Monday, April 23, 2007

To continue the story.......

Now, about my bicycle. As an adult, I have always had a romantic idea of me riding a bicycle. For years, I thought about it, I could see myself, riding downhill, my hair flying in the wind, wearing a "flower patterned" dress, a small basket in front, in it, a baguette, wild flowers, a novel, a bottle of red wine, sandals on my feet, (think Europe, after WW2, navy uniforms, cobbled roads, etc), yes, thats the image I had of my self. For years, I thought about it and finally two years ago, i summoned up courage and walked into a bicycle shop. The shop was full with all sorts of bicycles, all kinds, I had no idea, and the prices! Good Lord! I just want to ride in the wind,is it that expensive? such a simple pleasure? I found the bike I wanted, it was cheap and red, plus, I could get a basket if I wanted! All was going well untill........

Shopman: So, which helmet do you want?

Helmet! helmet! Did he just say helmet? I don't want a fucking helmet! I want my hair to fly in the wind! Well, after this wonderful man narrated the scariest stories about bicycle accidents and how helmets are important, and also, there is a law that says all cyclists should have helmets, infact, there is talk of police stopping cyclists that don't wear one........ehnnnnnnnnn, did he just say police?

Yes, I got the damn helmet, a blue one. The one that could take the strongest "impact" or whatever bullshit he was talking about. I was again about to leave, when

Shopman: Don't you need a lock?

A lock? I don't want one! I want to be able to dash in and out of bakeries and flower shops at will, my bicycle carelessly leaning on a wall!Anyway, I phoned my friend Maria who works in a shop where they sell all sorts of locks and stuff, she said they had a special price for "bicycle locks", well, I might as well get it, told her to get one for me, went to pick it up the next day........

Me: ehnnnnn, Maria, what is this?

Maria: Well, I got you a special one, this is originally for "scooters", but i thought it will be perfect for you, you'll see, when you have this, nobody will even dare to steal it!

Basically, it was a huge "chain" with a mighty padlock! Thus, my dear people, I can often be seen riding my bicycle with a blue helmet and a mighty chain which i have padlocked to the back of my bicycle. I am yet to get a basket and I don't think I will, the helmet and chain just does not fit into my "hair in the wind" fantasy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My bicycle and Miss Diane.

Have I mentioned my bicycle here? My beautiful red bicycle? I'll tell you all about it later, but first, let me tell you about how my love for bicycles started.I used to love riding my "bike" as a child, which ofcourse was a hand me down from my brother. I could not wait for him to go boarding school so I could finally have the "chopper" all to myself. I rode it everywhere, but my best memory of riding my bike was when I used to ride it to my "lesson teacher's" house. My lesson teacher was a very young babe, about 28, she was single and enjoying life. She was my English teacher, yes oh! I had lessons just for English, not as if I needed it, but you know parents, once they see you are good in a subject, they'll do "oversabi"! Anyway, I used to ride down to her small apartment, and this is what we used to do. She'd give me a book with questions and answers(it was a brown book, verbal aptitude) and tell me to do about 100 questions. The lesson room was her kitchen, she used to put a tray with tea and biscuits and leave me all to myself while she did some "entertaining". I am telling you, it was a very exciting time for me, never had I seen so many "uncles" in my life not to talk of all the presents she got! Once in a while, she'd pop her head in and ask if I had any questions, I never had, I was impatient for her to go back to the living room so I could listen in on her conversations with her different "men friends". Just before the end of my lesson, (it was two hours, 4-6) I'd look at the back of the book and copy the answers! Sometimes, she'd go out with the men, leaving me with a couple of films, the remote control and a packet of "choclate fingers" or whatever she had just received as present. I tell you, the fun I had! I used to go to her room and try out all her high heels and jewelry, pretend I was her, talk like her, move my hips left and right as I had seen her do,oh, the fun! I never did anything in her house, yet I was one of the best English students the school had produced.I was in the "debate" group, I remember us travelling to Benin, then it was still "Bendel state" to do debates on television.I won prizes,was cast in different "plays", scored the highest in English in "entrance examinations", wrote prize winning essays, all my success was attributed to the two hours after school lessons I had with Miss Diane. My parents sang her praises everywhere, I was seen as the protege of Miss Diane. The funny thing is we both knew we did not do anything, but we lapped up all the praises like a "team". She would often put her arm around me when people commented about how good I was and make remarks like "you see, I told you the extra work on vocabulary will pay off" and I'd say "yes aunty" or "I make sure she reads a lot of newspapers" etc. We really had fun, oh and all this time she was engaged to a very wealthy man who my parents knew! She was very nice to me and I must say, she's one of the few teachers that I have a fond memory of. Sometimes, she would "load" my chopper in her car and drive me home, we'd listen to music and sing all the way. I remember my bicycle, I remember primary six being a wonderful time but most of all, I remember Miss Diane who made that year truly special.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Seeking out the weak

