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The City called Chaos!

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Valentine’s day has come and gone and while many remember fondly the day and it’s sweet memories, others are glad it’s in the past. I spent the weekend attending a friend’s wedding in the ancient city of Ibadan and I must say those hilarious memes about Ibadan peeps don’t even tell half the story. 😉

Driving into the town, we were in awe of the okada men who drove their rickety bikes like they were Harley-Davidsons giving motorists a heart attack every time they pulled a stunt. I couldn’t help blessing Fashola and Oshiomole for curbing this menace in the metropolitan areas of their respective states. We checked into a hotel in Bodija supposedly one of the good ones and we were welcomed by a rude receptionist who’d probably just realized she was the side chick judging by her surly demeanor. It was Valentine’s day and the six of us checked into three rooms on the same floor eagerly anticipating the rest of the evening. We had a good laugh about all the people wearing red or a touch of red, from the vulcanizer to the bus conductor and the bride and groom had not been left out, their engagement colours being red and gold.

The men had threatened to burst our romantic bubble by announcing that they were going for the groom’s bachelor’s eve party that night with none of their wives in tow. We begged, cajoled, threatened and cried but all our pleas fell on deaf ears. The men imagined scenes from ‘Hangover’ and ‘Last Vegas’ and were not gonna fall for anything we were saying. When we realized they weren’t budging we revolted and announced we were gonna have a ladies’ night, wear our sexiest and paint the town red without our significant others. Alas we forgot we were a long way from home. The first disaster was the absence of running water in the entire hotel. We couldn’t take our baths or flush the toilets, it was absolutely ludicrous. The staff ended up fetching buckets of water for us to our consternation. Then in a bid to cheer us up, one of the bell boys announced that the hotel had Val presents for every room and so we trooped downstairs to claim our pressies. The side chick receptionist looked mildly surprised and then crestfallen when she reluctantly handed us the gifts, I guess she was hoping she would end up with one of them at the end of her shift. Well if she had been nicer I would have given up my ‘hamper’. The so-called hamper consisted of some sweets, onion crackers, nasco biscuit, an artificial rose and a bottle of cheap vodka but like they say it’s the thought that counts and these people needed us thinking sweet thoughts since they hadn’t fixed the water problem!

The guys decided to accompany us to shoprite. I think they were either worried about the hot dresses their wives were wearing or the fact that our itinerary included a movie at shoprite, dinner at a Chinese restaurant, suya, liquor and shaking our ukwu at any club we found before midnight! Anyway as far as they were concerned Ibadan was unsafe and they needed to keep us safe. I was still scoffing at that concept when we noticed that the women in the car in front of us were being robbed. Seriously what do you do when you notice that sort of activity in the car in front of you? There were no cops on the road and the taxi had no plate number. My friend tried to be a hero and was trailing the car but the driver noticed us and increased his speed along with some dangerous swerves and soon we realized we had not only lost them but we were lost as well.

We eventually got to shoprite and I experienced shoprite Ibadan for the first time in history. I think I actually feel safer in the market on Lagos Island than I ever did throughout my time there. There were thousands of people running against you and basically doing nothing. I could only imagine the pilfering rate, the security was obviously swamped. Seriously tho’ why would there be that many people at shoprite on Valentine’s day not doing anything? Did dudes take chicks to shoprite for dates? #eternallyconfused
My wallet was securely wedged between my arm and chest throughout. The guys were thoroughly frazzled and begged us to just buy suya in addition to the party favors we got from shoprite and have a quiet bridal shower at the hotel. We finally agreed after they promised to take us out somewhere romantic the next evening and after they showed us the way to the suya they left us to our fate.

The rest of the night was an angry blur (more like a bleh). We made the mistake of going to options 24-7 to buy suya and the other half of the population of Ibadan were there. It took us two hours and four reorders to finally get our soggy, onion-less suya, throw in two guys – one obviously having a mid-life crisis and the other still trying to find himself who were both hoping to get lucky and then the female police woman patrolling the road at night not to mention almost getting lost and we were back at the hotel too tired to have the crazy party we had planned. The men were just leaving for the bach eve and the hotel manager announced that my friend K and her hubby were the lucky winners of a romantic dinner for two in the hotel lobby (rolling my eyes), maybe the dining room was fully booked but the table for two at the lobby was anything but romantic and my friend’s hubby announced he was on his way out and that was the end of that story (I wonder what was on the menu 😉 )

The next day was beautiful, the wedding was a gorgeous one and we had a splendid time. After it we decided to watch Kevin Hart’s new movie “About last night“.

It would have been a great movie if my hubby hadn’t dozed off ten minutes into the movie. The Ibadan cinema was hot, noisy and shabby but they had a gregarious audience and their comments added to the excitement (p.s if you are one of those people who like quiet cinemas DO NOT go here). That night I didn’t sleep a wink. I spent the night vomiting and stooling and by morning I felt like the walking dead. Everybody blamed the Chinese I had at the wedding. It was Ibadan’s way of saying ‘I am glad you came, do visit us again…’ (evil laugh)

I jejerly bought imodium and kissed the rustic city goodbye…
How was your weekend? I know mine sounds like it was the weekend from hell but despite being stuck in the city called chaos, I had mad fun! 😉

There was a poll on the website asking readers if they thought Valentine’s day was overrated and majority (57%) felt it was overrated. I actually agree with the majority simply because I have learnt not to put too much pressure on myself or my loved ones. Too many of us have made val’s day about the gifts instead of the emotion behind the gestures. I had an awesome time because I was surrounded by friends and family (even though I almost died). It’s never too late to make the person you love feel special, don’t wait till February 14th next year to do it.

