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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Gambia Chronicles 2

Oh oh!

Houston we have a problem.

OK Brain! I don’t want you to panic but I think the impact of the gravitational pull on my boobs, when I bent over so quickly, was too much for my very fitted VW (OK, it’s a little tight but it was the only one there and it was a bargain) jacket and I just lost multiple buttons.

Probably not a big deal you’re all thinking. Thank God for camisoles and all that.

Weeellllll…being so tight and all, I don’t tend to wear anything but me bra under it. So if I sit up I’m about to give the entire boardroom a whole lot of French lace and boob.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I told you not to go down there. Why don’t you ever listen to me? Oh boy! We are so getting fired. We’re going to be poor. We’ll have to watch Hi TV, eat carbs and use Xpression weaves. Why Lord? Why am I attached to such a stupid person

Er yeah! What part of don’t panic didn’t you get? And where the hell did you learn a dirty word like “Xpression Weave?” We’ll be fine just focus and help me figure a way out of this mess.

“Miss Mena are you quiet alright down there?”

Crap. I’m so fired

“Yes Mr. Bank President. My pen is just being a bit more elusive than I anticipated.”

“I’m sure we can get you another pen. Why don’t you rejoin the meeting? We’d like to hear your project time line.”

“Er…I’ll be right there sir”.

Oh Lord! Which kin wahala be this? All this because of one alakoba epa. Food no go kill me.

“Miss Mena? We’re waiting.”

Sod it. Nothing I can do now. I’ll have to give Bank Manager and his cronies a full frontal

Just as I’m about to burst into tears and show the world Tyrese & Basky (Please! Talk to the hand... We all name em. Tyrese is the right one cause he’s a bigger star), Grumpy's head appears under the table

“Are you insane?” he whispers

This is the first time I’ve ever seen him anything other than calm and I’m kinda scared

“I’m assuming you have 4 million Dollars because I don’t. If we lose this deal because of whatever rubbish stunt you’re pulling down here, then I swear I will make it my personal mission in life to make sure you are never employed anywhere else again. Do you understand me?”

A bit harsh but fine by me mate. I am so not employee material anyway. Lady of leisure is more what I’m built for.

“Yes sir”

“Now get up here and give your presentation.”

“I can’t sir. I …erm, have a problem.”

I point down to my x-rated display.

“Jesus! Please I’m a married man.” He says averting his eye

Calm down Casanova. Not interested and even if I was planning on seducing you, it wouldn’t be under the conference table in the middle of multi million dollar project.

“Is there something going on down there that we should be aware of?”

“No Mr. Bank Manager” we say in unison.

Grumpy’s head disappears from under the table. I can hear him apologizing and 5 seconds later he’s back and thrusting his jacket at me.

“Here put this on and let’s get on with it.”

Hooray! Saved. No more Boobarama 2010. Hang on a sec…

“Sorry sir, is this jacket polyester

“I beg your pardon?"

“It’s just that I’m allergic to Polyester. Brings me out in a rash. Can only do natural fibers you see. I think Weird Server Guy’s jacket is a cotton blend and it goes better with my skirt.”

“Miss Mena. You have 5 seconds to put that on and continue with this meeting or you’re fired.”

 “Yes sir."

You just can’t stop talking can you? Yak, yak, yakking right unto the unemployment line. I swear I’ll kill us both before I inhabit a body that can’t afford fortnightly manicures. You hear that crazy woman? I’ll just tell your little heart to stop pumping and that will be that.

Shut it Brain.

Eewww…His jacket smells like camphor.

1 humiliating, style challenged hour later. The meeting is over and my pain is the glue that finally sets the contract in place as everybody bonds by laughing over my earlier predicament. I hate Gambia.

I never wanted to come in the first place. When they started asking around for volunteers I was too engrossed on my bloody BB to pay any attention. All I heard was hotel and buffet breakfast (I have a thing for buffets. Sue me) and my hand shot up. I thought it was just another blinking Eko hotel conference. It was only later that I realized that it was thousands of miles away in another country and it required public speaking.

I should have known from the moment I got to the airport and immigration got on my case that it wasn’t going to be a pleasant trip. It’s a bad omen when the first thing the immigration official who is holding my NIGERIAN PASSPORT asks me is

“Are you Nigerian?”

No dumb ass, I'm from Timbuktu. I just like to paint my passport green and stencil NIGERIA on it. What do you think?

“You look like an Indian? Do you watch Indian films? I like Des ti numbari. I have that one at home”

Firstly, It’s Dus Numbri (My excuse for knowing this is that our house girl when I was 5 liked Indian movies) . Secondly, whats his point? I should come to his house and watch his betamax copies of Bollywood movies with him? I beg. I have a flight to catch. So even if I look like cross between Shaft and Medusa, my passport says I’m Nigerian so lets stick with that.

“Yes I am Nigerian.”

“En hen. So what part of Nigeria are you from?”

Is this guy serious? I have 15 minutes to get to my plane and he’s playing 20 questions. Grumpy &Weird Server guy from the IT department are already at the other side of the barrier waiting for me.

“I believe if you actually take the time to open up my passport you will find the answer to that in there.”

On hearing this, over friendly, can I buy you groundnut and a bottle of coke later?(I know that’s where he’s heading. My Toaster radar has become highly tuned and can sense an eminent toasting at least 5 minutes before it starts), becomes all serious on me.

“Me I should take the time to open your passport abi? Very Good.”

Whatever. Do quick my friend. I need to make sure I’m sitting either by the window or aisle side. Refuse to be wedged between 2 smelly men for goodness knows how many hours.

“Olo du mare! Madam is this you?”

“Excuse me! There's absolutely no need to shout”.

Ok you know I always go on about my nicely rounded frame? Well at one point it wasn’t so nicely rounded. I was just a total heffer. It was at this stage in my life I decided to get my Nigerian passport renewed and lets just say the picture in there is not my most flattering.

“Ennn…Mr.Johnson. I beg come see something"

What is this man doing?

“Look I'm sorry. But I’m going to miss my flight. Can you just hurry this along? My colleagues are already waiting for me.”

“Hey madam! Are you trying to tell me how to do my job? “

“No but…”

“Then be quiet. This is a very serious offence and I require my own colleagues to check this”

“Offence? What offence?”

 “Trying to travel on someone elses passport “

Oh Lord! Is this guy for real?

“Look I’ve just lost some weight. I surely don’t look that different.”

“You just lost weight ke? This one don pass weight issue. I say this no be you. Mr. Johnson!”

“Look I can show you my other documentation if you would like?”

“Blow out your cheeks.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Sebi you say na fat? En blow out your cheeks so you look fat and I will compare the picture to your face.”

Nigerian Criminal Forensics at its finest.

“I'm sorry but I'm not blowing out my cheeks in the middle of a crowded airport like a 5 year old.”

"You never wan travel. Please move to one side let me deal with the legal travellers."


So I stand there, in the middle of the airport amidst no hopers and first class hotties alike, and blow out my cheeks like a puffer fish.

He pretends to compare the two pictures but I know he’s just trying to get me back for dissing him.

“So na true? Na you be this?Ah! I hope you go to church regularly to thank God for this miracle in your life? “

Ignoramus. Guessing the only qualification needed to be an immigration official over here is a heartbeat and sight.

“Can I go now please?”

“Dey go. I like you before but person no fit put you for house. Fear go dey catch them pe when you relax you go just dey expand anyhow.”

I waited till I was safely across the barrier before I sent a very deserved “Your Mama” his way and legged it to the waiting plane. Idiot.

I really should have turned back there and then but hey! You live and you learn.

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