Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Abuja Chronicles: Lesson 1; Expect less, Everytime and from Everyone

So I was in Abuja recently, by recently I mean about two month ago. And, getting back I wrote this Chronicle which I had not found the time, or the nerve maybe, to put it up online. But well, I eventually got my way around the fear, and I am putting it up now. Some things I am not really proud of in here. 

Well, here is my first day in Abuja. *pinched nose* Like seriously? I am 20 and it's only my first time in Abuja?   


After waiting about twenty minutes at the Area 10 Garki, accompanied by 20 minutes of pensive pacing on the extremely dark sidewalk, he finally showed up in his blue smart car. He was finally here to pick me up.
I had had enough for the night, 13 hours on the road is no joke. But then, regardless of my blurry sight and the groggy spell that has befallen me due to the long hours in the car, I knew something was wrong. Maybe not wrong in every sense of the word, but I knew something was amiss. Oh, just then it struck me, I was in the capital city. Yes, I was in the freaking capital city of Nigeria that looked nothing like the capital city I had imagined.
I had spent about 11 months in school with no break whatsoever to my home in Ogun state. Even when I get to leave school and travel outta the radius of our very own Alcatraz of a school, usually, it’s about some assignment or something of sort, so, as I planned to leave Ilorin after my industrial attachment, I had planned to have the fun of my life in Abuja. Tha capital city must know say I don show. Well, here I was, and I’m not sure any if my daydreams which I had intentionally decided to leave out in this post will be taking flesh anytime soon; maybe never.
I was in Abuja. 2 days earlier just before leaving, my supervisor at my IT place had coated Abuja in the finest of shades. “You’ll be proud to be Nigerian”, he said in his signature guttural tone. And oh, I was looking forward to getting blown off of my heels, I was looking forward to seeing the wonders my supervisor had gingerly wrapped in those 6 words.
All Black Everything
Oh, I was looking forward. But then, as I stood in front of the Cyprian Ekwensi building where the car from Ilorin had dropped me off at Area 10 Garki, I knew I had expected too much. There and then, I made up my mind, “if you want to enjoy Abuja, you will have to lower your standards” I thought.
So, I was in this really small Toyota hatchback and we are headed back to Asokoro, Area 11 where I will be putting up for the next 6 days; 6 days that I have now concluded might just be as disappointing as finding a NintendoTM console in a traditional X-Box pack (you know how that feels right?). Ok.


Just like I said; it’s all pretty screwed up. We got to Asokoro after a few too many wrong turns (It still baffles how he misses his way with such dexterity), but then, we were at Asokoro in “no” time, and soon enough, we were knocking on the State House’s gates.
Though I didn’t particularly come to terms with the fact that I was going to be staying in the villa just in time, but then, getting to that gate and confronting that throng of security, I knew just then that the person behind the walls must be a really important person. And it actually dawned; this…is …Aso Rock.
Well, he said some things to them about communication centre yadaya, and we were let through just in time for me to let out a sigh of relief. Finally we are in.


We were in the villa. “Hey! You are actually within the walls that house the most important citizen of Nigeria”, the thought came flying in like an RPG shot with wrong coordinates, just that it didn’t come with the same shattering effect you’ll expect. It actually looked like a big deal, feel-good-about kinda thing, but then, it burned through without an effect; just like a dud dynamite.  
Of course, it’s definitely a big deal; it’s just that, I was not being driven by a presidential aide with an armed convoy, but instead, it’s only my brother in this extremely small coupe.  
And one more thing, I won’t actually be staying in the state house, but instead, it will be one of the very many government-built individual-owned condominiums that lined each entrance of the state house.
So, now you see how much of a dud that thought actually was. I am in the state house, but then, am not actually in the state house, crappy. So, in an instant, I expunged that thought and hinged it toward the fluffy king-sized mattress waiting for my tired self in one of those condominiums that lined the western axis.


Sorry. They were nowhere in sight. Oh, of course, the condos were standing right there, all painted in dominant white, just as I had seen them from far away. But for the king-sized beds, nope, they really were not to be seen. Instead, my brother had set up a retractile camp bed, specially for me. That left me shaking my head and cussing under my breath; “pathetic bachelor”.  
Well, now that all my hopes of a king-sized bed has been dashed, I made straight for the bathroom, showered, sauntered out, took the mal-cooked dinner and headed straight for the bed; freaking camp bed. And as that camp bed begins the staggering task of keeping me comfortable all night, my first day in Abuja gradually fades, all shadowed in a gloomy kinda sense of relief.

Curtain Falls