More in the way of how much Beijing reminds me of Naija is the effectiveness of traffic lights. It is almost laughable. Just like it is adhered to religiously in some parts of Nigeria, so it is here. But more often than not, when the pedestrian light goes red is when some chicken-legged group of chinkos will decide it is a good time to cross and conversely for the vehicle drivers. So I found it very funny when during orientation, one of the program directors told us to be careful about the traffic light situation. We were told to be on alert and not be the first or last person to cross. My response to that was "Dont worry, I gat it. I have had maaaaany years of practice." And true to my words, you should see me flying on the road, Lagos-style. Give it up for your girl o, na me dey take all my oyinbo friends across the road.....local champion toh badt!
What I have failed to mention in my bravado though is how many times I have managed to either escape being run over or restrain from hitting a driver badly. The only thing that keeps me from carrying out that last part is that just in the nick of time, I always remember that I am in Kung Fu, Taekwando and all those Martial Arts Domain. That is to say, I will be worse for it should I even attempt it! Anyway, by run over, I know you will naturally assume I meant by cars. WRONG! The population of bicycles in this city is almost as much as the population of China's residents (You get the picture?). It almost seems to be like for each resident of Beijing, there are 3 bicycles available; one for the head, one for the arms and one for the legs. They are anywhere and everywhere. So not only do I have to contend with the traffic lights satire, nonsense cars drivers, but also the labyrinth of bikers.
Note: I tried putting up nice pictures to corroborate my story for some hours now but either Blogger is upset with me about something or it is Internet-Gangs-Up-Against-HoneyDame-Day.
I mean, I am black, duh! Not even a light-skinned Naija babe..Correct dudu osun (hyperbole much) so I have had my fair share of stares, especially when I just relocated to the States. So when my friend who had been to China before told me to watch out for outright "starafication", I thought- what the heck?! Been there done that!. Boy was I wrong. I had sort of prepared for the "starafication" but what I didnt bargain for was cameras being shoved in my face. Choi! I carry nyash troway for Chinese people! Dey can fit stare!!!!! They make me feel like they are an untapped medical answer to coma. Just take a Chinese to a patient who has been comatose for the longest time. Dem fit stare till the patient go instinctively carry hand to cover hin face!
Last week I went to one of the malls and I was trying to buy ice cream when I noticed motion in front of me. On raising my face, what I saw was a lady and her companion blatantly taking a picture of me and before I could even mouth "Eh", she was by my side for another shot - albeit a chummy posture. Naija babe like me, I sharply slung my arm around her shoulder like we were friends from last century so that when she was done I was able to say "Ma, that will be 250RMB but for you, I'll make it 200RMB" with an outstretched hand (iKid about the money part, if she understood Yoruba or English I could have pulled it off). I take the bus to work. Before I get to the the bus stop, the stares light the path for me, maka y! And when I get on the bus?! Different story! It is almost like a game of who can out-stare the other. But now that I think about it, a young black girl in China who speaks and understands only a phrase of Chinese, taking the metropolitaion bus and subway is enough to pique anybody's curiosity up to the point of staring indiscriminately......NOT!!!
Enough of Beijing for now, this post CANNOT be published if I dont confess my blog love for 9jaGreat, I knew you were the one for my virtual self right from the start. That poem validated it in mind (as well as about 5 other bloggers). What do you say, let's elope to Beijing and live "starafically" after?
Each time I make up my mind to call your attention to these bloggers I stumbled on the other day, I forget. But today na today, so if you are yet to discover the pleasures that are CherryWine, Hazel and Mcyriuss, you are on a long thing!
I thought I had my blogger access figured out but it isn't as clear cut as I would like it to be. So, I realize how much of the goings-on that I missed. NG, you gotta just make sure to drop by once in a while. Your blog as well as a couple others are the reason I attempted this ever. Congrats on making partner and goodluck, but you sha still gotta make appearances, once in a while, koyo (my lame attempt at Edo language). As for the recent blogville trend, not that I want to add fuel to any fire (if there was any in the first place) but just in case you still haven't had enough of it and want to read one more write up to that effect, check here.