The Journal 2

The Journal 2

Schipol International Airport, Amsterdam .

From above, the large sprawling expanse looked like a small city. A song by the popular rock band U2 came to mind as I looked out through the window; City of Blinding Lights. This seemed to fit the description of what I was seeing. The whole airport appeared to be the size of two, three or more airports from back home combined. It looked so beautiful from the skies. So many lights stringed together in the darkness…

My flight up until this moment had  been unevenful but not unremarkable, at least for me. Talk about a learning process. After my brief encounter with ESO (remember her, the silent girl who decided to help me), I’d settled down to watch Marmaduke. My snacks were tied in a waterproof bag at my feet; a plastic bottle of Sprite, a pack of Shortbread biscuits, some chocolate bars I think, unless I’d already eaten those back at the airport. Anyway, I was to find out that I would not need them, at least not on the plane. A quarter of the way into the movie, the stewardesses served us our first course, and I was brought face to face with what I was gonna be facing for the next one year.

I think the only thing I recognized was the rice and diced plantains in the stew. The rest, well, all I know is that I was served some food. I know I was given bread to. It set me thinking. What did they want me to do, eat bread with rice?


Talk about a fish out of water.

The pinkish thing in a cup turned out to be yogurt.

Oh yes, I forgot. We’d been given a drink earlier on. Well whadaya  know; KLM sure knew how to treat a passenger.

So yeah, back to the yogurt.

I eyed this pinkish goo in my cup, not trusting it one bit. Then I looked around at my fellow passengers. Thankfully, no one was paying me any sort of attention.

I decided to learn from ESO. I watched her as she peeled open the different food packs. I waited. I looked at the man on my left, two seats away from me. He was already eating like he did this sort of thing everyday. Maybe he did, who knew?

Having decided that I’d learned enough, I opened up my own packs. I tasted the yogurt.

Now in the past, I’ve had bad experiences with yogurt, with the last one being a couple of weeks ago in Abuja. My elder brother had gotten me a bottle of yogurt which turned out to be unsweetened. Despite all attempts to sweeten it up-I even added sugar in copious amounts-the blasted thing seemed determined to live up to its unsweetened billing!

This one, while slightly better-tasting, was no consolation. However, I decided to tough it out, have some. I didn’t want to come across as wasteful.

I looked at the bread. I think I remember butter and cheese. Now, being a stranger to cheese, I let it be. I know there were one or two more unrecognizable food items in the tray there, but what I enjoyed most was the rice and stew with plantain and chicken.



My mouth is even watering now, thinking about it. You can imagine.

I contemplated eating the bread with the stew, like a true 9ja guy, but I decided to use the butter instead. I told myself that I was going to have a little bit of everything…minus the cheese, that is.

About twenty-five minutes later (I am a horribly slow eater), I set the tray down on the floor, satisfied. I began to wonder if I would ever have the chance to have my snacks, as I was already full. I was not about to let it go to waste after paying unthinkable amounts for them.

I settled down with a full stomach to finish my movie. Looked to my right. ESO had gone back to sleep. So had the man on my left. I continued the movie and soon, a stewardess came round to take the trash. When the movie was finished, I started to listen to music.  Muse. John Mayer. I scrolled through artist after artist. Tried John Mayer, but I didn’t find the song I was looking for. Then I saw Green Day. Deliberated, then passed. I had all their songs. I needed something new. Nickelback. I found their last album, Dark Horse, that I’d been looking for in its entirety since it had been released. I selected it, and closed my eyes.

I don’t know if I was scared of leaving home. To tell you the truth I didn’t think much of it. All I could think about was the future. I think I was more excited to be afraid, but I also left my home with an open mind. My experiences in life have taught me that things are not always what they seem, and that just because someone says something is one way doesn’t mean it is true. So cleared my mind of all worry. I just prayed to God for strength.

About an hour or so later, the stewardesses came round again with another round of food again. Now I was seriously picturing myself throwing away my snacks, and I was seething inside. When would I get to eat it? However, I think I was also thinking about what the other passengers would think if they saw me eating Shortbread biscuits and Sprite.

Well, let them think. What business of mine was theirs?

I can barely remember what we were served the second time around, but it was lighter than the first. I think they meant for it to be breakfast or something. I ate what I could, then  dropped it on the ground again. Fifteen minutes later or so, it was taken away again.

Then the speakers chimed , and the captain informed us that we were descending into Amsterdam.

The first part of my journey was over…

32 thoughts on “The Journal 2” by Raymond (@raymond)

  1. Hahaha, love it. Very engaging…partly because I can relate. I traveled with KLM too during my flight to the US, it stopped at Amsterdam too (high five on the kudos to their service, lol)

    “I didn’t want to come across as wasteful.” – I traveled with my Dad, and that is what I came across as before him. He told me (or at least that’s what I deciphered his comment to mean) he paid for the goshdarn meal, so he’s feasting on everything. Me, Hardly! My stomach and myself have a pact, lol…don’t wanna upset it, you know? It was lovely, now it’s bringing back memories…Sigh! Hmm, let me relish this moment, ahaha. Oh, and like you too, I had no expectation at all about my destination. I was just ready for whatever it is that I saw, and it didn’t take me long to realize basically all they’ve been talking about is BULLSH…SHH! (that’s someone telling me to shut up, ahahaha)Off I go, and again, good writing…caught,and sustained my attention!

