Ariya!!! one ask me how to translate "ariya"...........maybe enjoyment? partying? i don't know sha, but this entire post is dedicated to the one, the only, Minister of Enjoyment, King Sunny Ade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (applause, applause, applause)

Now KSA as he is very affectionately called has many things going on lately. Firstly, he's my almost birthday mate on September 22nd. This year however marks our great KSA's 60th birthday and the 40th anniversary of his band. He's having a celebration week in October kicked off by his performance at the ThisDay Music Festival (which claims to have Beyonce, Jayz, Missy, Snoop, Busta Rhymes, Mary J, among others, notice i said claimed, cuz i've heard me some stories...). Hopefully if all goes well sha, I should be attending that dinner. But looking forward to this event has got me thinking about our dear KSA. What makes him so great?!?!

Well, for me and many Nigerians, KSA signifies enjoyment, the good times, the party times. The times you danced your ass off at parties with your cousins to see who would make the most money via "spraying". It's indeed the soundtrack to many, if not all of our milestone moments and fondest childhood & growing up memories: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, naming ceremonies, everything. At least as a Yoruba. But many people from other ethnicities enjoyed his music as well. One thing I have come to appreciate about KSA is that he has made it a policy not to delve into political matters in the least bit. He has even said of his contemporaries such as the late great Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, that they chose to go that route but for him, it was not an option. His music is solely for the sake of music, for merriment, to make people feel good, even if for a moment. And one thing we need in Nigeria is that! So this Independence Day period, let's all take a moment to appreciate this wonderful ambassador of our country as part of our celebrations.

As for me, i'll come back and gist y'all about the dinner, should be great!

Aunty Wendy & Her Colleagues

Hmmm.....where do i even begin? Interesting things happen to and around me every single week of working in Lagos. Some are just crackle worthy why others just leave you wondering why? I mean why EVERYTHING? why must people behave this way, why am i here again? etc...

Anyway so I call the receptionist at my office to book a meeting room. Now, I've done this once before so obviously i didn't think there would be any issues. Alas, how wrong was I! Peep the convo:
ME: hello wendy! (all cheerful) good afternoon, i'd like to book a room please.
HER: who is this
ME: Lola from Marketing. FT
HER: OK. From now on, I'd prefer you to call me "Miss Wendy"
ME: unh?!?! (considering that this lady is unmarried and 31 years at MOST!) ok, well, i'd like it if you don't call me Lola anymore, call me FT. (i mean WTF?!? two can play this dumb game)
SHE: okay.

So I proceeded to book the room. Meanwhile my brain is still thinking what the hell?!?! So after the booking, I continue the matter at hand:
ME: 'scuse me do you have an initial?
HER: i don't use my initials
ME: well it's company policy so.....
ME: great. I'll call you WFO then....
HER: (cuts in) i said i don't use my initia....
ME: (cutting in) well, i only feel comfortable calling you that so that's what i'll call you. bye.

I mean seriously?!?! I should call her Miss Wendy?!?! who dash her? abeggi jo. Wonders shall never end. Come to find out that later that that's her regular stunt with corpers. Unfortunately for her, she backed up the wrong tree!

This story now leads me to other incredulous things i've heard in this workplace. Let me share a few.
ME: (walking gaiely to my office)
ME: (thinking wtf? turns) yes......?
W.D: can i give you a hug?
ME: (thinking WTF?!?) NO.
W.D: i've been seeing you around.
ME: unh, unh..
W.D: can i shake your hand?
ME: uhm, ok.

Or how about this one.
DUDE: do you play sports
ME: no, why.
DUDE: well......never mind
ME: why now?
DUDE: well, i think it's very sexy
ME: uhm, ok.

Wonders shall indeed never end around won't believe some of the other things i've heard around here. I can imagine anyone ever filing a sexual harassment lawsuit arouund here.......!

Birthday Dilemma......

My oh my, how am I going to spend my birthday this year?!?!? This thing is creating so much dilemma for me and to top it all off, a friend of mine has given me a deadline for alerting people to the date and venue (thanks Mimi....jeez, can a girl live without the pressure?) So now i'm going all crazy trying to pick a venue before deadline September 13. See, there are many people out there who are the "i don't celebrate birthdays" type, and then there are the "small, quiet, family affair" type, then the "only milestones" type. Me, i don't send all of that. ALL birthdays should be celebrated simple. All of them. I can't understand how people can choose not to do so. I mean, seriously, it's always a once-in-a-lifetime affair. Birthdays started becoming fun for me on my 18th birthday. I had just started college in Ottawa, Canada where before school started i had NEVER even been and my bday(yes, i used the term b4 Bee o!!!) being in September, I hadn't even had the chance to meet some anyone properly then. So I remember getting up early that morning, getting on my knees and said my prayers. I just felt particularly moved that day (thinking back now, probably was just PMSing but sha...) so I prayed very fervently and started to cry cuz i felt so overwhelmed by it all. Sad and happy and thankful at the same time (thinking back again, maybe it had something to do with the Save the Children marathon i saw that morning on tv, but sha....) Here I was in Ottawa, which i never really wanted to come to, away from home for the first time EVER in my life, and really, I was doing okay. And then I thought about all the people around the world, who dream and plan their 18th and for some reason or other never made it. Like a few of my high school classmates that died in that drunk driving accident, or my good friend that died on vacation in Senegal. Or many yet who are spending their birthday so hungry and poor that birthday is the LAST thing on their mind. I thought of how their are many people who dreamed and wish they had all the opportunities that I have at that age. So that morning I made I resolution to always make each birthday count and to always celebrate my life, God keeping me, to celebrate the good things around me, my friends and specifically my girlfriends, my family, my sister, my brothers, good food, good wine, good music, everything. Just be happy, thankful, and grateful.

