Tag Archives: Amurika

Igbophilia in Amurika: De tings dat happun.

See eh, Amurika has tired me, I won’t lie. All through last year, I had serious problems with my blood-rise-up  because people with brains and anuses and freedom now went to elect Thing from the Addams family to be their leader, thereby bringing us closer to Revelations and see-see-sis.

Then, to make matters worse, I am tired of the snow and the rain and the cold and I just want some sun because I look ashy as if I have no relatives to make me look in the mirror occasionally. My hair is like straw – the one place I found in Roxbury that can do locs, the loctician swerved me after saying she would call me back. I don’t know why. Eez like people in Amurika don like money again. So, here I sit, separating my crackling locs and hoping not to start a fire. O di egwu. To think I used to be a fine chick sef. That one has passed.

The good news is, I have started Narrative non-fiction classes at Harvard so that I can be better at this whole truth-telling thing. But errrr, me I cannot leave this blog because I don’t have to put what I am saying into the kind of English that other people can understand, shey you get?

That’s how me I was minding my business, one old woman like this came and asked me if my name was ‘made up’. Never never in my life has anyone asked me that question before. I mean, made up how? Like my parents just picked a collection of sounds and thought “Ah, sweet music. That will be her name”? Only the woman’s age made me keep my tongue in my head. And another thing, I hate it when you tell people your name and they say “What a beautiful name!” How do you know it’s beautiful? Do you speak Igbo? For all you know my name means “She who will bring about the world’s destruction with her vagina.”

Just say my name sounds beautiful, and leave it at that. I have to teach people English again.

It’s raining. God is just crying over the sorry state of affairs in this country. Na wah.

Anyway, how are you guys? Leave me a comment abeg, let’s catch up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Igbophilia in Amurika: There is no tea in Amurika.

I am crying, crying, crying.

For two weeks our luggage has had to sleep somewhere else while we went from place to place like a bunch of vagabonds, kipping in various Airbnb’s: East Boston, Allston, Harbour Point (sorry, harbor) near Dorchester and now Somerville. In a few days we will move to our permanent abode in Cambridge and then I can rest properly.

Anyway,  a few days ago I was gasping for a brew. Gasping. The last few times I visited Amurika, I always had coffee because I still could, so I never noticed how little people seem to drink tea. I had been informed by reliable UK northerners though (the only people you should trust besides Kenyans to make a proper brew) that the tea was pigswill so I came prepared. However, the teabags were in my aforementioned luggage stored somewhere else. I hit the shops.

In a Star Market I found Twinnings, tagged with ubiquitous, quality-assured tag of ‘London’ and grabbed it like a drowning man grabs driftwood. I hurried home, crouched in anticipation, mumbling deranged drivel to myself whereupon I was confronted with the first problem: There was no kettle.

I mean! What kind of house has no kettle? This is when I should have packed my bags and returned home to London. No kettle means no tea and no tea…why would you trust someone who doesn’t drink tea biko nu? I persevered. Filled a mug with water, boiled it in the microwave and popped a tea bag it, hopping from foot to foot as it brewed. A heavenly smell, like the piss of angels filled the small kitchen. I salivated. Oh, beloved tea. Only the image of my onku in the village drinking Lipton with a tablespoon stopped me from doing the same. The way he would stick his lower lip out and blow, followed by the ‘sluuurrrrp’ that made me understand the true meaning of ‘avunculicide’.  I stirred the tea faster with an eku and prayed to the gods for breeze. After a while, I took a sip.

Hia!

It was as if someone had poured a gallon of water into a teaspoon of leaves. This tea was the weakest tea I have ever drunk in my life. It was so weak that a newborn baby could use it to rinse its gums. So weak,  that other teas could beat of this tea’s mother and stuff its mouth with sand. It was so weak that had I been so inclined, I would have douched with it and nothing would have happened. Upon all the tea scent, there was no flavour. What did they do?

The next time, I tried two teabags in a saucepan of water. Marginally better. I saw a Union Jack flying on Hooker Street and in desperation I went to knock to beg for tea but the owner was not around. I tried three. Oh my ancestors!

This is how I know this Trump of a person is not a serious somebody. You want to build a wall but ordinary good tea your country does not have. Even the coffee sef comes from South American nations. ‘Make America Great Again’? Tchiuuuuu! Give us us TEA!

My advice to you if you’re a tea-drinker like me is, bring your own bags. And go to Argos and buy a kettle too. Or find an Asian family to adopt you so that you can have unlimited refills.  That is the next thing I plan on doing.

*There is a joke about The Boston Tea Party in here, but I won’t make it.

 

 

 

 

 

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.