The Lagosian Tourist: Saga of the Walt Disney Hat's encounter with Ajase Kokoki

I feel that since I used this forum to declare my gainful unemployment, I should use the same medium to declare my ungainful employment. I was very content. People think that lounging about and being a slob is lazy but they can't understand how monumentally difficult it is to stay at home and do nothing all day. Yes, that is one of my many talents. If only I could be employed in an industry that encouraged the development of such talents but no. It was not to be. The end of my blissful period of gainful unemployment was heralded- as most things are, by a conversation with Papa Afam.

Gainful Unemployment: I have used this phrase a few times without explaining what I mean by it. It is not very easily defined. You see I, Afam, am special. Yes, my mother told me so. Because of my unparalleled muchness I collect a salary at the end of the month for performing the activities necessary for life. But the moment I get a paying job, these funds dry up. It's not that they are not available to me but the pockets of Mama and Papa Afam, seem to become incredibly shallow whenever I have a job. It would be harder to extract water from a stone than to get those two to cough up. 

Enter Papa Afam and Afam
 I'm sprawled on the couch. It's 6 am. Don't be ridiculous!! I could never wake up that early. Papa Afam attempts to ignore me as he walks past my couch to make a cup of tea. I dutifully ignore him. Anyone who knows anything, knows that one should not be disturbed when watching a nollywood production. You may miss one of the many theme songs. But Papa Afam had a very large bee in his bonnet that morning so my dreams of nollywood bliss were put on hold. How can you tell the man that bought the television, the cable, the couch and even the floor to be silent while you watch Beyonce vs Rihanna, or Rihanna the President's daughter (I think the latter has about 5 sequels).

Papa Afam: AFAM!!
Afam: Yes dad.
Papa Afam: How long have you been back?
Afam: four days.
Papa Afam: What do you intend to do with yourself?

Afam: Silence. The question was purely rhetorical.

Had I answered the conversation would have gone like this
Afam: I'm relaxing until National Service commences.
Papa Afam: Oh! so you mean you'll just be sitting here idle until November.
Afam: Yes.
Papa Afam: So while your mates are out getting internships and such, you'll be watching television.
Afam: Yes dad. You'll find that watching any Nollywood production is just as tasking as doing any actual work. Your brain works overtime analysing the various reasons why you shouldn't be watching the drivel, but it's useless analysis because it is widely known that Africa Magic impairs the motor functions leaving you unable to look away or change the channel.
Papa Afam: Are you Crazy?

But being infinitely perceptive, clever and forward looking, I keep silent.
Papa Afam: Come to my office at 9, we'll sort you out.
Afam: Yes dad.

I'm not really complaining about the manner in which I got the job. I'm well aware that not everyone has the good fortune to even be considered for a "decent" job in the current economic climate.

So here I am, standing in central Lagos at mid-day (I mean like Lagos, Lagos. The part of Lagos where I who have lived in Lagos all my life am a tourist). I'm a bit like James Bond, I can tell you my name, but I can't tell you who I work for or what it is that I do. All you need to know is that on this day after being hauled to work at 9am I had to take someone somewhere, to get something that would make someone else immensely satisfied.

That is a picture of the sun. It beat down on me with such intensity that I suspected that I may have wronged it somehow. But I, Afam, was prepared for it. After suffering severe sun burn the last time I went wake boarding I make sure to sun screen up at all times. Yes, black people get sun burnt too.
Yes, so there I was standing in the centre of Lagos, the place that the most adventurous tourists head to in the hope of gaining a glimpse into the lives of real lagosians. I was not going to waste the opportunity. So while I waited for someone to bring me the something that I had driven to the centre of Lagos for, I donned my tourist hat.
I take it with me at all times. Whenever I need to don the demeanour of a tourist I put on this hat and my perception of the world changes. The most insignificant observations become objects of bedazzlement. Furthermore my ability to appreciate the smallest things increases 100 fold. The hat also grants me powers of extreme recklessness and bravado. These will be illustrated later.
While walking through something like this, I encountered a number of obstacles.
I had to avoid being run over by Keke na peps (That's slang for a motored tricycle) like this.
And Okadas like this...
But it was all worth it because I got to see this...
I had often wondered why I was so interested in my bowel movements. I thought it odd that I should look forward to them, or somehow seem to insert them into most conversations. This proves that I am not the one at fault. I will use this opportunity to suggest that all Lagosians are more interested than is the norm in activities usually restricted to the toilet. (During a four day expedition I delighted in the opportunity to leave a little bit of myself behind in a medieval hut at the foot of Mount. Snowdon, in Wales.)
If you're ever in need of some herbal laxative, tell me and I'll be sure to procure some Ajase Kokoki. It's guaranteed to make things happen. I'm not sure what exactly it'll do to you but I'm sure that it will do something.

Yes, somewhere around there. Things look so much better in pictures. They don't capture the 40 kilometre an hour head wind that sometimes blows through the mountain range. Never Again!!
I also got to see this. I stood in the middle of traffic to get this shot. The people weren't pleased but I had my tourist hat on. I was one spider bite away from being a superhero.

After a successful day out during which I finally obtained the something and gave it to someone who had a great time with the something, I went to my favourite joint at the moment, the Three Arms Hotel in Ikoyi and ordered a chapman.
It was at this juncture that I thought that it was a little weird for me to consider myself a tourist in the city that I have lived for the last 22 years. But, maybe it's a good thing. It just means that there are several more adventures to be had. Life would be dull indeed if I had accomplished everything that there was to be accomplished. I find it reassuring that there are things the even I, Afam don't know. All of this introspection ended when I boss lassoed me back to the office at 7pm, where I remained until 11:30pm.
Happy Days,

1 comment:

sarah gadau said...

OMG your bowel movements always come up i love it...😂

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