told her to go online and check it.
My wireless modem, at that exact time, decided not to work.
With a smile on my face, while inwardly 'cussing' Hyperia (my internet service provider), I fiddled with the modem/router and finally got it to work.
I won't go into the exact details of the mail, but the jist of it was that, in a riddle-like format, I told her to check my wallet in my pant pocket for a note I had for her.
Now she was excited.

She grabbed my waist, dug her hands into my pocket and pulled out my wallet to find another note that contained some love words and another riddle that pointed her to another note in her own pant pocket that I had slipped in earlier. This lead her to another note that contained the love sms I sent her last year in the travelling bag she came in with.
This note pointed her to another, and the final one asked her to check under the couch cushion for a remote control - Harmony One (Guys, you need to get this remote if you don't have it already. Its fantastic and controls all my gadgets except the PS3. I mean ALL)
Next to the remote control was a note asking her to press play.

She presses play and hears my recorded voice telling her she meant the world to me and to sit down on the couch and listen to the lyrics of the song that was going to play next, Elephant Love Medley from the movie Moulin Rouge.
Halfway into the song and she begins to cry.
The song ends and another pre-recorded voice asks her for a dance to the next song, her favourite. Aerosmith's I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing.
After the song, I sit her down and pour out my heart.
Honestly, I can't remember all I said but it ended with me kneeling, bringing out the ring she had pointed out to her friend on the bluenile site a couple of months earlier and asking her if she wanted to spend the rest of her life with me.
With tears on her eyes and after a brief moment of silence....
She said yes.

I call in a friend of mine who was lurking somewhere unseen and he takes some great pictures.
She's screaming and crying and hugging.
And I'm playing the ultimate bad-ass cool guy.
My camera is still rolling, so I have it all in video too!

So, there it is.
I do not have a girlfriend anymore.
Called her 'my girlfriend' and quickly corrected myself to fiancee.
I'm learning quickly.

I have a beautiful fiancee that loves me.
I love her more.
Monday, May 19, 2008

dem tag me

There are a couple of words I have seen online that stymie me.
I'm not too sure if they are Nigerian english or something else.
So, anyone care to explain them for me?
It's not like I'm getting too old that I don't know these words, am I?

A friend told me that one of the first signs of age is when MTV Base starts to become dry and CNN suddenly becomes a very interesting channel. I still try to listen to MTV and keep up with trends but I have to work at it.

Sturvs (girlie lingo apparently)
Paro (or something like that)

I was tagged (honestly, who coined this word?) a long time ago and have been hoping to avoid responding. Just because its something I have to think hard about.

No joy.

I was tagged by ablackjamesbond and Jinta....aahhh which is pretty strange as they are guys (pretty much the big cahunas up in here) and most of my readers are ladies. Strangely, non of the ladies tagged me :(
This proves one more truism I have learnt in life. Correct me if I'm wrong, but do men make better life friends than women?

My six unspectacular quirks are:

1. I belch quite often after feeding. Quietly though, I must add. I never knew this until my girl started to give me funny looks when these sounds escaped my throat. These days, I just try to make it as low key as possible. But c'mon, everyone belches right? It's a more decent and odourless way of passing gas.

2. Sneezing becomes me in the mornings. This started only about a year ago. No reason whatsoever. I just sneeze a number of times. My parents have suggested exercises in the mornings. I think that's useless. What has exercising got to do with sneezes? I weigh only 78kg, so why wake up and workout? Maybe its some irritation of sorts. May have to go to a doctor for this later.

3. This one would probably give me out right away but, what the heck.
I stutter. I've been doing this all my life that I never really notice it until someone brings it to my attention or I listen to myself talk. I do shy away from public speaking, but must say that I have done quite a few public presentations especially on the job. Someone brought it to my sharp attention a little over a year ago. I had a meeting with Gamaliel Onosode and before we even began, he noticed my stutter and we talked about this for a while before we got to business. He challenged me. No one had ever talked to me about this in the manner he did. I will call him some day soon and tell him I've stopped. Soon.

4. I used to have this abnormal attraction to human beings of the opposite sex.
Yes, its a general disease with menfolk, I know. But mine can be an epidemic sometimes.
At one point in my teenage years, I remember praying to God to take away this strong lust/love-like feelings I have for women. But I thankfully remembered that would even cause more havoc than necessary. So right now, I'm just dealing with it. Successfully, I might add. Channeling it to one person only. J.

Little does he know the purpose they serve.

5. I really do not like to plan. My motto used to be "When you fail to plan, failure comes as a complete surprise" Crappy motto actually, but it worked for me. Now, my angel, J, loves to plan waaay in advance and for me thats a completely different way of life. That means that we complement ourselves though.

6. I do everything at the same time and eventually end up doing nothing. The list of things I have attempted are legion. Thankfully, they are restricted to hobbies and sometimes work.

Thats it. That's about as decent as I can get. I went to a Nigerian boarding school (FGC) and I had a teacher who used to say "One day, a very big breeze shall blow, and the fowl's anus shall be exposed". Mine shall not be exposed here. Anonymous or not.

