Life Stories

If You’re Suffering, Move to Ghana

London Underground; my lover, companion, friend and most bitter enemy, I miss you. I miss my Finchley Central Station. I miss my friend in the phone shop on the corner of Hervey Close. I miss the Nigerian guy at the station who made it his business to ask why I was running late for work, when I was running late for work. I miss battling the temptation to enter Tesco every time I walk past it. This is what marriage does to people; it makes them move…and miss things!

My new locale isn’t nearly as interesting as Finchley. I haven’t made any shopkeeper friends because there aren’t a lot of shops separating me from the train station. I haven’t made any commuter friends because they don’t look as friendly and the train ride isn’t as interesting because it’s full of married commuters who are by definition, boring. Unlike me, of course.

I only have the pleasure or journeying one stop on the Underground and yesterday, in the time it took for me to get from Moorgate to Bank, I struck gold.

ghana

Two young gentlemen were having a conversation that I couldn’t help over hearing.

“So what are you doing these days bruv?”

“I work in a call centre innit, customer services.”

“Cool cool, I’m still in retail but I’m like a supervisor now.”

“Yeah? Sweet!”

“It’s aight, pays the bills, you get me?”

“Yeah bruv, I know the feeling. I’m so sick of this life. You know, I’ve been thinking of moving to Ghana but I’m too westernised for that shit.”

”You think Ghana’s better than London?”

“You know Kwabena we went to school with yeah, he moved like two years ago and he’s living the life!”

“For real, what’s he doing out there?”

“I’m not sure you know, he’s making bare bucks though. I might just move out there man, I need the good life.”

“You been Ghana before?”

“Yeah yeah, went last year, first time and it was live. They treat you like royalty bruv. You have maids and shit that do everything for you.”

“Seriously?!”

“Trust me bruv, if you want to live the good life, pack your shit and move to Ghana. Africa’s the place to be man. I wanna do it man, I wanna do it bad but I think I’m too westernised for that shit.”

In those two minutes, I struck gold. I too am tired of the life I’m living. Waking up early, going to work, paying bills AND council tax (because you know council tax is not a bill, it is THE bill)…and not being able to afford ordinary Louboutin Pigalles. I don’t like pointy shoes but that’s besides the point. If I cannot buy myself a pair of Pigalles while living the London life, there is only one solution.

I am moving to Ghana… I’m not too westernised for that ‘shit’.

XxX

Waila

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A Memory Time Erased + Waila Reads: On Black Sisters’ Street

I was in Lagos a couple of weekends ago to marry off one of my lover girls, Shally of ForStyleSake. The detailing on her dress gave the analyst in me a lot to analyse. Goes without saying she looked stunning on her big day, what bride doesn’t?! Actually I take that back. I almost had a heart attack when I saw the wedding pictures of one the vendors my mother enlisted to plan my traditional wedding. To each their own but seeing her in her rather interesting bridal get up gave me reason to intensify my prayers. Thankfully, God is and was kind to me.

Much as I profess to be anti-weddings, I love watching my friends get married and I’d trek to the moon to see it happen. I’m amazed at how far we’ve all come in our lives, with or without men, and I’m pretty excited to see what the future has in store for us.

I digress.

Yes, Lagos. The city never ceases to amaze me. It’s a pretty cool place to live if you have enough money in the bank to create your own world but it can be scorchingly unkind to the poor and struggling. That said, it’s such a vibrant city, it’s easy to get caught up in its vibe.

I was in Lagos for all of 52 hours but it was long enough for me to run into a reality I had assumed was long dead. We were driving along the streets of Ikeja late Friday night hunting for food when I noticed a voluptuous girl in a miniscule white Lycra mini skirt striking a pose on the sidewalk. Her ample breasts were spilling out of her umpteen sizes too small top and her makeup was like something out of a how-not-to tutorial. It took a few minutes for my brain to register that she was a prostitute. I was stunned.

Growing up in Lagos and living pretty close to Bar Beach, spotting prostitutes was part of everyday life. I grew up knowing too well that they existed and on occasion, watched them get picked up by punters. Somehow, my brain had deluded itself into thinking such things didn’t happen in 2013.

