LAGOS RAMBLINGS

Lagos, Algarve

Sadly not the train I saw. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post was supposed to be written at MM2. I had this mental picture of sitting in an airport, typing away, a complete oasis of peace amidst the swirling blur of travelling humanity…however, my battery refused to allow me to be great, so I’m back at home, typing this in the sweltering Abuja heat and not feeling like much of an oasis.

I love airports…as soon as I get into one, I want to travel to some exotic country far away…I am a wanderer at heart, and airports remind me of that desire to explore new regions and experience new things. I remember telling my family years ago that I would not own a home…I decided that I would spend my years travelling with my knapsack on my back and come home periodically with souvenirs of the many places I would have visited. While I have come to the realization that living like a tortoise with my home on my back might not be the best way to go, I still enjoy the hunger that airports spark in me, and indulge them with short trips to Lagos and plans for travelling the world a country at a time.

Anyway…back to the point…whatever it was meant to be…

I took a Dana flight to and from Lagos and I must say it was a wonderful experience. Customer relations were excellent, hostesses were polite, pleasant and professional and my checking in and flight arrangements were done smoothly. My flight back to Abuja was excellent; the plane almost seemed to kiss the ground, so smooth was the landing. I’d like to think that perhaps Dana Air has started again with a renewed focus on excellence in all aspects of their work. It seems that so often, we notice the bad that organizations and corporations do, I’d like to also acknowledge the good and hope that they keep it this way and even improve their services. I was definitely impressed.

I enjoyed my trip to Lagos…I get to see a different side of it every time I travel. This trip, I enjoyed looking at the old and new buildings side by side…Lagos is full of history. I looked at buildings put up in the 1800s and couldn’t help wondering about them. Who built them, how many generations had passed, how the current occupants felt about living in history… I would imagine that houses so old would have an atmosphere full of memories…you would walk into them and feel the joys and hopes and tears of generation after generation…I am glad that in Lagos and also Calabar, we are not so overwhelmingly obsessed with the new that we are recklessly chucking out the old. I know that many valuable architectural and cultural aspects of our past have been and are still in the process of being lost, so it made me very happy to see old homes…some carefully maintained. It told me that perhaps there are some that still care.

I also enjoyed watching the train. Yes the cars were rickety, yes the tracks are overgrown with grass but still, it was lovely to hear the alarm bells ring, see the barriers come down and then watch the train thunder past. Although trains don’t evoke in me the same desire to travel that airports do (those things look rickety abeg), it was still nice to watch these people in the trains and wonder who they were and where they were going.

Hmmm..what else?

I enjoyed shutting down, and I truly did. Barely answered my phone or responded to messages, just disconnected from life, took a step outside the hustle and bustle and caught a moment to breathe. It was a wonderful mini-break; somewhere in the middle of the holiday, I found myself letting go of a “worry list” that I didn’t even know I had been building, and replacing it with a “grateful list”. I knew I was well rested when I woke up this morning and found myself planning work stuff and calling people to get things organized before I show up at work tomorrow. I must remember to take out me-time. I know I can’t hop on a plane (or even a train) whenever I wish, but perhaps I could focus on enjoying my weekends more, making them less full of things to do and people to see and focusing on doing the things I want to do…as I want to do them. Life has been too busy lately.

Ok, rambling over…there’s a bowl of ogbono soup with my name on it and I’m off to find it.

Thank you for stopping by

God bless

Advertisements

THE 5 KG MIRACLE AND OTHER STORIES

I’ve gained 5 kg in the last 6 months. Yup! It’s a miracle; let me explain why. I’ve been basically the same weight for the last 13 years. There have been minor fluctuations – 2 kg gained, 2 kg lost…but I always go back to my equilibrium weight; may I add that this has usually happened without any effort of my own. (Allow me to take a minute to bask in the wonder of my miracle metabolism)

This is why this weight gain is a shocker. How do I now gain 5kg in 6 months? What on earth is going on? So yes I’m taking multivitamins now, and yes I tend to eat more regularly…but still, 5kg???

I should be elated, I’ve been attempting (rather half heartedly I must confess) to gain weight for years; however, when I finally weighed myself and saw the weight gain, my first thought was that I had an unknown metabolic situation that would now proceed to turn me into a butterball in the nearest future. I saw myself becoming one of those cheerfully round women who always used to look at me and say “I used to be skinny like you you know, then…I got married/had my first child/discovered pounded yam…etc”

I dashed off to the Auntie in the kitchen to share my concerns about the weight gain. Auntie chuckled with joy, waved my protestations aside and then told me to “let the will of God be done in this matter”…there was no non-blasphemous way to respond to that so I left quietly.

However, I’m still contemplating this gain…it looks good on me I’ve got to admit, but if I continue at this rate, by the end of next year, I’ll look like a basketball…that will not be good for business.

Well, for now, let me enjoy this, but I’m only allowing myself one more kilo before I will have to hold a strategic meeting with my metabolism.

 

POKO TINS

So Tonto Dikeh was the cause of most of the furore on the internet last week. Now, this is not a critique of her songs (I haven’t heard them), neither is it an opinion piece on the trend of actors becoming musicians (their lives, their business). What did get to me about the whole matter was the ease with which random people suddenly decided it was perfectly acceptable to rain so many insults on one human being. There were some funny jokes, but there were some very cruel comments, and it was a bit scary. Cyberspace grants us the relative anonymity to express ourselves without the usual societal constraints. However, it also makes it possible for people to register completely unwarranted cruelty on other people. It turns people into bullies, plain and simple.

From all I’ve heard, Tonto is someone people love to hate. She’s laughed at for her tweets, no one knows what POKO means and not everyone believes she should be acting. Nevertheless, she is still a human being, exhibiting the same world as we are, making a decision to live every one of her dreams. I don’t know Tonto personally; on twitter she comes across like she couldn’t care less about the comments people make about her, but even the most thick-skinned person in the world would surely have had one moment of hurt for all the comments she received.

Even if her singles were a massive flop, at least that’s one thing off her list of “Things I’d really love to do before I die”. Was her only failure in not being afraid to share her journey with the rest of Nigeria and the world? The rest of us have been blessed to make our mistakes in privacy, or within a network of family and friends…that is for those of us who are making an effort to live our dreams. There are still too many of us with cool stories of “if I just show you how good I am at …” who will never take the step to see whether we actually have a shot at the things we dream of doing. We will never take that step, but feel content to hide behind a computer screen and mock someone else for not being afraid to fail.

I hope I don’t sound combative, but I feel really deeply about this. At first I laughed at the jokes, found myself looking for the next comment; but then I found myself thinking…what are all the things I’ve always wanted to do but have always been too afraid to try? What am I doing to live the life I dream of?  How am I stirring up my gifts? It hit me pretty bad because for the last few weeks, I’ve been dealing with so many internal, external and supernatural pushes on using my gifts. I’ve had to admit that I don’t give my writing as much space and attention as I should; I still treat it like a hobby, writing when I’m in the mood; but expecting it to become a force of its own and earn me the recognition that I think it one day can. I’ve had to confess my laziness and carelessness to God and myself, and ask for help to discover, harness and release everything I have within me.

Tonto’s songs may never make a top ten list; but for one afternoon, Tonto Dikeh was probably the most talked about person in Nigerian cyberspace because she decided to take a chance. When are you going to take yours?

PS: By the way, Steve Harris teaches some very important life lessons using Tonto Dikeh’s foray into music. Check him out @iamsteveharris or search using the hash tag #LessonsfromTontoDikeh. You’ll gain a lot; I promise.

God bless.