#np: Travelers song – Future of Forestry (piano and string version)
My status on Whatsapp virtually throughout the month of September was ‘Wake me up when September ends’, sampling a song by the band – Greenday.
The plan was to zone out and float through September. But life as usual, had other plans as I was basically the only one available at work save my boss. Let’s be real, the subordinate does all the dirty work not really the boss. I felt the pressure three team members normally face. Worse, the work load was more as the deals we were working on for the second half of the year happened to come to maturity that September. I saw hell!
September finally did end and my whatsapp friends didn’t waste time sending me messages asking if I had woken up. I was awake and ready to go on vacation. I needed it. Though it started with me being down with malaria. I had to shake it off and set out for Lagos with one of my best buddies of all time – Valentine.
That was the first time I’d travel with a friend (aside excursion in my schooling days). It was so much better having familiar company around. It had been a long while I traveled by bus. I missed the feeling of being in a moving vehicle for long, watching the vegetation pass by as we rode, listening to music, sleeping and waking up severally. It was just fun and a really enjoyable trip with good company.
#: Feels like coming home – Jetta
As soon as we entered Lagos, I felt like a runaway bride come home. I told Val I could feel all the memories coming back and trust the ever cynical Valentine, he responded saying ‘all these emotional people self’. I’m used to him, didn’t expect any different.
Seeing the various buildings and bus-stops and one sure thing – spending hours in traffic, was all too familiar. This was the city I ran away from. Lagos isn’t for the weak. I took it all in one breathe. Somewhere deep down I missed the city. I finally got home after many hours stuck in traffic. Once I stepped in, I had this nostalgic feeling. I missed my old apartment! Though my brother had made a few changes but it still felt the same. The memory of misery, stress, pain and loneliness I felt in this damn city all came rushing at me. I stood looking at the apartment for a minute, then I smiled…I was better off now, those days were behind me for good, all now a distant memory.
#np: Lazy song – Bruno Mars
Friday 9, I woke up feeling lazy. I rolled across the bed saying to myself, how amazing it felt to not have to jump out of bed and get ready for work. This was bliss. After another nap I got up to fix breakfast. Then I stumbled on my new guilty pleasure – Nutella!!
I was skeptical at first because when I tasted peanut butter back in the days, I hated it. I felt this wouldn’t be different but the first drop on my tongue got me hooked. I chatted my bro immediately and informed him his nutella wouldn’t last.
I was too lazy tired to go anywhere. I just ate my breakfast in bed and watched movies all day. My in-law, Gideon came around later. I had to fix dinner for him. I opted to cook jollof rice but was too lazy to go out and get tomatoes so I used just tin tomatoes. When I tasted it I felt I had made a major mistake. I chatted my bro that I had cooked error! He was like, huh??
Gideon later confirmed it wasn’t bad. Whew! I tasted it and I ended up eating two full plates afterwards. Wonder why my taste buds deceived me at first.
For Saturday, I planned on hanging out with Kike and Valentine. I sent a picture of my Nutella filled breakfast to Iyen (my colleague at work in Benin), she was jealous and warned I would add weight. Well, I’m still battling the weight I gained during last year’s leave. I know adding more this vacation was inevitable but I hope it would be moderate. Then again, I have three options if I do add so much weight;
1. – hit the gym
2. – starve myself. Scratch that i’m not medically allowed to feel hunger due to my condition so I’d just do strict dieting.
3. – the easy way out, I’d just accept myself as I see it – a chubby dude! ‘I can’t come and go and kill myself’ lol.
#np: Burning doves – Mikky Ekko
Saturday 10, was a really exciting day! I went touring with Kike and Valentine. As it turned out, Val was a major part of my vacation. Coincidentally, our schedules just sort of clicked starting from the trip to Lagos. While we waited for Kike to show up, Val and I decided to play some games and I’m proud to announce yours truly trashed him 8 – 2 in whot and 3 – 2 in ludo!
