Discovering Sicily: Why You Need to Visit This Unique Island

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*Guest post by H. Johnson* A trip to the ancient Italian island of Sicily is an exhilarating experience for any traveler that enjoys the authentic flavor of the Mediterranean. The island has something to offer for everyone, whether it be … Continue reading

Blog Wars

star warsIt is the year 2021. Blogworld has been riddled with mayhem as there is a never ending battle between the Bloggers and the Spammers. There is one blogger however called Luke Skywriter who is the best there is at blogging and he is the last hope to restore Blogworld to a state of useful information circulation. His predecessor, Anakin Skywriter, was supposed to make this possible. The elders had noticed that the Words were strong in him at the tender age of 9. But following his transaition to the Dark Side he was presumed dead after an epic pen-fight with Obi-Wan Kenotey.

Luke Skywriter, with the guidance of Princess Writea and the Scribe training from 900 yr old Posta, was instrumental in his execution of a well-laid out plan to anihilate the rebels of the Spam armed forces. In a terrible twist of fate, Luke comes face-to-face with his arch enemy, the devious Darth Pager, who later reveals that he is infact his biological father – Anakin Skywriter. The confrontation leads to lot of ink being shed during the posting battle but Luke rises victorious and the blogs are restored to full circulation in Blogworld. He is now married to Princess Writea and has taken over from Posta to train younglings in Blog academy. There he shows them the way of the Scribe. 

I salute Luke and all that he has done for Blogworld. He is the wordsmith that all bloggers would aspire to be. On that note I’ll sign off saying, ‘May the Words be with you’. 

 

Entry #34 – Homewreckers

fingerLadies and Gentlemen, an invasion is upon us! In the 21st century a new evil has befallen planet earth. The shape-shifting creatures of the damned lurk into your very households whilst you watch the news, sip your tea, and  pick your nose. These venemous scum leach unto the married couples of our time and cause havoc and destruction in a systemmatic manner. They are more commonly known as… Homewreckers

So how do you know if you’ve been stung by a homewrecker? When she notices a hotel receipt in his jacket and she hasn’t been to one with him…ever. When he stumbles across his wife’s missing earring by the couch in his best friend’s apartment. When she looks through his mobile phone and she reads the text/SMS, ‘I can’t wait to see you again.Same time tomorrow?’ 

Maybe that’s all a bit too obvious. What about bad drinking habits, gambling, drug addiction, Job loss, Ponzi schemes and hard earned stocks & investments taking a nose dive? What about family ties? Blood is thicker than water, right? What if your mother-in-law (who’s a pain-in-the-neck) comes to live with you? ‘NO WAY!’ I hear you say? What if your partner doesn’t want you to put her in an old people’s home? What then?

But I guess the most deceptive and destructive of all the Homewreckers is the Internet…and the blogworld plays a massive part alongside Facebook, Ebay and Free Porn. Guys who spend more time clicking the mouse than kissing the spouse soon become victims of a home about to be bulldozed, metaphorically speaking.

CrazyNigerian’s Final Thought: Fellow bloggers, if you have a partner then spend less time blogging. And if you don’t have a partner…spend less time blogging 🙂

Entry #3 – Moment of madness

Yesterday I dont know what came over me. I was driving back from work late about 8pm when this massive commercial bus started blaring its horn behind me. There was no room in front of me, I wasn’t slowing down, and I sure as hell wasn’t stopping the driver from overtaking me. This nuisance continued for a good 5mins. I was getting attention I did not want. I felt humiliated. I felt like every other driver was laughing at me. I had enough…

I swerved off the middle lane and stayed on the lefthand side, allowing the impatient bufoon to pass by – and that’s when my MOM (Moment Of Madness) paid an unexpected visit. I swerved back into the middle lane behind the bus and guess what I did next 😀

BEEP! BEEP! BEEEEEEP! BEP BEP BEEEEEEEEEEP….BEEP….BEEP….BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The bus driver started attempting to get off the lane. I started chasing him – I don’t know what the hell for though. Other drivers were grinning as I beeped a ‘happy-birthday-to-you’ sounding tune – I had to stop halfway though cos I realized I could have been endangering the passengers on the bus, not to mention, myself!

This isn’t me, I thought. I was a victim of road rage and this time I took it a lil too far. Note to self – no more Red bulls before driving…even if it was intended to stop me from dozing off in traffic.

Entry #2 – Steady on the Blogathon

It’s only been 2 days (since 21 Feb, 2009) since I’ve been blogging and I must say it’s increasingly becoming addictive. I feel like there’s so much to write and so little time – could a lifetime possibly be enough time? I have categories where I can store trivial stuff that I’ll probably look back on later and think ‘Gee, what the hell was I thinking when I wrote that?’

