Monday, December 20, 2010

Shopping: The Isale - Eko Style

Mum had the brightest idea this weekend... she wanted us to go shopping like the proper *Isale-Eko that we are. She says she doesn’t understand why I have totally turned my back on the normal open market as if they didn’t exist before boutiques and the internet.  When we were younger, she used to take us through the popular Balogun market and school us on how to shop for everything we needed... Ok maybe not everything.

I knew how to navigate from Balogun to Breadfruit and then Apongbon through Oke Arin for fabric, shoes, kitchen utensils, household wares etc, I still do. Haggling was also not a problem, over the years I had mastered the tricks.

First, you enter a shop (say the African Fabrics store) and then look around until you  get the design you like. Ask for the price... your best bet is to try and decipher the seller's tribe before you say a word. If they're Ibo and you don't speak Igbo, please stick with pidgin.... and if they're yoruba, then fire on in yoruba... but never speak Queen's English, you'll be shooting yourself in the foot if you do.

So you ask for the price... when they tell you, cut it down by half or more  (he might say N6,000, you tell him N3000 or even N2000). The ibo guy will probably say 'Ah... N2000 na money but e no good for that  price'.

Don’t be fooled... try looking through other designs, at this point he'll start reeling out the prices... he might even tell you that the one you picked initially is of a higher standard/better quality. In between this, he'll try convincing you on why you should or should not buy your initial choice. Insist on the price you mentioned earlier and watch his expression.

Still not bulging? Walk away slowly... if the shop next to his stocks the same kind, try making your way in there, he'll call you back and reduce the initial price he told you (probably to N4000) and even tell you that's the last price.

If this happens, keep walking away slowly, or stop by another stall to check out other items (remember, checking out wares is free, no crime in window shopping).

At this point, he’ll say 'Ok sister, wetin you go add join that N2000?... Tell him, 'Add ke? Abi make I comot N500 sef, this thing no cost reach dat price na!.

Expect to hear something like, 'Oya add N500 make I just sell am for you, but make you no tell another persin say na dat price oh, this one wey I give you na wholesale price'. At this point, he'll start packing the item into a polythene bag.

Reach for your purse and ceremoniously bring out the N2000, collect the item before handing him the money. He'll look and it and say 'e remain N500'.

Tell him that's all you have and try walking away slowly, he might then say 'okay add N200, that one na my gain'... Don't.

However, if he insists strongly at that point where you try giving him the N2000 and he hands you back the money, it means he really won't sell for N2000. Try walking away... he might then call you back and ask for N200 extra... tell him you'll add N50, he might say N100 or insist on N200. At this point the decision is yours, whether to buy or move ahead.

It is important to note that there's no rule that says you must buy from the first shop you walk into. You can move away to other shops to find out the average price and then return to the one with the cheapest. You must always ensure you know the cheapest selling price of each shop before leaving. That way, you’ll do a good comparison and end up with the best bargain.

If reading this alone makes you tired, then you probably won't be able to practicalise... the good news is Da Viva shop is still open at The Palms... and kitchen wares are on sale at Adam 'n' Even.

The Yoruba sellers are quite different. In fact, with most of the women, you might even be cursed, but hey, as long as you get the best bargain, nothing else matters right? After all the attendants at our favourite stores/boutiques are not the most courteous people we know.

*Isale-Eko = Downtown Lagos also  known as Lagos Island.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fatal Attraction 2

Compliments of the season dear bloggers.
Thank you all for checking out my e-house from time to time, and for all the comments. God bless you!