In the age we live in, there are many sophisticated forms of prostitution but like my grandma says, “Pikin wey resemble goat no be goat, na pikin.” In other words, you are what you are regardless of how you choose to portray yourself. It’s no less heartbreaking to meet a girl who dates a man purely for financial gain but to see a woman standing on the street corner, body parts hanging out, desperately trying to attract the attention of every passing male, stripped it back to its most basic form. I really had forgotten that standing on the streets is still a viable option for some.

As I watched them sashay from car to car trying to reel in dinner, I couldn’t help but fear for their physical safety among other things. Absolutely anything could happen to those girls and the soles of their feet would be none the wiser. I slept uneasily that night.

Prostitutes exist because there is a demand for them.  If no one was willing to pay for sex, no one would be selling it. It’s that simple. Much as I worry about the women who sell their wares, I also worry about the punters who part with their cash. I call it the meeting of troubled souls.

People prostitute themselves for all sorts of reasons and contrary to popular belief not all prostitutes are women struggling to put food on their tables or a roof over their heads. Sometimes, it’s an act born of pure unadulterated greed. I’ve met a few. That said, I am weary of condemning such women because personally, I am yet to encounter circumstances, financial, mental, emotional or otherwise, that would make selling my body a viable option.

I earnestly pray that someday, somehow, these women find a way out.

Seeing those girls reminded me of a book I read a while back and leads me on to a Waila Reads recommendation.

black sister

On Black Sisters’ Street by Chika Unigwe isn’t a Waila favourite but it’s definitely worth a read. It tells the story of four young and rather naive women who make their way from Lagos to Belgium in the hope of raking in serious cash. It’s a story full of clichés but sadly, these clichés are born out of an embarrassingly stark reality.

I won’t say too much, I’ll let you read and make up your own minds. For the curious, I’ve included a link to a review by The Independent below.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/on-black-sisters-street-by-chika-unigwe-1728899.html

I hope you enjoy reading but more than that, I hope that the next time you get on your knees to pray, if you pray, you remember to say a prayer for these women.

Love & so much more,

Waila

Mrs Waila Calling!!!

Hello People!

I know, I know, I disappeared on you. Forgive and forget? *puppy eyes*

The last six months of my life have been manic but thankfully things are winding down. You’ll be pleased (I hope) to know that I am now married and can reclaim my life from the clutches of wedding planning and the many darts…emotional, physical, spiritual, financial….it sends flying one’s way. Do I miss wedding planning? Heck no!

For the curious, I have a couple of pictures up on my Instagram account (WailaCaan) and will be sticking a few more up over the coming days (seeing as I have hundreds of them) so feel free to nosey on down there. For the non Instagramers, two pic stitches  for you right here. Photos are the work of our super photographer Iain Gomes who you’ll hear more about soon.

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So many stories to tell and some will be revealed in due course.

Those of you who blog will understand how hard it is to keep up with it. It really is a struggle to juggle blogging with my job and other things I’ve got going on in my life but I will keep trying and I will overcome the writer’s block that has been plaguing me…so help me God.

In other news, I deserve a handwritten note of gratitude from the CEO of IKEA, no jokes. I have spent so much of my humble earnings in that store my account is flat packed. On the plus side, I am now a dab hand at hammering and screwing so if any of you need a handyman, please see me in my workshop. I’d have volunteered the hubby but what he offers in physical strength, I more than make up for with my can-do-must-do-who-cares-what-time-it-is-will-do attitude.

On the day we moved house, I was working so the poor guy was left to haul all of our belongings without my help. By the time I got home, he’d done half a day at his day job, another half day carting bags and boxes and was in the middle of putting together a bed. By the time the bed was up, it was pretty late and he looked ready to keel over. Caring wife that I am, I fed him and then swiftly handed him a hammer to begin knocking together one of my wardrobes. You should have seen his face. He who marries a wife finds a good thing…what does he have to complain about?!

Lest I ramble on, I’ll stop now. This is just a quick note to say I’m still in the business of blogging and I am now certified by law to do married people things. Pure minds people, pure minds!