Today, I'll be writing about something that has irritated me for a long time. Have you ever noticed as a child in school, or at work, that certain people seem to always get into trouble? They are the ones that somehow find themselves in vulnerable situations without ever knowing how they got there. In school, we'd see certain kids being bullied, they are not the ones I am talking about. I am talking about people, who for different reasons in life have no self confidence at all.One can easily make them believe they are ugly, fat, dumb, stupid, irritating and they would agree with you. As children, we all knew them,as only children are wont to, we'd tease them continously, enjoying the fact that we can have so much influence over another human being's life. We'd tell them what clothes to wear, how to do their braids right, what films to watch etc, yes, as children we enjoyed our lttle reign of power. However, as adults, a lot of us act in different ways towards such people. Most of us tend to avoid them, we get tired of being in their presence when another adult shamelessly teases them, a fact which they would never understand even if you explained it to them. The women get tired of explaining the same rules when it comes to men. We get tired of repeating the same phrases "he is just using you", "stop giving him all your money", "don't let him isolate you from your family", "you are not fat". "somebody else will love you", etc. Gradually, being weary of constantly looking out for this person, we tend to distance ourselves, believing that may be this person would learn a lesson, a rude lesson that would awaken her spirit in life. Sadly, this is hardly the case, the next time you see this person, he or she might be in a cult, wearing flowing gowns, living like a church rat and chanting on the street, an extreme example, I know, but it has been known to happen. Some adults hang in there, calling their friend from time to time, having taken on this humongous role as "parent/advisor", knowing in their heart it will be wrong to let this innocent being fall into the hands of other adults waiting to pounce on them. We go the extra mile, seeing them often, shouting, screaming, explaining, doing everything we can to put some sense into their heads. Unfortunately there are some adults that understand just how vulnerable this creature is and after watching from afar, decide to reel in the line, exploiting this poor human being like never before. It is easy to get them, show them love, in which ever form, through religion, through sex, through money, show them love and they will be yours.To those that have benefitted from seeking out the weak, I tell you, you are not smart, you are not a bully, you are not a 419, you are a poor specimen of a human being and the worst coward there is.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Typical Waffy day

Yesterday was a typical waffy day, I was planning on spending the day in, drinking tea, watching Tv and phoning my sisters. Well, it started like that, untill about 3 when my friend phoned me to inform me that there was going to be a concert at a church in the city by 5. Well, that means I have to leave by 4 cos it takes one hour to get there, and then, the waffy madness started!I have to look good, its a classical concert, perhaps everybody is all dressed up, no problem, I jump in the shower, dress up, do hair, find ear rings and is my make up bag? shit! shit! shit! I probably left it at Jojos!(yes my dear people, I only wear makeup when I must)okay, now begins the phone calls. Jojo is unavailable, probably having sex with her man who just landed.

Phone call 1

Hi Jojo! Its me, I can't find my make up bag, I think I left it at your place, yes, I know, I am finding out after a week, pls check and call me back cos all my expensive shit is in there!

5 mins later....... and I am racing around the house like a chicken without head, looking for my bus card.

Phone call 2

Hi Maria! Listen, just found out my bus card has gone out and I really don't want to pay on the bus, its fucking armed robbery! I am going to walk to the train station and apart from that, my make up bag is missing, I 'll probably come like that anyway cos I 've already done my hair. Please go ahead, I'll be 15 mins late.