This is the concluding part of FATAL ATTRACTION. As you may have imagined, I had the chat with him and well, here's an excerpt:

Me: there are 2 reasons am very angry with you today and We need to talk about it ASAP
Archy O: wetin I do oh madam
Me: aint a laughtin matter
Archy O: if u are not laughin den d wrld is in trouble
Me: hey, i’m serious
Archy O: reali? Oya wetin
Me: first i’m still waitin for the software but that’s trivia
Archy O: oya tell me d one dat’ll gimme cardiac arrest
Me:the text u sent me last night
Would u pls ensure u never send me a text like that again
And im serious
Archy O:I dint min it dat way oooooo
Me:Look Tunde listen, i’m not jokin here, wld u pls be serious
Archy O:ah ah PET PROJECTS u cant be vexing now
Me: I am
Archy O: u’re serious?
Am so sorry, rili i am and it wont hppn again
I swear
Me:i value our friendship and i find it disturbin that it may seem like a threat to ur relationship
I dont want that to happen so pls
Archy O: im truly very sorry
Pls forgive,
Me: k, apology accepted
So how was ur day and where’s my software?

So, that was the conversation, I made sure to save it so you all could analyse on my behalf. I thought it through and I just knew he didn't get the message. Although I planned to give him space, we still had to meet up over the weekend (I'm planning the wedding remember?).

When I arrived at his apartment, everything looked normal, then at some point we get to be alone and he says he's really pissed off at me, can you believe it? I was, to say the least, gobsmacked! How dare he?

He goes on to say, I'm acting immature, he thought I was different from most girls he knew and that having a fiancée doesn't translate to keeping away from all his female friends. Hmph...
The conversation died prematurely when she (the fiancée) walked in a few minutes later.

Consequently, I have stylishly avoided him since then, my excuse being 'work', fortunately, he knows that December is the busiest period for us so there isn't much explaining needed.

I am an analog babe in a digital world... yes you read that right! Where relationships are concerned, I believe when you're committed to someone, you stay committed to them, especially when you have promised forever. Its wrong to start looking for a side plate when the main dish is all yours. 'Nuff said. 

Do have a lovely weekend y'all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How long is too long?

Every girl hopes to meet 'THE ONE' at the right time and settle down to the happily ever after phase. From our teen years we are groomed and nurtured into becoming the 'total woman', one who can successfully achieve the work-life balance. We read books, and seek counsel on what a relationship is all about. All these, just so that we are ready when we finally get into one.

Then at some point we meet 'the one', its shaky at first and we're so confused, we ask all the what if and what if not questions. Finally we accept reality, relationships are never 100% perfect, the ability/decision to overlook  live with the flaws is what signifies the unconditional love we proclaim. And then the wait starts...

In the Nigerian/African setting, the onus falls on the man to propose marriage, in order words, he determines the duration of the courtship. This is not to say that the lady sits back, crosses her legs and waits... we have been wired to drop suble hints to speed up the process. However, it seems some guys just never get there.

A friend of mine started dating her 'husband' when she was 18. As of today, they aren't married, at least not in my books! First they dated for 5years after which they began cohabiting, this went on for a long time until she announced she was pregnant. Her mum sprung into action asking for a date to formalise the union and all they got was an elaborate introduction! At the time, my friend was 31!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a guy who has a job that pays the bills, his personal business, a car, a fully furnished apartment shouldn't be hesitant about walking down the aisle with his devoted fiancée of 13years.  Till date, they haven't been to the court neither have they had an engagement/church solemnization. It therefore troubles me that he proclaims undying love, yet isn't eager to sign the dotted line.

Although there is no rule book that suggests the appropriate duration for courtship, isnt it just frustrating to be in a relationship that seems to be heading no where? I have heard cases of people who dated for 10, 12 and even 15 years and still never made it to the alter. The question I want to ask is, did he/she change after a decade or you just decided to ignore the red flags from the beginning? Experts have said that the red flags can be sighted as early as 3 months, they may be wrong but did it have to take 10 years?

There are a few excusable reasons why a courtship might be long, for instance a couple that got together in their first year at the University may not get married until after about 3 years post-graduation, thus bringing their courtship years to about 8 or even more. But in some cases, it just seem they are comfortable with 'no formal commitment'.

I keep wondering why some relationships are like this, is the guy scared of committment? Is he just trying to be sure he knows her well enough? But then they say you never know all, even after decades of marriage, the learning continues. Or perhaps, he's already getting free meal tickets (love, attention, sex) so why should he pay (do a proper marriage)?