Stay tuned!

xxx

Waila

Free Writing: Write About Someone You Used To Love

goodbye

I will never forget what I was wearing the day it all started. A canary yellow v-neck jumper from Zara, black wide legged pants and pointed black court shoes. I’d met him a few months before at a party my cousin invited me to.  We didn’t talk much at the party and to be honest, I only noticed him because he was quite light skinned. He had a girlfriend at the time so there was no thought of a possible romance.

The day I met him again, in my yellow jumper, I was at church waiting for the first service to end so I could go into the second service. There were quite a few of us waiting in the foyer and I was surprised when my roaming eyes connected with his.  He remembered me and seeing as we were both alone, ended up sitting together during the service. Afterwards, he had a few hours to kill before he had to go to some lunch soirée and asked if I’d like to catch up over drinks. I said yes and that was the beginning of a rather interesting year and some.

We got on so well over drinks that when he dropped me off home, we swapped numbers. It was the summer holidays and I was working my first ever job at a photography studio selling makeovers to members of the public. He worked for a hedge fund and in that period was as working Japanese hours.  His working day started at midnight and we would be on the phone talking about Lord knows what, till I had to get out of bed and get ready for work. I got the raw end of the deal on that one! I couldn’t use my phone at work so he got to sleep while I was working. I was seriously sleep deprived that summer.

I will never forget our first date. We met up in the west end, grabbed a bite to eat at Wagamama and then walked the back streets of central London. It really was perfect. Well until we headed to the cinema to watch a movie during which my bag got stolen. Actually, even that was perfect. He went into superman mode and called the police and my bank to report the theft. We walked to his office because he had a shift to start and he called me a cab, paid for it and shoved a couple of twenty pound bills in my hand to tide me over till I got my replacement cards. I tried to refuse the money but it was a Friday and in those days, banks didn’t open on Saturdays. After convincing me to swallow my pride and take the money, I did.

For a whole host of reasons, things didn’t work out between us. He was and still is an amazing guy and we are good friends to this day. At the time things fell apart, I was convinced I’d never find anyone like him again.

I was right, I still haven’t found anyone like him and to be honest, it’s a good thing I haven’t. In hindsight, amazing though he was, he wasn’t right for me.

Love,

Waila

Waila is Getting Married!!!

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

WAILA IS GETTING MARRIED!!! 🙂

On the left hand ring finger now sits a stunning bit of bling and yes, I can’t stop staring at it!!!

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not keen on weddings. It’s ironic that I now find myself in this position. I warn you in advance, if I don’t do things the way you are used to, don’t be surprised. The biggest shock of all is that for someone who swore not to have a traditional Nigerian wedding, I am super excited about tying a wrapper round my chest and having coral beads in my hair Benin style. Friends, be ready to tie your wrappers round your chests. Your days of sewing funky styles with aso-ebi are OVER! *evil laugh*

As expected, the whole world has been asking how it happened and blogging about it is my way of telling the story ONLY ONCE. 🙂

I’d always said to my gentleman friend (must find him a new name) that I didn’t want a public proposal. I wanted something super private with just the two of us involved. I’m not one for ceremony, pomp and pageantry so I didn’t want any fuss…and I got what I wanted…and it was super special. 🙂

We’d been talking seriously about getting married in the last three weeks and as soon as he called my mum to give her the speech, the planning started. It was a little weird because my mother was busy planning my traditional wedding and asking me about colours and fabrics but I couldn’t  tell anyone about it because I didn’t have a ring. As the plans for the wedding were in motion, I knew the proposal was on its way. I’m a VERY helpful person so I figured I’d give the gentleman friend a hand picking out the ring. He couldn’t believe it when I sent him a link to the ring I wanted but I promised him I’d act surprised when he got round to presenting it so I hope that lessened the shock. LOL. Even worse, I knew when he’d ordered the ring because when I went on the website to check, my size was no longer in stock. The website offered free next day delivery so three days later when he still hadn’t popped the question, I got a little jittery. Forgive me, patience isn’t one of the virtues I currently possess. *hides face*

Yesterday I found myself in a mall and somehow, my feet found their way to a jewellery store. There were two rings I’d been torn between and as I walked in, the first ring I noticed was the Option B I’d decided against. When I saw the ring in the flesh, it was love at first sight. I knew he’d bought the other ring though so what to do?! Call him of course! Lol. I told him I wasn’t sure which one I wanted anymore. The poor guy sighed, asked where I was and came to pick me up from the mall. We drove to his house and he went upstairs to ‘get something’.

