5 Things I Hate about Harmattan

dry-skin-black*It’s the most wonderful time of the year…* so Andy Williams sings, after all it’s Christmas season – I get that. What I don’t agree with is the weather we have in Nigeria during this period. While I know a white Christmas could be cold it’s also beautiful; with everything white – rooftops, cars, roads – all white everything (just like the snowflakes on my site). But here in Nigeria we have Harmattan. Wikipedia does a good job describing it:

The Harmattan is a cold-dry and dusty trade wind, blowing over the West African subcontinent. This northeasterly wind blows from the Sahara Desert into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March

i. It’s dusty – Imagine you drive to work, your car looking spick and span in the morning and by closing time you come back to the car park after 8 hrs and find your car looking like it hasn’t been driven for 8 months. I mean, when I think about the winter I experienced in the UK I could decide to build Frosty the Snowman. What on earth can you build with dust? Dusty the Sandman? Dust is as useful as Oscar Pistorius in ad promoting Valentines Day, #IMO.

ii. It’s foggy – In the early hours of the morning when the day breaks, the fog is quite thick and it’s a wonder how someone with poor eyesight would cope during this period. I notice some motorists on my route driving slower than usual when there’s no car in front of them and swaying slightly between two lanes  – it’s because they need glasses! Harmattan isn’t going to make it any easier for them so my advise for every motorist in Nigeria is to drive with caution or you will end up using your caution sign.

iii. It’s cold-dry – It gets a little nippy outside in the early hours of the morning and at night all though this year its kind of humid. If you use air conditioners (ACs) then you may find that they’re working a bit better than usual – cooler air. You may even wake up with a runny nose or cold head. And if you’re really unlucky you might get a groggy throat too *cough cough*.

iv. It dries my skin – I can’t afford not to take notice of my exposed body parts when I leave my flat. When I go to work I need to make sure that my hands don’t have dry white patches between my fingers. When I’m out on the weekends in flip-flops my feet should be creamed thoroughly so I don’t look like I’ve been living on the streets. If I wear short sleeves I need to ensure my elbows aren’t looking like the Negev desert.

v. It makes me clean up continuously – My flat right now is gathering dust but not as quickly as Oscar Pistorius’ running blades (pardon me, but I’m really on his case for obvious reasons). My wooden floors are slippery and all possible surfaces and equipment have a thin layer of dust coating. My once-a-week household cleaning would have to step up to two times a week (but we both know that works only in theory).

That said, I wish you all (in Nigeria) Merry Christmas in advance and a dusty Harmattan!

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Blood on the dancefloor II

continued…

As you get back on your feet, nose bleeding and totally humiliated, you loathe the DJ’s well-timed sense of irony as he switches the music to…wait for it… Michael Jackson’s ‘Blood on the dancefloor’. But you suddenly realize that this is the big break you’ve been waiting for! Thats the kind of music you can step to, not ‘Say My Name’. They’ll be ‘saying YOUR name’ by the time you’re done. You’re going to redeem your image, silence the hecklers, and give your dancing partner a wacko-jacko experience she will never forget.

First you grab your crotch and pop it up and down a few times in succession while your legs are ‘at ease’. The crowd is already beginning to cheer. You stop crotch-popping and start to gyrate on the spot, your eyes firmly fixed on your dancing adversary. The ‘Wooo!’s and whistles from the ladies around are overwhelming. You snap-wiggle your leg in the air then you strut your way over to her and push your waist up against hers. Her lips part. You take her right hand up and whisper to her, ‘It’s going down, babe’.

You spin her around and then you both put on an electrifying, neomodern salsa performance.The uproar from the crowd is unprecedented. You catch a glimpse of some beautiful ladies biting their bottom lips. Some are winking at you and pouting seductively. You know you look bad and dangerous with your sweaty silk shirt and bloody nose. The alluring scent of your dance partner’s perfume brings you back into focus though.

You  ‘crip-walk’ around her like a deranged Red-Indian around a bonfire, snapping your head aback along the way. After one complete revolution you do a lightning spin and execute the Billie-Jean Toe stand – applause aplenty! You grab her upclose one more time. This time you can feel her heart beating fast. It will all be over soon but not after you give the audience what you know they’ve been craving for. Tonight you will leave your mark as the undisputed dance maestro, the dancefloor will worship your feet, and your $39.99 loafers will be put to the ultimate test!

