Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Igbophilia in Amurika: ‘My Predicament’

Look, I swore to myself that there would be no ‘Hello from Amurika’ blog posts. There would be no ‘Oh look, forced-culture-shock’ posts or ‘I-am-immigrant’ posts because, let’s face it, they are boring and award-bait-y and I have visited the country several times before now. Besides, I have never seen anywhere I did not simultaneously belong to and yet be estranged from, even when I was growing up in Awka. I already belong here. I just have to get used to saying ‘Restrooms’ instead of ‘Loos’ so that people will stop looking at me strangely.

Bhet look eh, I am sorry because this one thing in Amurika ate my mouth and allow me to gist my story because it is an egwu of a something.

In London, I remember once running for the bus in heels, running so hard that breathing sounded like trying to suck akamu with a straw through my nostrils. My chest hurt, my calves pulled tight and yet I ran, exposing my ‘predicament’ as my dress blew up in the wind.

“Wait!” I shouted, hand raised. At least I thought I was shouting but seeing as I couldn’t breathe, it might have all been in my head. My bag slid off my shoulder and I clawed at it. Just as I was getting to the first set of doors and with the last passenger still beseeching the driver on my behalf, the doors shut and the driver pulled away.

That was the day I swore by Amadioha for the first time. What kind of wickedness was this?  A guy at the bus stop smirked at me. I wanted to cry. He’d seen my ‘predicament’ – my pink predicament under my dress, possibly my belly button too – and now I was going to be left alone with him until the next bus arrived.

A few years later, I saw this advert and realised that London bus drivers were collectively Legion, the spawns of Satan. It is known.

Fast forward to Amurika, the day before yesterday on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston, MA and my family and I were across the road when the bus we needed pulled up and loaded.  My heart skipped a beat. The red hand flashed red. We couldn’t cross. I stamped my feet and waited. The lights changed. I dashed across the road, signalling the driver. He waited….and waited…my heart fell. I knew he was going to pull away once I got to him.

HE DID NOT. The driver jejely opened the door and let us all in. And what’s more important, none of the passengers hissed, cursed, sighed or shouted at the driver. He even bid us a good evening as we entered his air conditioned kingdom. HALLELUJA SOMBORRI!

Amurika is sweeth. It might not be beans but it is certainly moi-moi and I shall eat it up, nyum nyum nyummy.

 

Fellows.

Just back from playtime/scooting in community garden. Trying to type. My son wants to dress my hair.

He’s winning.

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P.S: Trying to upload this photo and he sees another one of me and him, in which I have short hair. “Who’s that?” he asks. I am incredulous. I mean, I know I was heavier and all, but to actually forget your own mother? Shocking.

Eventually I tell him it’s me. He stares at the image, disbelieving. “You look like a fellow,” he says.

*Weeping*

‘The Fixer’ is going INTERACTIVE!

On the 11th of June this year, I sold my first reprint! Woohoo. And to make it even better, it is of a story that was first published on this blog, ‘The Fixer’. I am thrilled to bits.

I am doubly ecstatic as the story will take on new life as an interactive story. Do you remember those ‘Choose your own adventure’ books of the 90s? It’s like that, but online. I have heard some of the audio that will go in mine and I am a giddy with expectation. I. Just. Cannot. Wait.

Here are a few samples of stories for you to experience, if you don’t have any clue as to what I am talking about:

‘Queers in Love at the End of the World’ – Anna Anthropy

‘My Father’s Long, Long Legs’ – Michael Lutz (I personally found this one a tad long but perhaps ’twas the point. Stick with it. Wear headphones!)

I think what I am excited the most about is non-linear storytelling, to be honest; that and fully experiencing stories. I keep trying different things on this blog and off it; audio, drawings, animation, translation. I’ve tried (or dreamt of) embedding sound or other stuff within my ebooks. Currently, I’m using Twine, but nothing is ready which I can share yet – other deadlines keep popping up. If you do get round to twining your stories, share o! I am a glutton for any type of storytelling.

Sub-Q is open for submissions now. It launches on the 4th of August. You can follow them on Twitter: @subQmag

You can read both versions of ‘The Fixer’ here. 

Thoughts, on turning thir…cough! cough! cough! Excuse me.

I am still looking for where I mislaid my original nose, but it’s okay. I’m sure wherever it is, my pre-pregnancy waistline is keeping it company.

