Monday, 10 March 2008

Presidential Suite

A friend called me today to tell me this story (you know me and my naija’s at the airport stories). She had a guest who came in from Nigeria Sunday and who, when questioned at immigration about where she would be staying, said: “Presidential Suite”. The answer, of course, made her an immediate candidate for further close questioning. She was pulled into an interview room and asked, ‘presidential suite where’? To which she responded “Presidential Suite Liverpool Street” – I’m guessing she’s now referring to London’s Liverpool Street market just off Bishops Gate in the city).

Please, please, don’t even ask why she gave that retort. I’m inclined to believe that this was an extension of our nigerian ‘big-manism’, or, in this case, ‘big-womanism’, when we feel the more important we make ourselves out to be, the more respect we will attract.

Four hours later, and after intensive questioning including a meticulous strip-search, when they probed and poked places where the sun ‘don’t’ shine, they let her go.

===============
The story above reminds me of a personal one. One of the closest friends to my ex-wife, who lives in Maryland (I know her well too as we were all at the old Unife together) had an older sister coming in from Nigeria for a course sponsored by her employer – the NNPC. As we are wont to do as Nigerians, she did not wish to pay for the hotel and sustenance for which she had received a foreign exchange allowance and decided to stay with us for the 6 weeks. I did not know the woman and kicked up a fuss about living with strangers, however, my ex did know her, having met her a few times on visits to her friend in Lagos before we all migrated to our various new countries, and it would have been awkward for her to say no.

Several peculiarities accompanied the woman into my house, one of which was her propensity to stand over me during my dinner if she wanted a favour and I said, ok, please wait until I finish dinner; and she always wanted a favour, and I always said ok, please wait. She would simply stand beside me until I finished dinner, which was extremely disconcerting, especially because she was over 6 feet tall and big to boot. Another was her staring at you for about 30 seconds after you spoke to her, like she was lost. After a couple of days, I was filled with enough disquiet to bring it to the attention of my ex. She had noticed some things too, all of which would take up too much space to put down.

The most annoying thing was that as a Muslim she insisted on playing tapes of the Holy Quran in the living room at 5am every morning. So I gave her a small tape player for her religious duties, but no, she was determined to use my music system with the resultant effect that the deep bass reverberated throughout the house like an avalanching rockslide every morning and we all came awake. I explained to her that low frequency sounds tend to carry and are louder elsewhere than from where they originate, to no avail, it was the big system she wanted. So I endured sermons in Arabic for six weeks, the noise bouncing off the walls like some techno party.

It all ended on a funny note though. Towards the end of her stay, my ex had earned a degree of freedom from her, as she now seemed to know her way around London a little. So she decided to go to Liverpool street market, yep, the same one from where you can buy ‘disposable’ shirts at 4 for £10, and wrist watches at 3 for £10. I described the train journey to her (indeed, I worked on Bishops Gate at that time, but since she wanted to get there for 12 and leave around 4pm, I could not help) – 'get to Elephant and castle, take the Northern Line to Moorgate station, ask anybody, Liverpool Street is literally 5 minutes’ walk'.

At 11.30pm that night, my ex had started to worry, as ‘sister’ had not returned. I could not care less and was only counting down the days for her to finally leave. Then the phone rang. It was her and after a confused 3 or 4 minutes, my ex passed the phone on to me:
I think I’m lost, she says.
Where are you, I ‘goes’.
I don’t know, she says.
Look around, I goes, there must be something
I think it’s a train station, she says
They have names, I says
It says, Canta…, Cantry…, Cantarry…
Spell it, I says
She spells Canterbury! I said: you’re in Kent. Then, we lived in Thornton Heath in Surrey, which is essentially South London. Apparently, when she got to Elephant & Castle, rather than go for the Northern Line to Moorgate in London City as I described to her, she asked a man who, in being helpful, thought she was going to Margate in Kent and prescribed the relevant trains for her, 85 miles away.

56 comments:

Tandra said...

cant believe me no.1...yay!

had me in stiches!! i know all about gettin lost in big unfamilia places...but im sure my peeps were happy when i eventually turned up.

Jinta said...

* tandra - you're lucky they were happy to see you. sorry to say, i just wished the woman would disappear for good

For the love of me said...

Lol. you really could very simply have told her to leave. I have learnt to do that. If you are a bad guests, I simply say so and give you some notice to clear out. Yesooo, Nigerians have toughened me.
You should be happy though, at least she stayed only 6 weeks, peeps 6 weeks usually turn to 6 months.