For the bulk part of my blog I’m thinking of giving Tips to Nigerians in Diaspora, as well as useful updates on what  may affect them if they were to return. Perhaps I’ll give updates on the latest Trends in Lagos too. That’s enough to keep me busy. 

The rest of my blog will continue to metamorphosize and I hope it achieves its aim of being informative, relaxing and fun (hopefully even, addictive). Now I have to go and face traffic on Third Mainland Bridge…f@#%!

F.E.A.R (contd.)

…Maybe it was the Bad cop’s AC that was malfunctioning or the prospect of having to (effectively) sign my life away. But whatever it was, that heat was hotter than N1000 Suya consumed at 12noon inside a jam-packed Moluwe…in stand-still traffic.

Where’s a lawyer when you need one? I had practised all damn night for this interview and even went online to study common interview questions. I was now in a 1-2-1 situation with a guy who invariably wanted to do a 1-8-7 on my 4-1-9, lying ass. There was no way I was going to commit to bringing N200m during my 6 month-probation! Even armed robbers were not making that kind of salary, were they?

In those last few seconds, as I stared at the contract and the BIC biro lying next to the dotted lines, I imagined what my life would be like on a daily basis – it sure beat any scary movie I’VE ever seen! You wake up in the morning…stressed. Drive to work…stressed. Sit at your desk…mega-stressed because you sure aint going to get N200m just by staring at your laptop. You shudder at the mere sight of your boss because you know what’s coming next: ‘T’! How much have you brought??? – Thats how your boss responds each time you say ‘Good morning’, ‘Good afternoon’, ‘Good evening’ or just when he sees you in the office and not outside begging marketing. I snapped out of my daydream. This is not how my life would end, I thought. What would the conman in Thomas Crown Affair do? I had to think and think sharpish. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks (EUREKA!)

Me: Wait, I still have another interview with your Regional Director so maybe after…
BC: It doesn’t matter. Just sign.
Me: But what if… he gives me a higher target? (giving my ‘I told you so’ facial expression)
BC (Ponders) Ok, when you finish come back and see me.
Me: Phew! (I think I’m going to be sick…)

I went across to the RD’s office and to my surprise the interview, just like the AC, was pretty cool. He didn’t mention anything about ridiculous financial targets or death warrants commitment agreements. We had a nice chat about the responsibilities in the new role and how I was expected to drive my end of the business – consumer products of the electronic variety. At the end of the interview I timidly asked if I had to see anyone else (knowing full well that Bad cop said I should see him when I’m done).

RD: No, our HR will get in touch with you soon.
Me: (In my mind, yaaay!) Thank you.

Now it was time for the hard part – my getaway. You see, there was only one staircase that led downstairs but it was right by the Bad cop’s office. The office had large windows so I knew he would see me if I tried to bypass him. I wish I could say that I summoned about 20 other guys who dressed like me and had agreed for us to all wear bowler hats to confuse Bad cop (Thomas Crown Affair) but sadly, I’m not that well connected. Instead, I waited in a corner and took a deep breath…then I walked past…head down, really fast.

BC: (Door opens) Wait! …Hey-ssssssss! …wait! ….Oga! Abeg, help me call that man…Wait! …ssssssss!!!

As I exited the building with supposedly deaf ears I looked across to my dad’s driver who was parked near the bank’s gate. As I began to jog to the car I prompted him to start the engine (just in case Bad cop was making his way behind me). The driver must have been thinking 1 of 2 things when I jumped in shouting, ‘GO-GO-GO-GO!’ – Either I had come to the wrong bank and was late for my interview elsewhere OR I had just stolen millions (ahead of my intended target). We fled the scene and like Sodom & Gomorrah I didn’t dare look back.

About 2 weeks later I received a letter from that bank. I opened it, prayerfully, hoping it wasn’t one of those ‘Unfortunately…’ letters. I breezed through the first paragraph which was purely introductory. By the time I skipped to the second paragraph and read just 4 words, ‘We are happy to…’ I went ballistic. I vaguely remember popping open a bottle of wine after going through my remuneration package and jubilating with my family. Everything conveyed in my offer letter was more than satisfactory. I still did about 3 detailed searches on the letter for any dotted lines linked to the dreaded ‘commitment agreements’ until I was absolutely certain that there was no hidden catch.

Consequently I accepted the offer. I was to resume in March 2007, allowing me enough time to get myself together with regards freighting my stuff, evading gym and internet subscription payments, applying for last minute UK loans, a last glance at the Red Light District, etc. I was looking forward to grabbing this unique job opportunity by the neck and asking it ‘Who’s your daddy, b**ch?’ I had faced my fear and God rewarded me with my F.E.A.R.
…In 2009, however, I have come to terms with a new fear…

 

F.E.A.R.S – Finding Eligible And Religious Spouse

The saga continues… 

..xTx…

F.E.A.R

Of all the fears in the world there’s only one I dreaded the most. It was not bankruptcy, failure, death, a terrorist attack or even the future invasion of flying cockroaches. The only thing I really feared when I left London and arrived in Lagos (Dec, 2006) was my F.E.A.R (First Employment After Return).

