I find it difficult to believe that I have not blogged for almost 3 months. A myriad of reasons but the prevailing one is laziness. I was always going to post something ‘today’ or ‘tomorrow’ until it all gradually became remote. Even my one-year anniversary in October went unheralded. Ok, I do believe I’ve now beaten myself up sufficiently.
So I’m in an airplane last week on the way to Lagos awaiting take-off. The woman next to me is reading a newspaper and then makes a phone call to her friend to proclaim ‘Jesus is alive’. She obviously sees Obama’s election as a celestial event. I was initially fearful because I had been unfortunate enough to have sat next to another bible-reading, fervent-praying, wildly-gesticulating woman on a trip in June, who ended up having an argument with two other passengers and three crew at different times, leaving me wondering about what I might have done to deserve the torture of my allocated seat. Why do I always end up with these people? In truth, the Jesus-is-alive-cos-Obama-won woman turned out to be really nice if you could ignore the ‘praise Jesus’ and ‘God lives’ that she interposed with every sentence and we chatted for most of the trip.
Still on divine intervention, I had my iPhone with me and realised I did not have the pin with which to remove the sim card, so I could change to my Nigerian sim. I was loath to ask the crew for a sharp object for fear of being labelled ‘Taliban’ and simply wished I had a toothpick. I looked down and right by my foot was one of those individually wrapped toothpicks. Now, you’ve got to bear in mind that this was a freshly cleaned plane and we were yet to take off. I spent the entire flight vainly looking to see if I’d find another. My own miracle!
I will not even talk about the two spoilt kids who screamed and cried for four hours right from before take-off. It was all I could do not to get up and slap them upside the head, and then their parents too if they deigned to complain.
And the stupid girl who spent 15 minutes complaining to the Stewardess as she could not get a space in the overhead compartment right over her seat. Does it take a Stewardess to explain to a Nigerian that the lockers are not allocated?
Lagos was fine as usual. I was distressed about the Uzoma girl’s story as it was just breaking when I got in. On Wednesday I visited the Trade Fair, which reminded me of how much deterioration has taken place, six hours for a return journey that should have taken one, on arrival running a gauntlet of mainly aggressive Igbo traders who were selling clothing and footwear seconds all over the Fair grounds.