Jinta said...

* for the love - today, i would have done that. then (9 years ago), i had to take into consideration the feelings of my ex, which was why i let her in, in the first place.

you're absolutely right. nigerians have no mercy and tend to toughen one up

Onome said...

hahahahahahahaha......o dear o dear......dis was a funny one.....i agree with for d love of me..u'd have stylishly described how she can get to d airport and tell her not to worry about her luggage..it'd be der waiting for her(lmao)

Onome said...

silly me am just reading ur reply....oh well..

Nicky said...

You are so eeeeeevvvilllllll!!!

Seriously I know how you feel. We have visitors from the Caribbean all the time and I mean all the time. My Husband is 1 of 11 and we have the space so they have a rota. They just bring themselves and take our clothes and whatever else back home with them.

The only time it got to me was when a girlfriend of my brother in law came to stay because they were having a bad patch (he just had a baby with someone else no. 9). She would lounge around all day in my husbands T- shirts and nothing else. She had an irritating habit of telling me I had married the best brother, her intentions on revenge were obvious. I left her a present in one of the T shirts and haven’t seen her since... and no, I will not elaborate.

Uzo said...

After seeing your name repeatedly on Laspapi's blog, i finally have given in and come here.

So she ended up in Kent?

Nigerians have no concept of space or boundaries...We had a relative come to stay for what was to be the weekend, 2 weeks and several opening of my mother's cooking pots with comments about yoruba soup later, an elaborate plan was devised to get her out of our house.

fantasy queen said...

6 weeks? with a non relative or close friends?
thats pure hell, i'd get irritated after the first day.
this aunt decieded to come for a holiday at my uncles in the states.
she bought designer shoes, matched the kids about,told the wife what to do(while trying her new dresses on)...basically they waited on her while she lazed around and shoped for a month, with no contribution whatsoever to housekeeping...
lots of 'hurrays' when she packed up her designer filled luggage to the airport.

30+ said...

And I was thinking I would make no 1 at least top 10 is good

Isi said...

lol! funny 'sister' of ur ex.... her actions are quite hilarious, would make for a good comedy script! lol!


"...low frequency sounds tend to carry and are louder elsewhere than from where they originate..."


- thats a 'quote' i can apply to something else... almost inspirational!

Jinta said...

* onome - that would have worked. i'm a little smarter now and much tougher.

i'm coming round to see if you've updated

* nicky - i like your brother-in-law's girlfriend. at least, she knows where to get succour. so tell us, what present did you leave her? and you call me evil? lol

* uzo - what took you so long? i had spent months doing my telepathy thing and willing you to come in. welcome, to the other side! (that's my attempt at a sense of humour)

i agree with the no boundries thing. opening pots? some people are just incredible

* fantasy queen - they cheered when she went with her jimmy choos and prada? what surprises me is that a lot of these 'visitors' have been to the west before and some have even lived here, so they know the score, but still behave selfishly

* 30+ - the fact that you're here at all makes my day

Jinta said...

* isi - isi, fine girl, careful using low frequency sounds as quotes o, they are also emitted by the big cats (lions, tigers), but i hear men manage to emit it sometimes

1stpet2v9 said...

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eyahhhhh, LMAO!!! Why wud she stand right beside u like dt though? LMAO!! the imagery is hYsTeRiCaL!!!!!!!!!

and then she got lost.. kai!

1stpet2v9 said...

and I'm visiting from Uncle Las' bloggie too!! U r funny

Uzezi said...

lol. really gross. presidential suite indeed. and that one standing over u while u eat. gross.

Uzezi said...

one post on friday, another on monday. Thank God for your health

Jaycee said...

LOLLLLLLLLLLLL....

I cannot believe this woman ended up in CANTERBURY, KENT!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!

And I'm sure u were secretly HAPPY Jinta, don't lie...u were probably laughing ur behind off! :)

So u endured listening to Arabic every single day for six weeks? I can't even begin to imagine...lolllll...some people are really funny...

I started thinking she was a little "cuckoo" when u described how she asked for favors at the middle of dinner, and how she gave blank stares after every discussion...r u sure she was ok? Lolll...u're too funny!

Jinta said...