It was fun, winning the games, though he’ll say it was just luck. But who cares? I won and celebrated each win care-freely. The way I’d jump, scream and run around when I won a game (I know how to be a kid at times), then sometimes I’d just laugh while playing and he’ll be like what’s funny? Memories of my childhood just kept flashing back as we played especially the whot game. The times I used to cheat and play pranks while playing with my siblings then and also my neighbours.
When Kike joined us we headed out. Our first stop was Lekki Conservation Centre. I saw peakcock, monkeys and coloured fishes and a weird but cool looking ludo game constructed on a field for humans to play.
It was a cool tour, I just didn’t enjoy the scorching sun and long walk we had to do round the facility. From there we went to the beach where I fake-proposed to Kike by the ocean. Valentine put it up on bbm and that’s how the rumour I got engaged spread. Even Orubor had to chat me up on whatsapp to confirm the news. Of course I had to string him along and oh well, some things just never change. He’s still as competitive as ever, dude said I have challenged him, he has to propose to his girlfriend soonest. I gave out a very hearty laughter when I broke the news to him that it wasn’t true. Then he was like chei! That’s how I would have pushed him into getting engaged.
From the beach we went to the mall, where we had Chinese and also went shopping for my shoe. Couldn’t find what I wanted – a cover shoe with a bit of heels, a dude gats add extra height you know?
I’m still sorting out the hundreds of pictures we snapped and going through the funny short clips we recorded. I think another awesome time of the day was when we had to drive down to Yaba to drop Kike at home. The long drive at night, looking out the window, taking in the atmosphere while watching how light-up Lagos island is at night was such a beautiful sight. Also, the natural breeze was everything. Not every time A/c sometime roll the glass down and enjoy the breeze as the car zooms off. Listening and signing along to familiar songs on the radio made it perfect.
I told Efe about the planned trip to Ibadan from Lagos, he teased me with the movie title – Sisterhood of the traveling pants. The name stuck, that’s how I got the title for this post and the accompanying photo album on facebook.
#np: Traffic Light – Daughtry
Monday 12, my tour bus stopped at Abeokuta, the City of rocks where I did my NYSC. It’s been 3 years I left that city. The moment I arrived the place though mostly unchanged, the City looked old but yet all so familiar. Save for the new bridges constructed at Ibarra road and then the expansion of Abiola way, most roads were the same. The same economic bustle at Kuto and Panseke. Oke ilewo still remains the financial street. One thing that’s no more there is the NYSC secretarial which has been demolished.
I went to the estate at Asero where I lived. So many memories; from the lame Christmas Carol we attended at Obantoko to the day I chased after a tractor to the various mishaps and water/light issues and then the walk down the ‘road to hell’ with Orubor Benjamin. So many funny and weird experiences during NYSC.
I really appreciate making the trip. It was one very important aspect of my vacation. I needed to go unlock those memories first hand and see that city one more time and maybe get closure because I zoomed off immediately after our passing out ceremony, I never really took the time to absorb the city and sort of say goodbye.
I once tweeted this – ‘Saying goodbye is important…closure, it helps’
#np: Promises – The Boxer Rebellion
Wednesday 13, today was road trip with Valentine to Ibadan, the largest city in West Africa. I’m trying to not write so much details as this post is already lengthy. At this junction let me just say Valentine is an amazing travel companion with a good heart and I love him deep! Well I’ve always know he’s a good guy, I mean from 100level hostel to all the 400level out stations where we lived in same houses. Like Afona said, it’s like we were bonding all over again like the FPT year.
We stopped for food of course, whats a road trip without food? He was worried about being stopped by FRSC officials/policemen because his fire extinguisher was out but the trip was hitch free and fun. We sang along to the old songs as we drove. He got tired of me snapping numerous pictures but I just couldn’t stop, had to capture all the moments. When we got to Ibadan we went to University of Ibadan where I saw my old friends – Bams, Idemudia, Vera and Chidi, most of whom I haven’t seen in over 4 years. Then I stayed over at my colleague’s place (Dimeji).
Thursday 14, today was game night with Vera, Valentine and Blessing (a fellow U.I masters student I made acquaintance with). I got trashed at bowling by Valentine. He took this as his revenge for the trashing I gave him in ludo and whot games. It was towards the end of the game, the ticket guy told me I had been doing it wrongly, imagine! Towards the end of the game!!