These are my thoughts, let me know yours.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Twitter: The New Slam Book

Last night as I rode home in traffic twitting, I was reminded of a popular high school culture, which had the reputation of either increasing or dropping one's social ratings - the Slam book.

The Slam book is a book created to elicit people's opinions about you. First, the owner writes out random questions such as favourite colour/subject/movie/actor etc, and then he/she passes the book to friends who are expected to answer truthfully. The fun of the game is usually in finding out who was crushing on who, who were secret admirers, who has been stealing kisses and with who etc.

Note that, the owner ensures no one is able to read responses from others, so automatically, you alone get to compare notes and be in the know of all underground 'runs'. However, most times there are more than one slam book in rotation so as expected, one can swap tales with 'trusted' friends later. The irony of this is, the story usually gets out in the end.

Now back to twitter...

Yesterday, the Number game was trending on twitter. Your followers were expected to choose a number, which they send to you via DM (direct message) and in return you must state the number (no name) and what you honestly think about the person on your timeline.

As expected, there were all sorts of responses, I would like to share some of the comments I got. I'm sorry I would love to just copy and paste but those with FBI/CIA inclinations would uncover my identity and I don’t want that. Hence, I'm just going to retype, so here we go:

(1) One of the most hardworking babes I know, tenacious just like me. Am I allwd to say I luv u.
(I met him at the library many years ago and we've kept in touch, nothing special)

(2) Ahhhh oni jogbon, lemme go back and think sha, but u cool babes.
(Meaning: troublemaker... well I hate being bored so I try to pull people I'm cool with out of their shell, I guess that's why I'm a troublemaker to her)

(3) You'r such a 1derfl prsn, sarcasticaly funny, beautifl evn w/out makeup, may ur hdwk pay.
(Ok, the truth is, I'm not a huge make-up fan. My daily look entails making my lips kissable, although I don’t subscribe to dramatic colours. You'll catch me with make up only when there's a party to attend, even at that, I don’t do colour separations)

(4) I used 2 thnk u were stuck up til dat beach parry last yr, do y remmbr. I kno berra now
(I don't make friends that easily, I'ld rather work on keeping the few I have. To alot of people, that's being stuck up. Truth is, after a few experiences, I've learnt to choose my friends and not let them choose me... I'm happier for it. )

(5) I liked you but then you like my friend more, I had to let go I wouldn't do that to a bruv
(What?! I thought this guy was just in a class all by himself, you know... like he was reserved, shy and all that... and he's such a fine boy oh... funny thing is, this friend he's referring to is a distant relation. *sigh*)

(6) I admir ur dtermintn 2 succed but u'v got 2 start livin more --> no beef
(Thanks, I'm doing that but your definition of work-life balance is different from mine)

(7) Girl u sure nid 2 get laid den u'l see life is not ant filosofy, #truetalk
(It’s his opinion and he's entitled to it. Celibacy works for me and I don’t have to be accountable to him or anyone for that matter. BTW, he DMed later to say he was wasted, however, I think Twitter gave him an opportunity to spill his gut, something he wouldn't normally do. I know cos the time of his twit was 7:42pm... he was barely out of the office)

(8) One of d most confident person i hav met in my lifetime, a darling sweet and tender, very easy 2 relate when u are not dodging me anyway
(I refused to date him a while back and he wasn't mad about it... or maybe he was, but doesn’t show it)

(9) I sense a strongwilled lady, thats a turn on 4 me, but since Im married, well
(I'll have to be careful around this guy now that I know)

(10) U kno hw I fil abiut u but make I still talk am, u dey giv me boner
(In case you don’t know what that is, it means I give him a standing ovation also known as an erection. I don't know what to do about this guy, he's just a pain in a sweet way. I see him at Domino diners, we say hello, he's extremely funny, and he’ll say how he feels any day)

(11) I love ur smil n dats y u'r stil my profilpix. I'm workn on my drinkn issues so I can come and marry u, will u wait
(I have friends who drink, and heavily too but I have a problem with dating a guy who drinks... is that double standard or am I just looking for a bit of my dad... food for thought. As for this dude, I'll be long gone by the time he drops the bottle)