I was waiting for him at the foot of the stairs and lo and behold, he appeared holding a box in his hand. We stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity… and then burst out laughing. We couldn’t stop laughing for a good 10mins. When we finally composed ourselves, he went down on one knee and I tell you, the atmosphere changed.

Suddenly he turned serious and I was blushing like the sun sits on my cheeks.  Even though I knew he was going to propose, when he got down on one knee, I promise you, I was in shock! He was nervous as heck; his hands were unsteady; but he gave the most eloquent speech of his life and l REMEMBER EVERY WORD!!!

The rest as they say, is history.

He had a nice romantic proposal all planned. He was going to turn up outside my house early this morning, sprinkle rose petals on the path to my door and have a bunch of flowers waiting for me so that when I opened the door to head out to work, I’d get the shock of my life. Sorry for ruining that plan babe! Lol.

After he proposed, I still had the dilemma of which ring to settle for. In the end we went to the store together and the moment I put the option B on, I knew it was the one.

How crusty does my skin look?! LOL.

Ladies and gentlemen, I AM GETTING MARRIED!!!

xxx

Waila

The Things We Learn Randomly

At my station, without fail every Thursday, stands a Shortlist vendor. This same vendor is present on Wednesdays handing out copies of Stylist. On Wednesdays my hand is stretched out, ready to collect my freebie, well before I’m within reach. On Thursdays, I spend the steps leading up to his pitch fishing out my Oyster card from my handbag. He smiles at me, magazine dangling from the tips of his fingers and I smile back and politely decline the offer.

That was before he discerned my weakness.

One Thursday as I approached his pitch, I began my routine as normal. He began his but this time, added a little something extra. Accompanying the smile on his lips was a look of desperation in his eyes. It was hard to ignore. He looked like his life depended on my taking the magazine from his hand. I felt really sorry for him but heck, I wasn’t interested in carting around a magazine I had no desire to read. I smiled and declined as usual and almost got away with it. Almost.  The subtle nodding of his slightly tilted head broke me.

I was transported to Lagos, sitting in an air-conditioned car, people watching through the erect window. Obscuring my view, bowl in hand, stood a malnourished child. Head tilted, nodding a silent plea. Eyes haunted by hunger and poverty dared me to join forces with life and compound his suffering.

Before I realised what was happening, I had stretched out my hands and collected the magazine. A few steps on, I realised why the magazine felt heavier than it looked. He had shoved three copies in my hand! I laughed at the cheek of it but felt taken advantage of. Yet every Thursday since, at the sight of his pitiful face, I stretch out my hands and collect my three copies of Shortlist.

He has me down for a mug, I know it, but I’m powerless to stop it.

This morning, I was surprised to see a different face handing out magazines at his pitch. Surprised but relieved! This new face looked bored, like it would much rather still be resting on a soft pillow. I stared at its eyes and they stared back, blank. It gave me great pleasure to shake my head, walk past and ignore its offering.

This morning, for the first time, I understood the power of begging.

Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev

xxx

Waila

Marrakech: Medina Schmedina!

I recently got back from Marrakech, where my friend and her hubby chose to tie the knot. It was an awesome wedding. The ceremony and reception were out of this world and my roomies were greater than great!

That said, Marrakech, I have a bone to pick with you.

Long before I reached the city’s shores, I’d heard and answered the call of its famous Medina. I couldn’t wait to explore the souk (market). Who cares about museums, smelly camel rides and the YSL garden when there is a souk that supposedly sells stunning kaftans, magic dresses and an assortment of real leather goods?!