Phone call 3
Hi Jojo, Its me again, can you check if I left my bag at your place? the black one? call me

Phone call 4
Hi Maria, you know what? I am not coming. I don't have any make up, its a pity cos my hair is really looking good today, damn! you would have been so proud, I even have ear rings and necklace, I went all out. Anyway, have fun, try and get laid!

Now its past four, I have decided I am not going, I open my cupboard, to change that my make up bag? heheheheheheheh! Great! if I'm real fast, I can do my make up, walk to the train station, 30 minutes late is okay! damn, I am good!

Phone call 5
Hi Maria, I am coming after all, I found it! I 'll meet you at the church!

So now, I am out the door and walking as fast as I can to the train station, it was weird, I did not meet one single person on the way there! What is happening? Not a single soul! It was so quiet and peaceful......everything seemed to be moving in slow motion, except me, who is huffing and puffing my way to the station! I buy my card, get a cup of coffee and wait for the train. I get to my destined stop, get off and realize I have no fucking clue where the church is! hehehehe! So typical! I see a nice looking woman,(yes I know, simply gorgeous, I am fond of talking to strangers)

Conversation with nice looking woman
Me: Hi! do you know where Katherine's church is?
Nice woman: Oh yeah, you are on the wrong stop though! you should go one more stop!
Me: Oh...... it far from the station?
Nice woman: Not really, its easy, I'll show you, thats my stop too! what is happening there?
Me: Concert by 5! I am very late. What about you? You look nice, a date perhaps?
Nice woman: Nahhhhhhh, I am going to the movies with a girl friend......

We proceed to have a very nice conversation, really, she tells me she would have followed me to the concert if she was not meeting friends, I tell her I would have gone to the movies with her if I was not meeting a friend. She shows me the way to the church and we wave good bye to each other, smiling, two kindred spirits, firm friends without ever exchanging names or numbers. The day was turning out to be a good one, as usual, even with all the descriptions, I proceed to get lost, but I don't mind, the city is beautiful, the sun is out, a gentle breeze is coming in from the sea, the boats are out, it is so beautiful........everything, I take a couple of pictures with my camera......I wish I could sit here forever, gazing away, no fears, no troubles, hmmmmmmmmmm, its so calm........ and all of a sudden......FUCK FUCK FUCK! I should be at the church!!!!!Why am I here? sitting on a bench? I should be at the church! I hear the church bells, I see its towers but they are so many small houses between me and the church........its impossible to find it......madness........after a couple of strange turns, I finally find it........ I go in.....

Woman: ehhhhhhhh, excuse me miss, do you really want to pay for this? its just 3 mins left!
me: Really? Damn! Was is it a good concert?
Woman: It was really nice, the "tenor" stole the show. Next year, perhaps?
me: Ehhhhh, thank you!

Phone call 6
Hi Maria! I am outside the church, sitting on a bench, unfortunately, I missed the whole concert! anyway, I'll be waiting for you here, do you know its really pretty here? I don't know why I never come to this part of the city! Anyway, I am waiting outside.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

What a woman wants.

I have been thinking a lot recently, about my life, my decisions yet to be made and those already made. Thinking about the good, the bad and the ugly. No matter what we do, no matter where we go, we are always plagued by one question, "did we do the right thing?", we should have waited perhaps? Thought a little bit longer, harder.We should have studied the matter properly, perhaps looked at past statistics? Unfortunately, life has no time for that. Decisions have to be made and they have to be made now. You are pushing thirty, quick, grab anybody, get a child, that womb won't wait forever!But...........I still haven't travelled to Nepal, I still have not taken the Siberian express from Mongolia to China, I still haven't learnt 8 languages, I still haven't learnt the piano, wait up! I can't decide now! Oh! But you have to my dear, mother nature is waiting for no woman.Yes, if you ask me, what do you want? I want this freaking mother nature to go away! Stop bothering me, I have big dreams, let me achieve them, do I really have to choose? Be a mother now or forever regret when you are 70 in an old peoples home with nobody to visit you! Be a mother now, or forever look at babies and regret not knowing what they would have felt like against your skin! Please, go away, I am tired of these silent whispers in my ears everyday. I don't want to have to choose. Can't I have it all? Climb the mountains of Nepal with a child on my back? Go backpacking around the world, my little one content with cheese and crackers? Do you know what a woman wants? We want time to stand freaking still! Even for a few seconds!