(12) Big thinker, smart woman, I used to thnk u dnt get angry till dat day, i dnt wnt 2 ever c dat day. beaufiful smile 
(I won’t be human if nothing made me angry. I'm slow to anger but people tend to take advantage of my smiling face)

(13) I envy yr lifestyle, notin bothers u. I jsut hope u’ll stop livin 4 odas n concentrate on findn love cos u dserv it
(If only you knew... somethings bother me but over the years, I've learnt never to wear my worries as make up. These days, I live a little for others and I never forget to put myself on the list. I know I'll find love... and when I do, expect an invite)

(14) I wish I can steal a kiss someday. or a peck
(If wishes were horses, this dude will buy a stable)
(15) I used 2 fink u were introvertd til i saw u @ sis B hen night. cnt fgt d ass giggle
(I loooooove dancing and that's all I'm saying)

Okay, so I'll stop here, have a nice day y'all.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fatal Attraction

I've had such a busy week and its only Tuesday. Yesterday, I left my desk just once and that was because I had to visit the ladies, today, I'm still stuck here. There's just so much to do. Yuletide is peak period for our business and so no one is ever allowed to go on leave in December, however, two of my colleagues are out of the office for this period. One is ill and the other? Well, that's PEJ, my office buddy. She says she's ill too but I know better. Now I have to sit in for her and that's quite a task.

I'm expecting a call that'll help me finish up today's task so I've decided to relax by blogging. I'm also hoping a particular friend of mine would sign in to Y!Mail. There is a serious issue I need to thrash out.

I met this friend of mine last year. We used to take the bus from the same park to the Island everyday... well almost everyday. We had noticed each other but one day when we shared the front seat he decided to say hi. After a few more meetings, we exchanged cards and that was the beginning of our friendship.

We both knew we had a chemistry... now, not that kind of chemistry in which you say to yourself 'if he'll just ask me out, I'll oblige without a fuss', I mean, the type of chemistry in which its just so easy to talk about anything... well, almost anything. We became buddies, riding through Lagos traffic and looking out for each other. For instance, sometimes he'll get to the park minutes earlier and call to find out where I was. If I'm a few minutes away and the bus is still quite empty, he'll reserve the front seat for me (I just love sitting in front, its a lot more comfortable, with leg-room you'll appreciate when you hit traffic).

Over the months, we've gotten to know each other better, we even have mutual friends but that's how far it goes. I am not in a relationship but he has a fiancé and therein lies the root of my present worries...

In as much as I enjoy his company,  I am not attracted to him (not physically/sexually/romantically... add all the other words) and he knows this. However, he can't say the same. I noticed this a while back but I didn't want to end the friendship. I'm friends with his fiancé too, and after seeing what I made out of my cousins' weddings, they decided that I'll plan theirs.

Presently, I see them every weekend to fine-tune the wedding plans and him even more often. It is so obvious he's crushing on me heavily and I don't like it one bit. I mean, this guy would be married in two months, isn't his heart supposed to be fixed on his bride and her alone?

It became a bit more worrying yesterday when as we rode home, he said his fiancé told him she was sure he liked me alot but wasn't bothered because she trusts my judgement and blah blah blah.

At first, I was speechless... I just didn't like the sound of it. I imagined myself in her shoes and it felt so wrong. Although, he assured me that it was nothing and that they had talked about it and there were no 'hard feelings', it still felt awkward. I instantly made a mental note to give him space - I was going to make sure we saw less of each other henceforth, except ofcourse when she's around.

As if that wasn't enough for one night, he sends me a work related text later and ends it with 'luv u'...

ehen? oginni love? (what is love)

I've been waiting for him to sign in, we have to iron this thing out ASAP. This is just unacceptable.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Experience 2010

'The Experience', a brain child of  the House on the Rock Church was held at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos last friday. People of all age brackets and from all works of life left their homes under the same excuse but for different reasons to attend what has now become the biggest gospel concert in Nigeria.