I tag the following lovely writers:
Kemmie, Naija Idol, Today's Ranting, Interesting Websites, Sisto, In my head & around me

The Tagging rules are:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules in your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

I have done all 5.

P.S. Updated this post by adding pictures that seemed to suit the quirks.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

10 Days

I have been in Lagos for exactly 10days now.
(P.S. That 'yeah!' is actually waaay overstated. It's actually meant to be a 'Sigh')

A very interesting 10 days, I must say.
My parents and my friends have been housing me all this while.
Will be off to my place in Port Harcourt before the weekend comes.

Somebody fix the AC in the arrivals hall at the Lagos International Airport!
What the heck.
I arrived wearing a jacket.
Ripped that off immediately. Along with my shirt, leaving only my inner t-shirt on.
Was really tempted to remove that too but re-considered. Observing that my bare chest may not elicit the kind of response Timbaland would receive had he bared he's.

No 'sorting' of the Customs people while exiting with my luggage.
Gave them a friendly smile and ignored all the friendly banter "Oga welcome" smile "How that side?" smile "Any better for your boys?" smile

There is no electricity in Nigeria!
Its worse than ever.
I have been here 10 days, there has been power for a total of about 6 hours!
All the electrical power available is self generated. Just have enough money for generator fuel.
NEPA or PHCN (Nigeria's power generating company) has officially shutdown. At least in my area.
I have cried, torn the hair off my head, wailed and finally settled and adjusted into the routine.
We Nigerians are fantastic at just accepting things as they are.
Heard of the food crises world over? And some of the riots?
Well, nothing like that in Naija.
You'd think that the prices of food has remained stable in Nigeria?
Think again..
A quick chat with my mum revealed that a 50kg sack of rice jumped from between N6,000 and N8,000 to between N12,000 and N15,000 in about 3 weeks. That's double!
Same thing with beans, yam and other foodstuff.
What do we do?
Riot and destroy thing like they do in some other countries? Make our voices heard?
Hell no.
We just shrug and continue.
Life continues.
Only the strong survive, only the wise excel.

On the flip side.....
Lagos remains the same crazy, rowdy, rich as well as poor, undiluted and fun loving town.
In 10 days, I have bumped into Pat Utomi (former presidential aspirant), Nduka Obaigbena (chairman, This Day papers) and Tony Elumelu (MD UBA Bank).
They defintely would not recognise me next time though.
Infact, Tony paid a compliment to my wifey to be.
If I felt on top of the world, imagine how she felt :)

There are new restaurants/bars popping up everywhere along with night clubs.
There are now two clearly distinct social scenes in Lagos.
The Mainland groove zone as well as the Island groove zone.
Both of which are mutually exclusive.

Traffic is still bad. I think it has rather improved in some places though.
There are well designed bus stops with turnstiles now on Ikorodu road People actually queue at these bus stops The buses have electronic signages indicating their routes. Damn, I'm impressed. I have to take a ride on them for the experience.

I was really afraid of this one, I tell you. After all the stories I had been hearing.
Watching my rear view mirror all the time in the borrowed car I was using.
No incident though. Nor have I heard of anyone so far.
Infact, my friend's here have gone the extra mile in assuring me the town is safer.
I try to be home by midnight at the latest, though.

Police checkpoints?
How can that not be in Nigeria?
I have been stopped 3 times.
Held once for over 30 minutes at one of the checkpoints after I dropped my wifey a couple night's ago because I had forgotten my driving license at home and refused to 'settle' the guy.
Eventually, he let me go after he saw I was willing to wait it out.
I obey traffic lights now, I don't weave in and out of traffic while blaring my horn anymore, I wear my seat belt all the time (infact, I think drivers wear their seatbelts more in Lagos than anywhere in the world now) and I'm generally a law abiding driver.

One more thing.
Lagos is actually beginning to look lovely.
At least in some parts. There are parks/gardens popping up everywhere. Roads being built.
The lagoon view on the freeway between CMS and Bonny Camp in Victoria Island has been cleared and they are planting palm trees and tiling a walkway along the lagoon with railing to hold and prevent you from falling into the lagoon. Incredible.
I will post some pictures soon of my some of my observations.

As some of you have insinuated, I had a joyful reunion with my wifey.... soupasexy, aijay, smaragd. Be offically warned!
What I do with her is none of your business :P 'ogini? wetin?'
Except you want to buy audio rights. Visual rights are defintely not available.
Oh, and we walk rather well, soupasexy.

About 2 weeks ago, before I returned, she regaled me with this tale of a dashing young man she just met who wants to marry her at all costs. He says she is perfect for him and tried to assure her that I was probably screwing all the chics in Malaysia. So, why wait for me?
But of cause she said she told him off and I believe her.
After recalling another tale that single ladies and guys usually have contingency plans in case boy/girlfriend doesnt work out, I quickly googled his name and found that he was a formidable opposition.
Bottomline, I got back and took her to meet my parents last weekend to do the necessary initial introductions.
Once again, women win. Why? Lord. Why?
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