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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grope Me Please!

This is not what you think it is. Rather, it is a very important issue. Right about now, it is a nightmare for many Americans and even non-citizens in the United States….Oh yes! I am talking about none other than the TSA. For the less informed, since the 9/11 terrorist attack in the US, security has increasingly been an issue of great concern; for the government and people as a whole. Now, there is this new procedure whereby travelers need to use a full body scan (that works like an x-ray), subject themselves to a pat down (when I say pat down, I mean paaaaaat down, hands-everywhere-type) or in case of outrage at the first two options, refuse to fly. I know you might be wondering how this concerns me or Naija people.
A couple of months ago, when I was coming to school from NYC, I erroneously tendered my passport (Naija) for identification. Boy oh Boy!!! I went through layers and layers of security, just because I was carrying a Nigerian passport. I was close to tears at the singling out and treatment of prodding and poking.  Tomorrow, I am planning on flying back home for the Thanksgiving break and I am left to decide among my choices: shall I use the body scan (screaming….RADIATION), the full pat down (when in fact, I direct and censor where my boyfriend touches or does not) or take the trip home by road for some 8 hours or thereabout?
For me, unlike the Americans, I do not think this has anything to do with my rights; it has everything to do with cultural sense of moral right and wrong. For me to take the stance they want in the body scanning machine, I’d feel like a criminal. With my hands raised up like an accused, it is easy for me to immediately loathe that option. The groping is even worse. I have culturally been taught of how to be touched and not touched. This procedure falls into the “how not to be touched” category. It looks extremely dehumanizing! The third is not even an option for me. 8hours on the road to NYC is not that much of a big deal, but one month on sea for a trip to Nigeria is pure torture!
All of this makes me sad. Why? Because I feel somewhat guilty by virtue of nationality. Because I feel like I am a reason why this measure is taken. Because I realize that we, as Nigerians are a part of this intrusive decision arrived at, courtesy of Mutallab ( the young Islamic Nigerian who attempted to bomb a US plane last Xmas). I cannot even be upset about these measures because I, as a Nigerian, am one of the reasons why it is called for….so, off to the Airport I go tomorrow, and while all of America is bickering and nagging, my mind is silently begging, “grope me please, realize my innocence and leave me the HELL alone,” while cursing Mutallab under my breath! :)
For Nigerians home and abroad, how do you feel about this whole TSA procedure? How does it make you feel about travelling, especially to the States? Above all, tell of your experience about using your Nigerian passport as identification in a US airport.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Color Me Content

At times like this, I cannot help but love my YY more. To me, he seems to put in extra efforts into maintaining us, i.e., our relationship. You see, I am here and he is there yet I feel like I know the minutest detail, like what color if tie he wore to work today. Well, not precisely that minute of a detail, but close enough.  Before you begin to snicker and mutter about how much I am deceiving myself and ignorant of the evils of an 8,000miles-across-the-ocean-type-relationship, I have my own take on that.
Rewind 3.something years back, I was one of those people who you would have seen at the forefront of the “Movement Against Long Distance Relationships” (MALDR). When my cloth was cut for me by YY, I rescinded my membership to the movement, fast fast. It wasn’t like I necessarily wanted to, especially since I relocated only a few months after I had met YY. When we met, trust me, we both had different ambitions. I wanted to make some sales, and guy probably wanted to get some piece of the chocolaty-mousse-pie….yeah, that would be yours truly! Anyway, I digress and lie a little bit. I am pretty sure about what my ambition was at that time, can’t speak for him though. Needless to say, I made my sales alright but still stuck around. Why? Give me a guy who can engage me in a 5hour conversation (not centered on sex or how his life will be incomplete without me) and I will trip 200 times over. YY beat my imagination several times over, as far as that was concerned so yeah, I did trip over 200 times over.
Well, 3 years after, with several thousand of miles of distance between us, he still manages to make me prefer his “company” to the chagrin on the many shallow minded folks around here (who cannot last in an intelligent 5minute conversation with me without uttering something extremely honey-dame-unacceptable). I am not saying he is the best there is or it is a happily thereafter, or that it will even be the case tomorrow, but for now, COLOR ME CONTENT.    J


What are your takes on LDRs? (Long Distance Relationships)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ìbàdàǹ mèsì ọ̀gọ̀

The other day I got bored. So, I decided to surf the internet concerning Yoruba proverbs. That was one of the best decisions I made that day. It was a remarkably wonderful experience for me, considering that I haven’t read any pure Yoruba text in a while  loooong while. As I got onto the page, my Yoruba teacher’s instructions from elementary school came back to me…..do do mi….re mi do….mi re do. Boy! Did I read those proverbs accurately or did I read them accurately!
Going beyond the sense of accomplishment and conceit I felt because of my success at doing one of the bordering-on-extinct activities (…..What?! tell me, can you read a full Yoruba paragraph without cursing us all? Please o,  Àfẹ́ká là ńfẹ́ iná……..ROTFLMAO…Gotcha!!), Yoruba is one of those Nigerian languages that when spoken, can be very thought provoking. There is hardly a situation that the Yorubas have no adage or proverb for. In fact, they tend to have more than one proverb for any situation. On the surface level, some of these adages can be taken with levity. But, on the deeper level, uhm, there are some of them which when used on one, one should go lock oneself up in a room and take inventory of one’s life.
From a hilarious perspective, some of these proverbs have been debunked in recent times. If you have seen any Nigerian movie with Baba Suwe and the guy who always replies any sayings with “Idodo oro ni.”  In the mean time, write up some of the proverbs/adages you know and let’s have a discussion concerning them….
….Stay tuned to learn how to read a couple of phrases in Yoruba. (I can try to teach you and we can have a little trade by barter thing going on here)
Àdélé báre, àrìnà kore, àkòyà ibi o