Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Prelude to A Calabar Christmas!

Good week everybody! Anyone feeling christmasy yet? Because I am. I don’t know why I’m so excited about this particular season this year given that I just had a mini fight with my Frieda – she’s not talking to me – on account of the fact that I cannot spend Christmas with her this year, our second together. Worse still, she’s at that time of the month when everything and nothing makes sense. I will not mention the word; we made a pact that I’d never mention that word when the visitor approaches and she’s feeling all hormonal at the risk of losing my life or worse still, eating burnt food! So pardon me my gentle folks but you are not coming between me and my tummy. It is interesting though, this phenomenon, I have never experienced anything like it in my life – okay maybe so, but it was in a much lesser scale then. During this period I have to cuddle, comfort, never ever EVER use a harsh word on her because she cries so easily. If any character in any movie, newspaper story, or new dumps his wife for a younger filly or cheats on her, I get the blame. If she has a nightmare where I happen to be the antagonist, I get the blame. Never mind that my face could easily change into someone else’s in the course of the accursed dream, I still get the blame. I then have to pacify her and persuade her to go back to sleep so I can make amends and right the wrong I inflicted on her in the dream. The brunt of my fury is now on my main man Tiger. The man is a tiger! My guy answer im name true true. Fifteen mistresses that we know of? Man o man! Oh, sorry babes! That was disgusting! How could he? At least if he had to let the news leak, why did he have to do it during this period? And now I’m on my way to Calabar on a working holiday, my ears are ringing with admonitions on where to eat and where not to eat. I must only eat hotel food and nowhere else. I must call from time to time to reassure her of my safety - and of her security. Why does the one I love just have to be so wonderfully complicated? What’s with me and moody women? Why can’t simple just mix with its fellow simple companion – you know, birds of the same feather? I wouldn’t have anyone else though. Like Drake’s song says “You the #%@#ing best!”

This week I have little to write about as I have been banned from writing about the work I’ll be doing in Calabar until it’s done. The company wants to keep its secrets secret and have the element of surprise over its competitors. That’s fine by me, but be assured that my tongue will run like my belly on a bad day when it is done. Instead of looking forward to the tradtional Christmas rice and chicken stew, ( that’s for wimps) I’ll be looking forward to afang, afere, ekpang nkwukwo meals in Calabar – on the hotel’s menu of course!

Do have a great Christmas everybody, and a prosperous New Year. Let’s have a fun filled and, of course, reflective holiday! Now I know why this season is exciting for me; I’m sharing it with you and would very much love to hear about yours and your plans for this season as well. Have a great week everybody and I love you all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Hello and a good week to everyone and a not so good one to myself. Why? Because I just lost all the data I have been compiling about my trips to Asaba and Umuahia! Where am I going to start now, and at such short notice at that? I’m so angry with myself. I’m also wondering if it got lost when the computer decided to automatically update itself – I usually leave it on standby so I can continue where I left off. I just feel like smashing something especially this stupid laptop but alas, all my eggs are in this goose. So I’ll swallow and get on with it as best as I can.

First of all let me commend all who live in Asaba on their hardiness. That town is hot! Bleedin’ ‘eck! It is super hot! It is so hot you can even chew on the air itself. If there was ever a time I appreciated water, it was in that town I did so. To try any other drink in that town with a view to assuaging your thirst is a quest in futility. Let that girl who calls herself Frieda come and brag about her inferno of a town to me again and she’ll see what fiery wrath I have in store for her – yes she’s from Asaba! I still can’t talk, and that’s unusual for someone who talks as much as I do. Every step one took in that heat was equivalent to a mile trekked on a cool day. It was so hot one had to sit near an air conditioning system to keep one’s thoughts from evaporating. Scientists say if one goes without water for three days that one could die but in this town, that has the river Niger right beside it, twelve hours without water would certainly kill me – I don’t know of others. And then the work, I was shooting a movie, was so heavy because I had very limited time to work on the set making it very tasking, especially with the three thousand plus watt lights we were using to work. And they wonder why we actors are so touchy – they don’t have to stand the heat.