Originally convened by Pastor Paul Adefarasin, the interdenominational concert was well attended, and it was so much fun to spend 11 hours (7pm - 6am) in God's presence (nose grows longer).

Ok... I wasn't there but I kept tabs on the programme via twitter!

Cross Section of the crowd @ the event in 2009 - There was an estimated 500,000 people in attendance

Truth is, like the last 4 editions, I had plans to attend but for some reason, I always ended up somewhere else! This year, it was my bed!

I do not believe in tagging along just cos it feels cool and everyone's doing it. I'll rather go home to my bed than spend a better part of the night fighting to stay awake. 

Considering the number of updates that poured in on twitter and facebook while the concert was on, I realised alot of young people are fast becoming journalists of some sort. Hardly is there any event that doesnt get narrated on these social networks. From football matches, to weddings, award shows, even church services; there'll be someone giving minute - by - minute commentary of proceedings.

I may not have experienced 'the Experience' (pun intended) but I marvel at what it is fast becoming. I see pictures and clips of the event and I cant help but notice the 'fashionistas' on parade; they have yet again found a platform to showcase all they bought at Lé Petité Marché.

A colleague of mine decided to attend this year because he wanted to boost his chances of meeting a 'spiritual sister'... different strokes they say!

The worst of them all, I think, is my friend who got her strict father's approval, only to leave the venue for the club with her boyfriend. She says she was only 'maximising her time', but yet, she thinks I'm not very dedicated to gospel things because I have neither been to The Experience nor *Effizy night. KMT. 

*Effizy night is another gospel concert. It is organised by Daystar Christian Centre

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It is no longer news that Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly has alleged that he and other members of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) were offered a $50,000 bribe by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ).

There have been many counter-allegations, people have asked for the evidence of the initial allegation, others have asked how he came to know the exact figure being handed over. I am still wondering why the others did not blow the whistle and why the clarification that the money was not offered directly by the President came days after.

The more I think about this story, the more I am confused about the actual roles of the men involved and the ones they have decided to play.

1. Pastor Bakare
As a man of God, his primary role is to shephard his flocks to eternal rest in heaven. The calling of a true Pastor as I have come to understand it, is to teach, nurture and chastise his members based on biblical precepts until they are rapturable.

In this Sahara Reporters/ Aso Villa visit drama, he decided to become the voice of the voiceless, an activitst of some sort, fighting to ensure the unborn generation has a safe landing in Nigeria when they finally arrive. I honestly do not see anything wrong in pursuing a good cause, however, I think a man of his calibre MUST be discreet and apply a lot more wisdom where politics is concerned.

IMHO, men of God should stick to their core competence; a foray into politics would only soil their name and put a question mark on their reputation. Pastor Bakare should take a cue from his spiritual mentor/father - Pastor W. F. Kumuyi as well as  Pastor E. A. Adeboye. Your role in politics should be enlightening your congregation about their rights and duties as citizen while earnestly praying for the well being of the nation.

2. President GEJ
Since the June 12, 1993 elections and all associated matters especially as regards  Late Chief M. K. O. Abiola's denied mandate, the upcoming 2011 elections seems to be the first in which Nigerian's are being unanimous about the choice of a candidate. GEJ seems to be the only one we see (I don't know other parties talk less of their candidates) and would be willing to give a chance. Now to hear allegations of corruption is simply disappointing otherwise known as falling our hand.

To avoid a future occurence, I strongly advice that this particular incidence is investigated and  guilty parties duly purnished (that is if you didnt mastermind it). However, if for any reason you assented to this, then #SlapYourself... actually, that'll be a huge betrayal especially for all those artistees who have put their goodwill to use to support your goodluck. Did I hear you say they were paid? Well what of the Niger-Deltans who are looking up to their 'son' for a brighter future? 

BTW there's an entertainment package set aside to take care of government guests, this 'care' includes souvenirs, breakfast/lunch/dinner and somethings cash gifts. This obtains not just at Aso Villa but all State houses, High Commissions and other parastatals.