On boarding the Emirate flight from Heathrow I experienced worrisome levels of anxiety. I was fidgeting and twitching like a drug addict looking for his last Ecstasy pill – I was a nervous wreck. As I fastened my seatbelt I only watched the air steward’s safety demo so that I could pinpoint the location of the nearest emergency exit…and make a desperate run for it.

It was a long shot, I thought: Quitting my banking job, abandoning my friends, clubs, bars, restaurants, gym, constant electricity supply, and all for what? A chance to settle down in my motherland and make my own little impact, that’s what. I guess the initial panic I encountered stemmed from the subconscious comparisons I was making – McDonald’s…Mr. Biggs, Quaker’s Oat-So-Simple…Golden Morn, Oxford Street…Shoprite, London Energy…Bi-monthly electricity supply, British Gas…Half-empty Gas cylinder, Starbucks…Nescafe + Three Crowns milk, HMV…Street Hawkers, …etc. Some passengers around me were praying so I prayed too. Sadly my prayer wasn’t answered – the plane still took off.

‘There goes my emergency escape plan’, I thought. I sat back and meditated during the long flight, trying to reassure myself that everything would work out for the best. Once I landed it seemed peculiar that I initially boarded alone but on getting off there was 3 of us: The Optimist, Me and the Pessimist. It was a struggle, bumping into each other amidst the luggage. But soon after checking out of Murtala Muhammed Airport I felt really positive with my return. The Optimist and I got into a car-hire and drove to the family home (I had earlier handed over the Pessimist to Immigrations…no bribe required).

Back at home, my dad had arranged a couple of meetings through some of his clients in the banking world. He had handed the baton over to me and the rest of the race was mine to win. Damn those bank interviews! One of them was actually an Endurance test – at least that was all I stuck around for. After an exhausting bench-warming marathon, despite being told to come for interview at 10am, I got up and just walked out. I gained nothing. Instead I lost 3 strands of scalp hair, 5hrs of Nintendo gaming time, and both my ego and my ‘yansh’ were deflated. That bank called 1.10pm to tell me that ‘the panel’ was ready to see me. I remember hissing though it wasn’t meant out loud.

The other bank I went to for interview gave me a more interesting experience. It was the ol’ Good cop-Bad cop routine (with a Naija twist of course). I walked into the good cop’s office, suited and booted, only to be asked 2 questions: ‘What do you have to offer?’ (Pretty normal question) and ‘Why on earth would you want to come back and work in Nigeria?’ (Wetin consign you sef!). Notwithstanding, I answered. He scribbled. I gave him my best smile. He gave me a squinted look then he scribbled some more. Note to self – No more Eddie Murphy smiles.

The Bad cop held true to the title. He made me wait 30mins in his (Prison cell-sized) office. Well if your office was half the size of the Good cop’s then you’d be mean too. Anyway, being mean is still better. This guy was brutal:

BC: What is your CABAL size?
Me: I beg your pardon sir?
BC: Ah-ah! Your CABAL in your last banking job?
Me: Sorry sir but could you please explain what you mean by ‘CABAL’?
BC: Ah-ah!?…(looks at my cv) Oh ok, you worked in LONDON, I see. So, what was the volume on the accounts you managed? Give me the naira equivalent.
Me: I don’t have the exact figure…but it was a lot.
BC: How won’t you know? You should know! It is your responsibility!
Me: Okaaay…?!@#
BC: So how much are you committing to bring to this bank?
Me: ‘Committing’ sir?
BC: Eh-now…give me a figure.
Me: (2-minute silence) what figure is reasonable sir?
BC: (Laughs) you should be the one to tell me. What level are you applying for?
Me: SBO (Senior Banking Officer)
BC: So you should be able to do at least N200m…that’s even too small, but you just arrived, abi?
Me: (Gulp followed by adjusting my neck-tie for air supply) Y…….es.
BC: So how are you going to achieve this N200m target?
Me: Er…I…have…connections…
BC: eEEehn! Like who? (Gets out his pen and opens his diary/notepad)
Me: I have like 5 top clients, Nigerians, whom are planning to move their accounts to Nigeria (bullshit). They have thousands of pounds (more bullshit). They also know contacts that I can speak to in order to get more funds for the bank (…bullshit overload).
BC: Mm-hmm. (Scribbles) So you should be able to bring N100m within 3months, eh?
Me: I…should be able…to do that, sir.
BC: Whats the problem? Are you okay?
Me: Nothing…Is it hot in here?
BC: No. You’re just not used to Nigerian heat yet. Sign here…
Me: Er…Sign what?
BC: Your commitment agreement.
Me: (In my mind, ‘F**********K!!!’)

To be continued…

..xTx..