Tag Archives: Boston

Igbophilia in Amurika: What is smiling everybody in Cambridge?

I am a news-watching person, and the news tells us that Persons of Hue have a way of attracting ammunition, much like Dwight Hendrickson does. Drawing fire is apparently our Trouble, so I just open my eyes when I am walking well-well. This was not something I worried about on my previous visits when I was (a) Single/a newlywed and (b) Here for a short while. However now that I am raising a black man-child, staying here for a certain duration, I gats to sharpen my eyes.

So, you can imagine my alarm as I was walking along minding my business, when one  woman like so greeted me. She looked me in the eye as if she knew my father’s name and our compound in the village. Me sef, I faltered and nearly stopped, so familiar was the gaze. She moved on.

A man the next time. I told myself ‘Nwunye, they have come. It is that thing which they have been discussing o,’ did my mouth hyo  and continued walking. Can you blame me? I’ve lived in South London for ten years, Newcastle/Bensham for two years prior to that. If someone says hello to you and you don’t know them, better jam your hands into your pockets or clutch your bag against your chest because verily, verily I say to you brother, sister, thou art to be divested of thine worldly possessions. Avert your eyes fast and…well, not run exactly, but do the hop-step-hop thing we all do while checking an imaginary watch and pretending our bus is late.

Don’t worry if you don’t get it. It’s a British thing.

This uncanny event occurred again. This time, the woman was walking her dog across the road, stopped and shouted ‘Hi!’ then  proceeded to have a conversation. I brought out my wallet and tossed it across to her. Her dog picked it up in its mouth and brought it back to me. I raised both hands in the air.

“That’s all I have. I know the value of the pound has fallen…”

The woman threw her  head back and laughed, ‘Ha! ha! ha!’ like that, her gullet moving as if she was swallowing mirth. “You’re funny!” she said, continuing on her way.

Hmm. I was beginning to pick up on the vibe of the place.

In the chldren’s  section of the library, I smiled at a pregnant woman with two children in tow. “Hi!” I said, showing her my thirty-two. She took her children by the hand and dragged them out of the library.

I don’t understand this country.

 

 

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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.