You take a step back, arms stretched out in front and pulling her gently towards you. You start to backslide slowly and she instinctively comes towards you. You pick up the pace and her salsa-strut is perfectly in synch. Never before have you performed the Moonwalk while still holding your leading lady. It’s absolute pandemonium now and you can see the club’s bouncers on red alert. Your friends are chanting your name and then the whole club joins in – even the DJ. In a Tango Neuvo approach, you lean her forward so that her back is arched and she has an inverted view of the audience. She’s breathless. You’re exhausted. The crowd loved it. You pull her back up and she asks you, ‘Where did THAT come from?’ You say nothing but smile. She then whispers in your ear, ‘I wanna rock your world…’

…1 long kiss and 3 Trojans later, you wake up. You’re in her apartment. It wasn’t all a dream. You can still see your silk shirt hanging across the bedroom. You’re both so cosy under the sheets and she’s got her head on your chest. You notice a picture frame by your side of the bed and its faced down. You’re thinking you probably bumped it during the hanky-panky. She also wakes up shortly after and she asks you for the time. You look at your watch – Its almost 2am. She suddenly panicks and tells you that you have to leave.

You put 2 and 2 together and you pick up the picture frame to notice she’s in the picture with a huge, built-up bloke. ‘Who’s he?’ She tells you its her husband and that he’ll be back any minute. You suddenly hear a knock on the door. You’ve had your fun with dirty Diana but you don’t want to see blood in the bedroom. You haven’t got time to throw your clothes on. There’s a window to your left and you’re only 1 storey off the ground. It’s time to beat it!

Blood on the dancefloor

You can see her looking at you from across the room. In fact, she’s been watching you all night. She’s all by herself in that sexy, ‘Daddy-would-kill-me-if- he-saw-me-in-this’ dress. Your friends taunt you to go over and talk to her. You rub off your sweaty palms against your Armani Jeans and summon up enough courage to make your move. As you get your swagger on you notice your bounce coincides with the intro to Neyo’s ‘Sexy love’ which the DJ’s playing – that’s a good sign. She’s even smiling as you get closer – that’s even better. You both start to talk, flirt, laugh…and you didn’t even have to buy her a drink! When she’s not looking, you turn to your friends across and signal with a ‘thumbs-up’ (yay!). Everything is going swell…until she asks you to dance.

You know you don’t want to but in the words of Chris Tucker ‘She FAAAINE, men!’ You can’t afford to let some other chump acquire those ass-ets. You’ve earned it! It’s her favorite song too so before you try to talk your way out of it she drags you to the dance floor anyway. Now, you tell yourself ‘I aint so bad, I was the hotstepper back in the day, I’ve still got a few tricks up my socks…but how the f*** am I supposed to dance to Say My Name, Say My Name?’ Is that even scientifically possible? You don’t remember seeing Destiny’s Child do much more than strike poses for 90% of the music video. But this is real life. She’s looking at your ‘leg/feet’ area like she’s saying ‘Show me what you got, you stud-muffin’. Your friends are watching…HER friends are watching…There’s no turning back…This is it! It’s time to bust a move!

You’re under pressure so you look to see what other people are doing but they’re just moving side to side. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em, right? But you’re in for a surprise! Your dance partner is doing the moves in the Destiny’s Child video and you’re starting to wonder if she was behind the choreography. Next up the DJ switches to ‘Dutty Wine’ and she gets into position to flip it on you – but you don’t quite expect it. It’s not your kinda song and you’d rather go sit down with her. You move closer to her to tell her this but from nowhere your face gets whooped by a pound of organic arm-length ‘shanikwa’ braids. You’re dazed but she’s too busy dutty wining to even notice the whole left-side of your face is swollen.

The DJ has put her on spotlight. She’s the main attraction and you’re just standing there getting upstaged. Everyone’s jeering and hyping her up and you’re still spitting out hair extensions from the previous head-butt (well, technically it was a ‘hair-butt’ but that’s just nasty). You try to back out to avoid any further embarrassment but your friends push you right back in. You know they wouldn’t let you get outclassed by a girl. You still haven’t proven to the crowd that you are the lord of the (dancing) ring. You’re seriously considering to do the Moonwalk then suddenly the DJ switches to Crunk – but you don’t know what the hell that is. Now you’re REALLY screwed.

As she starts to body-pop, your involuntary reflex is to shield yourself from attack. But all she’s doing is throwing arms in your direction like she’s going to beat you up. It’s so aggressive and so up close and personal that you fail to realize that tears are trickling down your cheeks. Everyone else notices though. They start to point and laugh at you. You can see your friends shaking their heads in disappointment. You’re too ashamed to ask for her phone number now. All you wanted was to have a quiet drink with the lads.You turn round to make a run for it but you trip over your own foot – What a clutz. You fall flat on the floor and fracture your nose. You’re bleeding all over the place. You’re definitely not having fun anymore. You want to go home. You want your mummy…

‘Hee-hee!’