Piña Colada can be a breakfast drink if you have it with eggs. And you don’t drive. On that note, it is perfectly fine to be a bit buzzed at school run. Just don’t try to make conversation. That thing you think is so hilarious probably isn’t. You’re buzzed. Go home.

Writing is the best gig ever!

Writing is the worst gig ever.

I don’t shave my legs. Deal with it.

Ditto armpits. Yes, I realise our friendship may now be in jeopardy.

These are my parents:

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My dad likes having his picture taken.
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My mum hates having her picture taken.

I feel I have been smarter than I currently am. But I have never been poorer than I currently am. Both things can be fixed, which means I am very lucky.

I hope to not be living in this country next year because I am a bit tired and there is a whole lot of world to see. However, I will miss the NHS.

Save the NHS!

Why is IS destroying everything?!!

I’d like to build my house from mud. Like those mosques in Djenne. Or like our ancestors’ houses. I already have an architect.

I really like the name Mehitobel and have been wanting to give it to a character. Except she’s a demon, my character.

I wish I had spare robotic eyes that I could switch my human eyes out with so that I can read all the books I want and never have to sleep ever.

I inherited my grandma’s glasses. She had all her teeth. I should have asked to get those too. Clone myself a little baby Mama Onitsha.

I’ve been working on a story for three days. I finished it yesterday. Now I have two stories.

HAHAHA.

HOHOHO.

Where’s my jumper? Oh no.

Cheers to the frickin' weekend.
Cheers to the frickin’ weekend.

Apollonia

I’ve been pretty run down this week; fever, headaches, cold and cough. I thought that after yesterday morning when I had the last bout of fever that we’d simply parted ways. I was on the mend. The fight was over. I rarely get sick anyway, so, you win this one viruses! We were done.

Not so, friends.

I woke up this morning with a left eye that refused to open and when it finally did, would only budge in the middle – the ends of the eye still held fast with yellow gunk. Through this ghastly, spiky curtain, my blackened eye peeped out at the world, like a demon in search of a soul to devour.

It only took all thirty-ahem! years of my life, but finally, finally friends, I have experienced the dreaded Apollo. (That’s conjunctivitis to you non-Nigerians). Dreaded because kids that dared contact Apollo when we were growing up were shunned and heckled by other kids in school. Home would have not been much fun to be in either, my parents were very strict on what we were and were not allowed to catch. I only had chicken pox at twenty-two, living in London, far away from their disapproval.

It’s hard growing up with two doctors in the house; I never had the sweetness of wearing a filthy, itchy cast because I was not allowed to break any bones, never had lice until I was in boarding school and quickly got rid of that myself (ground camphor in the hair, combed through and washed out. Someone taught me) or boils that required that special inky-blue liquid dressing that never seemed to repel flies. There were plenty of scrapes and bruises but they never allowed us to have plasters, just wash it in stinging soap and water (ow!) and leave it open because the air made it heal.

“But I want plaster!” we’d wail, when our mother was out of earshot.

“Com’ on, mechie onu gi ebe ahu osiso! You want plaster, that’s why you wounded yourself,” she’d say from upstairs, listening in with her bat hearing.

I never ever got out of doing homework.

Having such knowledgeable parents was a bother. We never got to stay home from school even if we had malaria – they’d inject you with chloroquine and send you on your merry way. I can only remember being home from school once and by the end of the day I wanted to live in school, I was so bored. No TV, no getting up to go to the toilet (you had to shout for one of the maids to come and bear witness that you were not really playing), just a lot of sleeping and hallucinating and sweating as the chloroquine kicked the shege out of the malaria and out of you.

.Being ill was never as fun for us as it was for other children, so we simply stopped. I simply stopped falling ill until I could find someone to pet me. Except, I found out how much I loved being well. As a ‘habit’, it stuck. It doesn’t mater what The Hubster and Tot catch, I never seem to get it, mainly because I avoid them, starving them of hugs and kisses until whatever they have is gone.

Easier to do with the Hubster than the Tot. Which is why I’ve had this cold and cough kicking the shit out of me for the past week. But I cannot help kissing the little petri dish. It’s those damn cheeks!

Anyway, turned out to be good training my mother was giving me because life is really about about taking your chloroquine like a good girl, and just getting on with it, if you can.

And I might have the flaming eye of Sauron, but I also get a rather lovely drawing of myself from Tot, which is not bad going at all.

This is how Tot sees me. He always says I am orange.
This is how Tot sees me. He always says I am orange. Notice the big red eye!