My first foray into the Medina was at night for the pre-wedding dinner party. The entire medina is walled in and somewhat reminiscent of a fortified city. If you’ve watched Disney’s Aladdin, you have an idea of what the streets look like…the reality being a million times magnified of course.  We were literally walking through a giant maze; there was no way we would have been able to retrace our steps without the help of a guide. The windy roads, twists and turns, clothes hanging out of windows, monkey handlers, snake charmers, street food, henna women…it was a circus. It was exciting in the way that new experiences are. So much so that the following day, as soon as I got out of bed and got the wedding rehearsal out of the way, I dragged my poor friend Mo to the souk (in the medina) in the scorching heat.

When you go to a market you expect to haggle. When you are a tourist in a market, you expect to Haggle. When you are a tourist in Africa coming from Europe, you expect to HAGGLE. I went ready to stretch my pounds slack. What I wasn’t ready for was aggression and racial abuse!

MEE: How much is this kaftan?

Trader: 800 Dirhams (€80).

MEE: 150 Dirhams or I go elsewhere.

Trader: Why you want pay small money for this quality cotton? GET OUT OF MY SHOP!

You should have seen the shock on our faces. After telling him off for bad behaviour, we stomped off in search of better behaved merchants.

MEE: How much is this kaftan?

Trader: 1000 Dirhams (€1000).

MEE: Next door this same kaftan is 600, why is yours so expensive?!

Trader: That one not quality, this one authentic.

MEE: Yeah, I’m sure it is. I’m not paying more than 100.

Trader: GET OUT! No money. I know, black people no money. Even me have more money than you. GET OUT!

Where the self control came from, I don’t know. I’m just glad it came.  There was no point getting into a slagging match with the ignoramus. I walked away.

Next door, there was a local canteen and I poked my head in to see if they had cold water for sale.

Ignoramus: Yes, enter that one. Very cheap, you can afford.  Black, no money. *spits on the ground*

If he believes himself to be better and richer than I am, who am I to argue?! Let him keep his money, I’ll keep mine. It was important to me to maintain my dignity so I carried on walking. Besides, it wouldn’t have been take on the mad man on his turf.

As we walked through the souk, shouts of ‘Black!’ ‘Chocolate!’ ‘Obama’ and ‘Rihanna!’ followed us. It was surreal I tell you. Most of them weren’t trying to be offensive and I wasn’t offended. I was just shocked and disappointed that in this day and age, that level of ignorance still exists.

In the process of HAGGLING we got shouted at and insulted so many times, my friend lost her cool and got into a heated argument with one of the traders. There was only one trader we met who treated us with the respect that every human being deserves. We sought refuge from the burning sun in his air-conditioned shop and he was so impressed with my haggling skills, he proposed to me!

I left the Medina with a couple of leather bags and candle burners but I also left a few shades darker and with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Whoever said ‘ignorance is bliss’ isn’t nearly as intelligent as I once thought.

xxx

Waila

How Are We Doing It?

It’s your friend Abi’s 30th birthday on Saturday. You get an email inviting you to dinner at an upmarket restaurant in the west end. You check out the email addresses in the thread; @jpmorgan.com, @hsbc.com, @morganstanley.com, @gs.com, @bain.com, @mckinsey.com…and then there’s yours…@yahoo.co.uk.

You and Abi are close enough, she expects you to be there. You click on the attached link to the restaurants website to view the menu. Main courses are £20 on average. That’s all the money you have left in your account. You spot a section that reads ‘side dishes.’ You scan it breathing a sigh of relief when you see the figures 6.99 beside the words ‘Garden Salad.’ You factor in the service charge and conclude that if you drink water, you’ll get away with spending just £10. You need the other £10 to transport yourself to and from the restaurant.

Saturday night, time to get ready for dinner. You might be unemployed and broke but you’ll be damned if you let ‘penniless’ scribble itself across your forehead. Black mini dress, check. Nude Louboutin peep toes, check. Brazilian hair, check. Ruby Woo lipstick, check.  35mins and a train ride later, you arrive at the restaurant £2.60 lighter. The ambience is great and everyone looks fabulous. Menus arrive and orders are flowing like cool breeze on a hot summer afternoon. Cocktails, wine, champagne, starters…the works. You nurse your tall glass of tap water with ice and a slice of lemon and when the person next to you asks why you aren’t ‘having a glass’ you tell them it’s that time of the month so you’re feeling a little nauseous.