You know how in movies the superstar kind of throws the bowling ball while crossing his legs stylishly? Yeah, that’s what I was doing.
The balls kept leaving the runaway and entering the sides. *sigh. He corrected me that I had to face the track while throwing the ball and not throw from my side. Oh well…would keep the advise for the next person I bowl with.
The four of us played table soccer game (my favourite) before moving on to the basket ball game. Val said the table soccer was my fav because that’s the game I beat everyone, in my defense, I have no idea what he was talking about. :D. Well, it was a lovely outing save for the bowling disgrace.
#np: Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
Friday 16, my rest day sort of. Valentine traveled to Ekiti with his friends for a wedding. I spent the day with my music pal, Ibukun. The plan was to go out and see a movie but we ended up staying indoors all day. I got to see one of the most beautiful thing ever! You know those wrist bands that glow at night? Well, this time it was little plastic stars that glow at night arranged on the ceiling in a spiral form. During the day it didn’t look like much. In the evening I was faced down working on the ipad, a gentle tap on my shoulder and a signal that I look up, Lawd!!
It was all too amazing, I couldn’t take it all at once. I had to look away, and then I looked back at the ceiling…pure magic! The way the stars glowed in the dark room, quiet, peaceful…tranquility… with the slow music playing in the background, perfection! It felt so peaceful as I lay staring, getting lost in it. Those moments you wish would go on forever…
Saturday 17, I finally got the chance to hang out with Dimeji at the mall. I stayed at his place in Ibadan but we saw only at night ‘cus of work ish on his side. He followed me to get my aviator glasses and we picked up his significant other later and then had a nice ride around the city. Cool part was when we stopped to buy the ofada rice I had been looking for and previously missed eating in Abeokuta.
The funny thing about my friendship with Dimeji is, we started out initially on a wrong foot in training school, that was April 2013, I really didn’t like him much and I knew he felt same way about me. Anyway along the line, can’t remember how it happened but before training school was over we became very close and we still going till now. He’s my buddy for life.
#np: All good things (Come to and end) – Nelly Furtado
The plan was to get back to Lagos on Sunday then that week I’d see my Lagos friends and do all the catching up…but once again, life has a way of messing up plans. Val came back with not so good news about the car, I got a message from Benin concerning some urgent stuff. That’s how the tour came to an end. That was my first time in Ibadan, City of Brown roofs. Some places I remember there are Agboro, Akande, Ring road, Odurin or so…Bodija et all.
Back in Benin, I spent the remaining of the week sorting out the emergency ish.
I realized two things from the my tour;
1. The frequent movements actually made me lose weight. So much about my worry over gaining extra weight. I got confirmation at Ibadan when Vera asked me where is the weight I have been complaining about, and also when Jonathan asked if I lost weight as I looked slimmer than the recent picture of me he saw on facebook.
2. I didn’t feel rested at all. Vacation ought to be an opportunity to get relaxed, refreshed and rested. I was obviously going to resume work and still feeling worn out. I decided the last week before resumption I was going to stay indoors and read books, listen to good music and just relax.
#np: Feels like the end – Mikky Ekko
Saturday 31, I felt so rested and excited about going back to work. I read three books that last week of October, finished watching season 10 and 11 of Grey’s anatomy, I ate a lot and well, slept a lot also and of course, I downloaded new songs and albums.
Looking back at all the various stops I made and old friends I saw, this vacation was indeed memorable and I’m glad it worked out so well even though there was some mishaps with the plan the penultimate week. I’m glad I had a week to rest, I made sure I exercised as I ate a lot. I feel well rested and also trimmed. I’ll be resuming with a bright smile and I don’t expect to hear any weight gain talk from anyone.
Oh did I mention i’m resuming on Tuesday and not Monday?
Hehehe…resuming on a monday would be like leaving a ride in an A/C car for a walk under the scorching sun. Mondays are crazy, it would be a soft landing resuming on a Tuesday.