Okay. I don’t normally do this. This is something new for me, but I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now. I was originally toying with the idea of doing something fictional, but I think I was inspired by On A Lot Of Things to do this, after reading his own memoirs. And after reading so many writing tips telling me to do something different, I said to myself, “Aaaah, what da hell? Let’s do this.” I settled before my computer, and this is what came out. I hope I did this right.
P.S. The fictional part is gonna start soon. And trust me, I’ll try my best to scare U then…
Okay. I am flummoxed now, officially. They said it was gonna be smooth. They said it was gonna be fun. That things are better and cheaper here. They said a lot of things. But they forgot one thing.
This is UK. We are from Africa.
I remember leaving the country. I heard it was gonna be warm, that it was summer. I still dressed in jeans, long-sleeves, a sweater, a jacket. I was almost boiling in the clothes. But I was also excited. A new world. New possibilities. The chance to pursue my dream. The chance to go…
I remember the giddy feeling I had as the plane climbed the skies that September night. There was this beautiful girl who sat beside me on the next row. She looked exotic, and I knew there was some trace of Nigeria in her; why else would she be on the plane?
She gave me a taste of what I was about to face.
She displayed a detached aloofness that I had never seen. I tried to make conversation with her, just so I could get a feel of what interacting with the foreigners was gonna be like. Oh, sorry. I seem to be forgetting that I’m the foreigner now.
As I was saying, she was aloof. She mentally rebuffed all attempts made by me; I even tried the eye contact trick. No luck. Well, I decided to settle down and wait.
A stewardess went around sharing something in a blue wrapper. I’m grateful to God I’m a patient person; I imagined the wrapper contained some kind of sweets. However, I decided to wait until people started to open theirs.
Imagine my disappointment when I discovered they were earphones. I even couldn’t use them for my phone as I had left mine back home in Nigeria. Well, after staring at the strange three-pronged jack and trying not to make a complete fool of myself, I settled down to wait. I’ve discovered that in situations like this, waiting is the best thing. But when it was time to watch movies, I discovered that I waited at my own detriment. No stewardess was close at hand. Funny enough, my silent neighbour, the girl, who I’m gonna call ESO (Exotic Silent One) decided to help me. After demonstrating how to use the screen, the remote and the jack, she retreated into her shell. There wasn’t even amusement in her eyes; all I could see was a disconcerting wariness. I wonder…
She didn’t even acknowledge my thanks.
Well, not my problem (though it irked me a bit, I must confess) and I settled down to watch Marmaduke, the movie. And slowly, the machine a woman once called a flying coffin took me further away from home and all I’d ever known and loved…