  2. Thanks bro. It really was something else…

  3. I was just going through this stuff again and found rare typos. B4 any of U comment on that, I wrote this stuff in a fugue-like state, so forgive me the rare mistakes. I’m already embarrassed by them. Hehehe. On 2nd thought, maybe the story will WOW U so much U won’t notice…

    1. I noticed but I decided to not comment on it, lol, granted that this was written in form of a Journal, as the title aptly suggests. Ahaha, don’t worry about it bro…and you’re right about LOVING the story, like the bread, *too much *to notice the errors (SOME WILL (hmm, we got some vigilant folks here on NS, lol) but I didn’t) <—– Did you catch that? Check the asterisks in my comment, just an example, ahaha.

      1. Hehehehehe…I did bro. Thanks.

    2. Nice one! It wasn’t so gan-gan or sharp but the explanation was apt and what you had to say you said well… Somehow, I really was hoping that something would happen to hype the excitement…maybe, an accident :) Don’t mind me, just kidding. Well done on all..

      1. Hehehehehehe. Thanks. U want make the plane jam person for up when d person dey cross? Hehehe. Thanks.

  4. Lwkmd @ I contemplated eating the bread with the stew, like a true 9ja guy, but I decided to use the butter instead. I told myself that I was going to have a little bit of everything…minus the cheese, that is.

    You write so well Raymond, Keep it up.

    1. @wealth…Thanks Wealthy wealth.

  5. well done, Raymond.

    1. Thanks Mr Idoks.

  6. I really think you’re good Raymond. I like your narration. It’s full and vivid.
    I guess I’ll go read more of your work. Well done.

    1. @RemiRoy…Thanks. Please do.

  7. I’m yet to be astonished Raymond, but that isn’t saying you haven’t done a good job with this, you did. Noticed the few typos *too*, didn’t take away from the story though. You can do more with this endeavour Raymond, hm?

    1. @scopeman60…WAEC Supervisor! Kai!!! Hehehehehe. Thank U oh!

      1. lol… My expectations are based on ur perceived quality, you write really well.

  8. You’re taking me way back! LOL…Now I can appreciate why you’re taking it in bits. It gives us time to really digest it.

    I have to point out though, the way you wrote about the pink goo at first, I wondered if you had not encountered yoghurt before. Turns out you just don’t like the thing. You’re missing o…

    1. @Myne…Hahahahahaha. I like a certain kind of yogurt. At least I discovered one here that I like. I really hve to take it in bits, os if I rush it, it will rush me. Hehehe. From Ur tone, I can deduce that U like the story. Thanks!

      1. Liking it as it goes. Missing your scary stories though.

        1. @Myne…Aaaawww shucks…Thanks. Don’t worry. My monsters are coming out already. One is already restrained on the pages of my manuscript. Others are coming…Thanks!!!

  9. Okay…now I am feeling guilty for neglecting my lovely journal… ouch!
    Sha, I really pray that the next day he has would have something extra…:)

    1. @sueddie…The journey never finish. Thanks for reading sha.

  10. Guy, you too feel me…make something happen – even if it isn’t something disastrous, just a twinge to take us out of the ordinary…

    1. @sueddie….Well, this is ordinary. It is my life. I am trying to tell the story of my journey into a foreign land. Nothing is being cooked here. So, I suggest U remain patient bro. If U really wanna see something out of the ordinary, I suggest U go to the horror section, and see the stories I posted there. I think those should be out of the ordinary.
      Have patience bro, and let me tell this story at a pace fitting for it. It is a memoir, not a thriller.
      Things will happen soon; whether they appeal to U or not remains to be seen…

  11. What I like about this is that it’s not a straightforward “I did this, then I did that, then this happened” kind of narrative. You actually go inside your head and tell us what you feel about this, and even give us a little detour into your history to contextualise your feelings. And you do it with very good writing too.

    I hear that you are planning to fictionalise this as you go along – are you planning to add elements of the supernatural? :)

    1. @TolaO…I have no idea really. I was gonna maybe start a totally fictional story based on my experiences, after writing this for a while. However, now U’ve mentioned this, that one would probably feel like duplication, so I just might do that. However, I’m at loss as to how to do that.
      Thanks Boss. I’m glad that U found the time to read my stuff.

      1. There’s no ‘how’ to it. Just let the creative juices flow, and see where they take you.

        1. Yess Boss. Thanks!

  12. stephen (@atchikichaka)

    very nice story…i thought you would go on and on till the battery in my laptop runs out!

    1. Hahahahahahaha!!! Thanks @stephen!!!

  13. I remember this…

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