Have a lovely night Chutzpah fam,
(writing posts for y’all to read is really therapeutic, do drop a comment so I know you are there…)

Xxx

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Life, Memoirs

 

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It’s all for the money $$$ – “A tale of one Lagos big girl” Episode 6

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I took a big gulp of champagne and sputtered, glancing around quickly to see if anyone had taken notice. When I observed I was alone in the bar save for one white man reading a newspaper, I relaxed. I certainly didn’t want to draw attention to myself even though I knew nobody around here would be able to figure out my true identity. Things had worked out thankfully. By the time Sammy had woken from his drug induced sleep, I was on a plane to Calabar. I had contacted a guy I knew who was into property and told him to put up my house for rent. I would have loved to sell it but Alhaji had never given me the papers even though the house was mine. I guess it was his own way of staying in control. Anyway the rent would be able to sustain my lifestyle till I decided on a new way to make mad money. The guy had sensed I had to leave in a hurry and had asked me if I had moved out of the house. I told him to get a trusted staff to move all my personal belongings and have them mailed to an address I would send to him later and that I would send someone to get my cars. I pointed out that the house was fully furnished and in a good location and I expected good money for it and then rushed him off the phone before he could probe deeper. I knew he wouldn’t steal from me, I had spoken to him a couple of times and had this gut feeling besides he was a big boy in his own right not one hungry hustler. I smiled…I used to be a hungry hustler!  

There was no doubt that Sammy had fled the country already. I really did hope that would be the last I ever saw of him. Now I just wanted a new start, a new identity if possible and a new job. I wanted to keep being a Lagos big girl but not one of those expensive hos, I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur, someone that would inspire others. I decided that Modinat needed to die. Never again would I be referred to by that name. Thankfully my agent addressed me as Miss Ajayi. I would simply go by my other name Toke.  Toke Ajayi I whispered…trying it on for size. No one had ever called me that. It was one of the  numerous names I had been given during my naming ceremony and it had somehow found itself exalted to birth certificate status. I paused and looked around me, I knew that while I was hibernating at Tinapa I needed to make some phonecalls and plan my next move. I wondered who I could call. My phone book consisted of men I had slept with and mostly stolen from. I thought really hard.  

“It’s a beautiful day isn’t it?”   I was broken out of my reverie by the Oyinbo greeting that had become an invitation to sit down and chat in my books. I tried not to sigh.  

“Hello, Yes it is beautiful”   And voila, he took the cue.

Thirty minutes later we were laughing at something he said and I realised there were far worse things in life than sitting down with this almost good looking American. He did take my mind off more pressing matters and in a way I was grateful. Barry was an expatriate for Mobil and had come here by himself for a mini-vacation. He wasn’t married, loved adventure and thought of Nigeria as a second home. He seemed quite attracted to me and suddenly I smiled as it hit me.  

“God works in mysterious ways!” I announced.
“He does, doesn’t He?”  

A month later we were engaged and truthfully despite my scheming to expedite this, I was actually happy and very fond of my soon to be, very quirky husband. During my soul-searching at Tinapa, I had developed a love for social media and social media had loved me right back. I smiled as I saw pictures of my engagement ring displayed on a popular blog. I had also registered my company. I had decided that I would run an image consulting firm where I would give the average girl the polish and class her background denied her. Everyone deserved a shot at marrying a rich guy, rich and successful men weren’t the sole inheritance of butty chicks, it was all about polishing and I was determined to prove this theory again and agin. Already I was a great hit and was quite surprised at how much people even the rich ones, would pay to buy class. I had moved in with Barry after our vacation at Tinapa, the poor dude couldn’t exist without me. There were things to be said about being an ex-ashewo, my bedroom schematics were unrivaled and now that I was a focussed, successful entrepreneur, it was literally icing on the cake.

Barry was a big boy, one of those Lagos expatriates popular on the social scene and anytime I bumped into someone I used to know who pointed out that my face looked familiar, Barry would talk about my increasing popularity until the person was convinced that seeing me on a blog was the reason I looked familiar. Barry sensed I had a past I didn’t want to discuss and he respected my privacy. He would joke about how like fine wine, I had matured and gotten more exquisite with each passing day. The funny thing was, the dude was spot on!  

Then came the wedding day, the most beautiful day of my life. All my new friends were there, Barry’s cousin was walking me down the aisle and I could see a smiling Barry waiting for me at the altar. Everything was perfect. I remembered the days of my hustle and tears sprang to my eyes. God had been too good to me. And as I turned to smile at the faces of my well wishers, I saw a man in dark shades sitting in a corner away from every one else and my heart skipped a beat. He removed the shades and smiled at me, it was Tade one of my business associates, I smiled at him and heaved a sigh of relief. Barry’s cousin squeezed my hand assuming I was nervous. I uttered a silent prayer to God wishing Alhaji’s family and most especially Samsudeen far, far away.  

Later that night as I lay wide-eyed, beside my sleeping, very content husband, I got a strange email.  

“Congrats Modi, I watched you walk down the aisle today and I could see you were truly happy. I never left town, when I awoke after the drug had worn off, I realised my pursuers would expect me to run. I staged my own death along with the help of a good friend and got myself a new identity (it cost far less than relocating would have). I am a good man Modi, I made mistakes as you did and thankfully we both got second chances. Do not mess this up, I will always be watching you…my runaway bride. S”  

…Do you ever feel like someone is watching you? Well this is my reality…….  

The End!

Please click on the link below to vote on the concluding part of this story… 😉
What was your impression about the concluding part of a tale of one Lagos big girl?
(polls)

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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