Anyway, so that night I went out to some french pub in Quebec (drinking age is 18 over there!) with this oyinbo babe....i think Brenda or something is her name......she was my only friend in Ottawa at the time, she had bright pink hair, wore too much black eye shadow, drank too much and was with her oyinbo boyfriend who was bald and had a big snake tatooed across his neck. Still it was fun and was fab!!! And then there was the birthday at Big Daddy's Crab Shack, my favorite restaurant in Ottawa, with my girlfriends, that was a very good bday. Oh, and that bday I invited 200 people to my party. I don't think that party was quite a hit, but it was quite a lot of fun planning and cooking with my girlfriends (at the time!). And then the party where somehow I forgot to invite all the babes! (in reality i had no more than 3 girlfriends and never thought that the over 12 guys I invited would like.........ehrm...options!!!!). Or I think of the breakfasts that never! Last year I think was my best one so far. I went to Virginia/Maryland for the weekend. Spent most of the day at Dipo's and I think he cooked, can't remember. Now those of you that know D know homie can cook, so that was cool. Or was that the day we went to Olive Garden?!?! can't remember sha, but it's not the day that was most important. Night came, and i decked out and looked FABULOUS that night i know, and we went to Dream. Only to find out it was a private party but we finagled our way in (I still think it's cuz i looked HOT!!!). Only to get downstairs and guess who's hosting the party?!?!???? WYCLEF. It was like I had died and gone to heaven. I LOVE LOVE LOVE wyclef. so that was tres cool.

Which brings me back full circle to this upcoming birthday and it's dilemma. Maybe someone reading this blog can help me out by way of comments!!! Ok, so here are the options:

1. Eko Hotel Sports Cafe - it's buffet style. Food is not that spectacular but hey, they got hummus, good hummus too! But i don't's a bit impersonal i think.

2. Churrasco's - Brazilian and they have all you can eat meat! Prob is i don't eat red meat but on the plus side, they are very good with drinks!!! This atmosphere is more like it i think, very social, loud, everything that's cool. i don't know.....the meat thing?!?!

3. Yellow Chillies - Nigerian and generally black type foods (curry goat, etc.) but very good food, I really liked it when i went for a friend's lunch there. But i'd like to do something different I think. But their peanut chicken is hmmm.........

4. Marco Polo - Chinese, my favorite restaurant in Lagos. BUT, since people are making me pay for everything (why oh why do you have to buy crap for others on your own bday? makes no sense people!!) i don't know if 7k per head is gonna happen....(in fact, chance are VERY slim)

5.Bonzai - Japanese. Ok, i just put this one in for good luck!!! ain't no way i'm paying 10k per head....but i've been craving sushi soooooooooooo bad. If anyone reading this REALLY loves me, take me to Bonzai for lunch on that Sat. The food there is surprisingly lovely but I don't think Naija's take to sushi very much.....

So there we have it! any other ideas peeps?!?!!! I can't cook in my house so let's not suggest that and i'm currently protesting La Casa's stupid, ignorant, racist, sexist, and classist way of running their business. Anyway, i'll be expecting mucho comments, Thanks! See, birthdays are sooooo much FUN!!!!!

Survivor Fever!

MNET finally premiered (or maybe i just saw the first episodes, who knows? anyhoo...) the first Survivor Africa: Panama yesterday night and Survivor South Africa: Panama and i'm absolutely hooked!!! This is now my new favorite T.V show (of course behind Grey's Anatomy which i'm crazy over...). First they showed the SA one and the first thing that caught my eye right off the bat was that most of the contestants where white. I mean, yeah i know it's a mixed society but why???? the last word in the country name is still AFRICA, why do they keep downplaying the black africans in that country? i don't know....something is all off and weird in SA. Did y'all know they had the highest rate of murder by gunshot in the entire world?????? yes, even ahead of freaking columbia, like i said, i don't know, many people maaaaad over there. anyhoo, so that was the first thing i noticed. then it was like they all had some kind of british accents. there was only one man (black) with a SA accent and he caught fish all day go figure! I also noticed that they gave them each a like a nike knapsack to put everything they needed (compare to the Africa version below). The immunity game was this rope/flag thing that i didn't understand, but it looked hard and quite competitive. Apart from these things, it was very professionally done. It looked and sounded and played out like "regular" Survivor (american of course!).