The mains arrive and you eye the plates of duck confit, steak and sea bass but it’s the sautéed scallops that cause saliva to drip from the corners of your mouth.  You employ the services of the napkin spread over your laps and face your plate of the freshest looking grass you’ve ever seen. You decline the dessert menu when it’s offered, “Thanks but I’m stuffed,” hoping no one can hear the rumbles emanating from your stomach. You can’t wait to get home and whip up some Indomie.

Conversation is flowing and everyone’s laughing and having a good time when suddenly someone catches a glimpse of the clock hanging above the restaurant bar and realises you’ve been sat there for four hours. He signals to the waiter to bring the bill and people start to reach for their wallets. The bill arrives and then someone asks the million dollar question;

“How are we doing it?”

You sit up straight. What kind of stupid question is that; how are we doing it? You pay for what you ate, how else will we do it?!

The genius mathematician at the table does a quick count and declares that if the bill is split equally, £45 per head should cover it.

You are about to object when you notice that every other head is nodding in agreement.

Another voice pipes up.

“Abi shouldn’t have to pay because it’s her birthday.”

The genius mathematician redoes the calculation and asks, “£50 okay for everyone?”

Again, every head but yours nods in agreement.

50 what?! From where?!

Your silence is not an option. “I think everyone should pay for what they ate.”

Echoes of “that’ll be tricky to calculate, it’s easier to just split the bill” float around the table.

Tricky for who? Me I can calculate what I ate o! Abi there’s a mathematician at the table, e le se further maths ni?. Jo jo jo, e ma koba mi, don’t disgrace me in public!

You pull out a £10 note from your wallet, walk over to Abi, give her a hug and say goodbye. You drop the note in front of genius, “that’s how much my meal cost.”

Head held high, you head for the door, the red soles of your Louboutins clicking sexily against the marble floor.

That is how we’re doing it.

xxx

Waila

Tales From The Underground: Death By Shortbread

Hey people!

Can you sense my excitement? Yes? I’ve never been so happy to see my office in all my working life. I’ve been off work for over a week thanks to a back injury. Thanks to God, I’m back on my feet. How did I hurt my back?

Two Thursdays ago I’d just woken up and was dragging my half asleep self to the bathroom when I missed a step, tripped and went flying head first towards the bathroom door. After bashing my head, I landed quite dramatically on my backside. I passed out. When I came back round, I picked myself up and carried on with the day’s business. My back felt a little sore but it was to be expected, I’d just fallen. It wasn’t till I got on the train and couldn’t sit without cringing, I realised there was a problem. Halfway through the day I had to leave the office, sitting upright was torture. I spent the weekend doped up on painkillers.

By the Sunday of that weekend, I felt a little better and my gentleman friend and I went shopping for a bookshelf and shoe cupboard. He was halfway through the assembly when he had to leave. He warned me to wait for him but stubborn MEE decided I didn’t need a man to do my DIY. I completed the tasks to my peril. By the time I went to bed I was in agony. I was determined to go to work on the Monday though, I had a box of toasted coconut shortbread delivered in my absence and my colleagues were threatening to attack it. Against my better judgment I hopped on the train.

I was a few stops into the journey when the pain became unbearable. I wanted to scream. Mind over matter I told myself. It didn’t work. Slowly my vision became blurred and then I passed out.

“Can you hear me?!”

“Can someone pull the passenger alarm, this lady is unconscious, she’s having a seizure!”

Seizure, who is having a seizure?!  I opened my eyes to investigate and the first thing I noticed was my handbag in the laps of the woman sitting next to me. She has my bag because? I couldn’t speak though, the pain was way too intense. Hang on, why is everyone gawking at me? Snap. I’m the one supposedly having a seizure.

They pulled the alarm, the station staff came onboard and an off duty police officer in the carriage rushed to my aid. They managed to get me up but walking was agony. Every time my feet hit the ground, it was like being electrocuted. I got to the station manager’s office and immediately lay on the ground.