* 1stpet - i beter keep visiting laspapi's blog then since i meet nice people.

yes o, she would simply stand there - the things i have gone thru

* uzezi - thank you and i thank God too.

i'm still surprised i can see the funny side of that woman. at that time, i thought it was a trial i could never endure

* jaycee - of course i was happy. ex asked how she was going to get home and i gave her a look that said: dont you dare! told the woman to get a cab home, i wasnt going to drive that far to pick up an unwanted guest who got lost. she should at least use some of the money she was saving. she arrived at 2am and i did not even ask how much the cab cost

Rayo said...

Wait...85 miles?!

After about 3 hours into her journey, didn't she start to question the man's directions and why it was taking so long???

Wow...Naijas sha. One woman came to visit my family and she always did this annoying thing where she would narrate whatever we were watching on tv to us, then she'd ask us what was going on like if we weren't all watching the thing for the first time. And she was always praying for us...not just regular "God bless you's" but MINUTES LONG prayers...until my parents started believing that she was a witch.

Sherri said...

lol@presidential suite - at the ritz liverpool?

u tried sha! six weeks of torture..
how can anyone be that inconsiderate?

my friend threw her visiting sister out in the middle of the night once, after two weeks of midnight mfm thunder praying. guess who went to pick her up? moi!
u bet, she was as quite as a church mouse at my house.

Jinta said...

* rayo - yes, 85 miles! 10 from Thornton Heath to Elephant and Castle, 75 the rest of the way. E&C to Moorgate cannot be more than 4 or so miles, so i wondered myself why not ask. thinking about it now, if she did ask, she probably would have used 'assorted' english to ask for Margate, which means she would have been encouraged to continue on that merry journey

abt your extraordinarily prayerful guest, i've learned not to trust those people. they usually have something to hide

* sherri - i tried, didn't i, sherri? now you see why i turned out this way...

lmao at your friend who threw her sister out. way braver than i was

The Indecent One..... said...

fuck this shit!!! I am quiting this blogger! da hell??!! 22 comments alrady....i wonder if some of y'all have beepers beeping as soon as dude updates....imagine 22 comments!!!

ok, lemme go and read...:D

The Indecent One..... said...

lmao! muslim tapes ke? heheheeee....omo, ure a patient somborri o...me i go jejely tell her to start packing...wat gives mehn??!

Ms. Catwalq said...

all these people u know....

what a funny life u have

pamela said...

Knowing our crabby Jinta, he either:

a) forced his poor ex to go get her because he was not moving out of the house - he was enjoying his peace.

b)Gave her some confusing direction - in the hopes that she will remain lost till after her prayer time the following morning...


Oya Confess...which one....

Desy said...

buwahahahahaha- hilarious

poor thing. but who stays with someone and inconveniences them with 5am sermons that bounce off walls. that is incredibly disrespectful and ungrateful... i'm sure your ex felt less inclined to do things like that in the future...lol

Jinta said...

* inde - i dont know if that was patience, just did not know how to get around the problem. it did not help that she stared at you like something out of star trek when you spoke to her

* ms catwalq - did not know her o, and have not seen her since. just unfortunate for me that ex was close friends with her sister

believe me when i say i did not find it funny then

* pammy - i think this is the longest comment you ever left, i am honoured

i asked her to take a cab o. (see my response to jaycee)

* desy - after that woman, i put my foot down. it's bad enough there're so many unbalanced people out there, talk less of accepting them in your home

Omosewa said...

Lmao@Presidential suite

LOL@the unwanted guest. A whole 6weeks, the least she could have done was to stay out of your way.

Lmao@disposable shirts...i was looking at the clothes like, people wear those...maybe she was going to get lace and gele with her saved up money.

How's your week going?My one and only Jinta, ale nobody...lol

pink gloves said...

lol, she didnt even know u and stayed at ur house for 6 weeks. I swear some pple sabi over kill sha.
Well she was at least outta ur hair, 85 miles away. lol.

36 INCHES OF BROWN LEGS said...

6 weeks??? bloody hell!! e mi o ni iru suru yen (i dont have dat sort of pateince) what? canterbury? lol. i cant stop laughing.

Afrobabe said...

hahahahahahhahahah....Jinta u wicked oh but at the same time u r nice sha...6 weeks of that trash??? I would have kicked her out...rubbish..

Nyemoni said...

Hahahahahahaha........Jintaaaaaaaaahhhhh! LOL...Serves her right indeed! LOL...I know it's not as easy as it sounds, to tell her to leave o! Na wah...It must have been 6 weeks of torture....

rethots said...

