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.