“Hi, my name is Samantha, I’m a police officer. Can you tell me what your name is?”

I told her. In a bid to keep me talking, she started asking a series of questions and I told her all about the initial fall and my DIY activities.

“You’re a brave girl, attempting to go to work when you’re in so much pain!”

“You don’t understand, I have a box of Dean’s toasted coconut shortbread waiting for me on my desk!”

“Sorry?”

“Have you ever tried Dean’s toasted coconut shortbread?”

“Can’t say I have.”

“Then you won’t understand.”

I spent the next fifteen minutes explaining why Dean’s toasted coconut shortbread is the best shortbread in the world; the smoky taste of the coconut shreds, the way the biscuit crumbles and melts in your mouth.

“The biscuit is really light and doesn’t stick to the roof of your mouth like that nasty stuff they sell in the supermarkets. They only sell it in novelty stores in Scotland you know, I had to order them online. £5 the delivery cost me, £5! It’s worth it if you buy in bulk though. ”

The poor officer didn’t know whether to laugh or be concerned. The paramedics finally arrived and carted me off to A&E, with the officer in tow. Throughout the journey, they kept trying to make conversation to keep me talking but I wasn’t interested. I kept mumbling the same sentence over and over again.

“Those guys had better not eat my shortbread!”

Sometimes I worry about myself.

xxx

Waila

If You Must Date A Friend’s Sibling, LET THEM KNOW!

Thankfully, I’ve never had to deal with the trauma that arises when your friend and sibling decide they want to fall in love, like, lust or whatever else takes their fancy. Good friend that I am, I though it wouldn’t be fair to let my friend CrawCraw escape the experience.

CrawCraw had a brother, Bobo, that all the girls in Lagos wanted a piece of. I’d never really paid attention to her brother till I met him at a bar. I had just finished my SSCE exams and my partner in crime, Tikka Masala and I went to A-Bar (does it still exist?) in Lagos to hang out with another friend. Just as we were leaving, we spotted this light skinned cute(ish) cheeky looking chap walking into the bar. He looked familiar but I couldn’t remember where I’d met him till Tikka Masala pointed out he was CrawCraw’s brother. Good friend that I am, I wandered over to say hello.

“Hi. Are you CrawCraw’s brother?”

“Yeah, I am. Are you her friend?”

“Yes. My name’s Waila.”

“Bobo, nice to meet you.”

Before I knew it he was asking for my number. To be honest, I’m not sure I found him attractive. I was just flattered that the guy the whole of Lagos was killing themselves over was asking for my number. Neither of us had a pen and it was before the advent of mass mobile technology in Nigeria.

“Just tell me your number, I’ll remember it.”

I thought there was no way he would so I was stunned when I got a phone call from him the following day. The phone calls carried on steadily for a week and then came the visits. I didn’t breathe a word of it to CrawCraw whom I saw every other day. We were both scouting for prom dates and shoes and spent quite a bit of time together.

One day, I found myself in the area where Bobo lives and decided to pay him a visit. I knew CrawCraw was out because I’d spoken to her earlier in the day. I’d been at theirs for a couple of hours when the door opened and in walked CrawCraw. At first she was excited to see me, thinking I’d been waiting for her. I’m not sure what gave it away but I knew when the penny dropped.  The look on her face suddenly changed. I had no clue what to say to her and she was silenced by the shock. I can’t remember what happened after that but I must have left and gone home.

We carried on being friends but didn’t speak about it till a couple of years later when we were at College together. We were having a conversation about guys we liked and relationships when she suddenly exclaimed;

“You, well done o! That’s how I came home one day and found you there with my brother!”

Thankfully we had a good laugh about it and she was gracious enough to forgive my bad behaviour. Of all the questions she could have asked me, the one thing she wanted to know was whether or not her brother was a good kisser!  Talk about embarrassing! She didn’t let up till she got an answer.

I’ll say no more.

The moral of the story?  Never do ‘under-g’ with your friend’s sibling. I got away with it but I’ve know it to destroy many a friendship. If you must fall in love, do the right thing and make your friend aware of what’s going on and do what you can to get their blessing.

xxx

Waila