Ha.....you are kind.

"It says, Canta…, Cantry…, Cantarry…" so much for spoken (Queen's) English. Haba Jinta, give her small credit now; at least she could spell "Canterbury!".

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

lol! a whole 85 miles away? This i why I insist on making my guests carry a sheet with my addy on it, so there are less worries.

lol!

NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

@ Nicky, please elaborate. Sounds juicy....

NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

Jinta said...

* 'sewa - na as you leave me i dey, omosewa

i dont recall she was going to buy gele o, she had a lot of colleagues and ara ile people to buy for.

she was probably driving them crazy at work, the way she stared at you, that was why they sent her on a course

* pink gloves - the 85 mile day was the most pleasurable of her stay

* 36" - 6 weeks kampe. she taught me a lesson: never again

* afro - i did not blog at the time. i'm sure things would have been different if i had blogged about her when she was around

* 'moni - 6 weeks of hell. i dont know how i survived. felt like a captive of some sort

* rethots - i suppose i have to be thankful she could spell. what escapes me is how she was standing and phoning from a train station, yet she told me she did not know where she was

* solsydelle - address ke? i regretted she even had my telephone no. to call home

Omosewa said...

Lmao, me thinks u need to be working with them...

goodmorningggg

Ms. emmotions said...

well, its a bit difficult to turn this kind of person down, had jinta said no, the whole naija would ve had the news of how bad he is and how he ended up leaving her out in the cold....lol

hello jinta, hop u are doing gr8,

laspapi said...

trying out my new pic.

She'd stand and stare while you ate? You found that disconcerting, jintu? I'd have told her, right hand hovering just above the gun in my holster, left hand outstretched to ward her off, "back off, ^%&$#^**."

laspapi said...

ps. 1stpet's one of the most lovely people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Jinta said...

* 'sewa - it was lovely waking up beside you this morning, but to condemn me to working with her? below the belt

* ms emmo - you're dead right, i suspect my ex would have complained as well

where have you been?

* 'papi - unfortunately, that was abt a year before you were around, so could not garner your help

nice avatar

!*!*!*!*!Fresh and Fab!*!*!*!*! said...

una try, i cant stay with sum1 who drives me nuts, especially in my own house..that her music thing wouldnt have just happened, no way, she would have had to go and get an mp3 or something.


you guys just confused the woman, bus 468 from elephant,.quick and easy job done.

Nicky said...

Solomonsydelle - I really cant divulge. Let’s say I was merely protecting my interests.

pamela said...

LOL!!

Jinta said...

* fresh - you're right abt the 468, though, knowing the woman, she would just have taken one in the wrong direction and ended in south croydon

Sha said...

LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOO
gosh ure a funny dude..

LMAOOO @ d sister oh.. well i dnt 'house' people sha.. naaaah i 'done' it once and it was HELL.. there are cheap guesthouses for folks like dat, ma hse aint no hotel *hiss

Sha said...

but 468 doesnt go to thornton heath nawww..
OR DOES IT?

Jinta said...

* sha - 468 does skirt thornton heath high street, by whitehorse lane into whitehorse road and terminates at south croydon.

no, i no be the naija dude for thamesmead, i be the naija dude for south west london. lol

Florida of Free Spirit said...

no mind am, o jare. na over-form dey kill some people. nonsense

Jinta said...

* florida - hehe, thank you o jare. glad you're on my side

guerreiranigeriana said...

na wa for her o!!!...you were sha...i love arabic and all but you will NOT sit in MY house to wake me at 5am for your prayers...lie lie...her options would have been leave or pray outside, five houses down the road...

...she was an imbecile and deserved to get lost!!...haha...

Doja said...

Okay I do not mean to be thick but where exactly is 'presidential suite' I have never heard of it.

Jinta said...

* g-nigeriana - with hindsight, i wish i had encouraged her to go down to the park at the end of my road for 5am prayers. lol


* doja - 'presidential suite' odes not exist, at least, i dont think it does, that's the whole point. it appears she heard it somewhere and thought it was the name of a hotel

Mz. Dee said...

Lmao..!!
Ive been back three timez today just to read ur blog!!
9jaz... we just gta luv em!! Lolz!

In My Own Words said...

Kent! Still laughing with tears rolling down my face! I'm almost afraid to ask how u got her back home that night.

Cool blog...I've become a disciple.