Ok, cut to Survivor Africa. First thing I noticed, they where all black, so i was very very happy with that. But they gave them like potato sacks to carry their stuff in (WTF?!). There was one lady who could barely speak english so that was interesting (and annoying) and three nigerians out of like 12 people so i know the other africans are probably mad at that. And then even though both Survivors had their contestants walking through the island village (and I mean village) the Africa one focused a lot more on the village, i thought i was watching Survivor Ijebu Igbo! And then u know what the african's challenges was? catch a stick as it shoots out of a hole and go to the village stores and buy what u need with so and so dinaras (panama currency). i mean what the hell is that? catch a stick as it shoots from a hole?!?!?! ok, whatever. Survivor Africa is going to be interesting to watch as it goes on cuz i can already see some issues cropping up. We are so drenched in our "culture" that i think we hinder some civilized progress for ourselves. Like when they had to go shopping for what they needed, the women took over cuz according to one contestant "we are african ladies, so we want to take charge with the shopping"............hmmm, ok! And then when they got to the island and had to build their shelter one guy said, "well, the woman contributed their own little bit that they could, but basically we men did all the work, they [women] didn't do much, we just let them sit and we did bulk of the work".......hmmm, ok! i'm sure that's going to come out tribal council night, duh!!!! so i don't have much hope for the women on that team. but all in all sha, it was alright. let me take u through some of my favorites.

Yaga is Igbo from Nigeria. He (obviously) has a good body and all that but i don't know seems a little slow for me and young. He's kinda like a gentle giant at least so far. We'll see sha!'s Lloyd. He's from Zambia and he's an actor. Nothing much yet from him, but he's my eye candy so i don't need to hear him say much of anything. He keeps talking about how he and his brother have to take care of 13 people in the house. Whatever man.

Freida is from Namibia. She talks a whole lot but she also reminds me, facially, of my friend Afia (sorry 'Fia!!) I think she has a good chance of winning just cuz something is a little off with her chipper, i'm the leader attitude. I have a feeling she'll also get in a fight with one of the nigerian babes so that'll be something to look forward to.

Starbucks......sweet, sweet, Starbucks!

Ladies and Gents, I am very very happy (very) to announce that I finally broke free for a whole week! yay!!!!!!!!!!!!! After much hassle and finagling, I was able to get one week off of work and y'all know i took that chance and bounced. Spent the entire week plus one day (y'all it wasn't easy to leave maaan) in the U.K. I can't even explain how much I needed that break. I hadn't left the country since February and y'all know from reading my previous posts that I was going crazy with hallucinations and ish. woohoo! the minute i came out of the arrival area at Heathrow and saw a Starbucks to my right, I almost knelt down and kissed the floor, if it wasn't for you know the crowds and the strange looks from white people wondering where this african was from, I would have done just that. and i'm not even a starbucks kinda girl! I was just grinning for an hour after that and driving to my friends place i was just looking around, not wanting to close my eyes in case i missed anything i'd want to dream about when i'm in lightless, waterless home. A biker drove past the car and immediately I yelled out "OKADA" (yea, i know i need to stop blurting out random crap hehe..) partly because i was soooooooo glad that i was in a country where motorbikes are for casual or courier use and are for the most part not bullying the cars of the road or stealing cellphones, or ramming into some pour motorists mirrors. Ahhhh..........i love civilization and orderliness. I never knew how much I actually really really loved orderliness and organization. Hey, bus works, train works, everything is lighted, you want to cross a road, hell, just press that crazy button and cars will stop, the thing will even beep just in case you forgot traffic has stopped for you. I was in the bus and nobody cared if my shoes where Fendi or my dress was Versace, or if my accent was from Uranus. NO one cared (except for that lady who after asking her how long mail took from "the states" said it depends which country it's coming from since every country has its own system and was it being sent by Royal Mail?.....................uhm.........nah, royal mail does not operate in "the states" oops i mean A-M-E-R-I-C-A). And on a whim i decided to cook some pasta and marinara sauce, some fried rice and goat curry and guess what? i just walked ten minutes to my local Tesco's to get it! in Lagos that would take an entire saturday at some nasty, smelly, acrid market - i'm guessing since i haven't been to a food market since I moved here. Ok, Ok, let me stop comparing, i still have at least 5 more months left, better make the best of hmmm......catfish peppersoup...

On another note, I noticed there are many fabulous Naija babes blogging about their experiences in Lagos, doing fabulous things....i'll write more on this trend tomorrow