Respite came at night though; I made sure I sampled all the joints the lovely town – at night – had to offer. I first went to a point and kill joint called Y2K where they had one of the most humongous catfish I have seen in a long time. I picked out the biggest there and went to our seat as they carted the protesting sod away. When it arrived on a platter, all grilled and steaming in a bed of roast ripe plantain and garlands of red hot peppers, onions and lime an hour later, I remembered my main purpose for coming to Asaba. I don’t think my head ever rose from bending over that platter until I was done licking my fingers and my chops. In fact I don’t remember a word escaping the lips of any three of us that seated at that table except to call for more beer or tissue for our eyes and noses. That wasn’t all; I made time for isi-ewu (goat- head) and bush meat pepper soup and palm wine before I left. Now you see why I am so healthy?

Alas, I was to go back home the next day as I had to catch the morning flight to Owerri the next day. My plan was to charter one of the state taxis to take me to Benin where I could hop on a flight to Lagos. A friend of mine took me to the park to get one but to our disappointment they were all gone save the private taxis who swore to me they were a comparable choice of means of transport. Looking doubtfully at their cars, I asked one of the drivers if he had air conditioning in his car to which he swore blind that he did, and had just serviced it the day before. We haggled, agreed on a price for an air conditioned vehicle and set off on our journey. He then pleaded my indulgence so he could get some fuel at a nearby petrol station and then we would be on our merry way. I assented and when we filled our tank, we went on our merry way, with the windows still wound down.

Excusing his forgetfulness, I reminded him to put the A/C on, to which he apologised and turned a few knobs while winding the windows up he then inserted a CD in the stereo and the car was filled with gospel music extolling the graces of God and how he (the driver sang along with the singer) longed to follow His righteous path and statutes. It began to get considerably warm in the entombed car and I remarked as such. The driver suddenly bent over the vents, felt this way and that with an incredulous look on his face, exclaiming he’d never had an experience like this before in his fifteen years of driving commercially. He then proceeded to dig into the glove compartment, brought out his mobile phone and began to look through it. Before I could remind him that he was about to use a mobile phone on a highway, he had already begun to hurl abuses on ‘whoever’ was on the other end of the line about why the miscreant didn’t fill his a/c unit with gas and now his customer was sweating it out in the back of his car. He then turned to me and apologised profusely swearing this had never happened to him before. I put him at ease and told him it was okay, all I needed was for him to get me to the airport on time for my 1.30 flight. We did get there on time and on getting my luggage out, I paid him the agreed (a/c) sum. He looked at the money, then at me and asked if I wasn’t going to give him a little something for the pains he took to rush me to the airport on time! Nigeria, we hail thee! Have good week everyone. I’ve missed you all!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Plea

Good week everybody! I don’t know why I feel very optimistic about life as I sit here in spite of the challenges that surround me today. I hear and listen with pleasure to the muezzin with the typically eastern lilt to his voice calling the faithful to prayer. This is actually my favourte part of the early morning when I’m in any part or predominantly Moslem city especially when I’m securely ensconced in sleep, a bit like the early morning downpour when you’re snug in bed. The only snag here is that the taxi will be coming to pick up any time from now to take me to Asaba for work. I’m bleary eyed from having no sleep at all and Frieda worried sick that I’ll be hurled into a ravine on the way, all thanks to our roads that have more craters than the moon itself. Bless ‘er! It’s my fault actually; packing at the last minute and trying to rush through my script brought me to this despicable point.

Long and short of it all is that this little whining missive is all I can cough up today my good people and next week’s post might be a little late but I will let you know what happened in Asaba especially the grilled fish on a platter with roast plantain and tomatoes, lime and onions I’ll be feasting on at least twice whilst I’m there. Okay, I need to rush off and shave – can’t believe I almost forgot to do that. Oh yes, and my traveling iron too – the prices they charge in hotels just iron a shirt!. Don’t mind me, I’m writing all this stuff down so I don’t forget to pack them as well. Okay guys gotta run. Hate traveling by road so wish me a safe trip guys. Have a wonderful week ahead everybody and love you guys! Bye!