Hello, I'm back again. It's me. You know, that guy that goes out and experiences life then comes back here to write about it. I just moved back from the Lagos Mainland to the Island. Why am I telling you? It's not a big deal to a random passer-by but it is one if you're an occupant of this city. Two different lifestyles and behavioural patterns. I have made up my mind after conducting various studies and experiments that Nigeria makes Nigerians the way they are and not the other way around. On BRT queues on my way to and from work, my fellow Lagosians behave this way: They don't argue, they don't jostle or joust for space. They are properly behaved, but in the small yellow buses with their hardened wooden benches that have barely enough space for four bottoms, they are extra aggressive. "Oga, plis shift." Shift to where ma? You're fatter than three of us, you're still not gonna pay for two seats. Abeg, behave. Granted I have never voiced such an opinion myself; I'm not ready for the tirade of Oniranu oshi that will ensue. Why do I bring up this aggressive hostile nature you ask, we aren't all like that now, right? But you don't see the expression on your face when you snarl back at the conductor for charging you 150 for a trip you just took Ten Minutes Ago. At 100 Naira. So yes, we are all like that. Now, my beautiful island people are so removed from that reality that they don't even understand why people go to the mainland. Inside the same Lagos, you're wondering why people would go there. So, it's a Sunday evening and my cousin calls me to say, "Eyitemi hope you don't you have any plans tomorrow, Nathan invited us for lunch at the Civic Centre." I naturally don't have any plans because I don't have any money, so the mention of free food is all I need to be there the next day with my Agbada; in case the situation requires proper packaging. We all step into the Civic Centre after Nathan has finished ranting to us about how one of our cousins annoyed him by not responding to his invitations. The security guards check us in and they exchange our invitation cards for coloured tags and numbers. Exciting. I found out later that it was a raffle-draw-slash-fundraiser-slash-public-display-of- wealth-slash-funds-for-Jesus type of occasion. All the women present were decked in enough finery and gold to start a respectable business. The best caterers and event managers were sifting through the hall like fine grains of sand making sure there was no empty glass. The meals kept coming right on time and glasses kept clinking in the chandelier light but mind you, this is money for Jesus. Auctions were had and items were bid for at ridiculous ostentatious prices especially as we are meant to be in a recession. To quote a wise man, "Do you like my car, my wife, my shades? Of course you do, it's a symptom of being rich.” The raffle draws came and excited the hall because everyone loves free stuff. This is a hall filled with people that can afford the items they're winning and even more but yet they chose to stay and try their luck. The only thing that stuck to me beyond the wealth was the 'high class women' looking particularly botoxed, the stretched-out skin looking taut against their unnaturally yellow faces, and the ample Christian mother arms. They didn't go together but I am just a visitor, so maybe I know nothing. Now my trip to Lagos so far hasn't just been for pleasure. I came here from the small city of Warri like nwokem from the east to seek employment or create one for myself. I take a break from the office to attend an interview, an interview that I managed to secure because of my charm, wit, intelligence and most importantly a twitter account. My CV is as barren as bones in the desert so I know that couldn't be why I made it in the first place. Now getting in the door is one thing, getting them to allow you stay is a whole different thing. It's like when you can see the ice-cream left in the freezer but your mother tells you that it's for only who finishes up their homework. Now you have to do it as best and fast as you can while making very good care not to fail. It was the same thing here only that the homework was entirely dependent on the interviewer. You can't read for it, you can't practice, you can only pray. They made us wait and it finally dawned upon us that the competition was thick. The employment struggle is real and stressful. An age limit was assigned to the requirements meaning everyone here is meant to be age mates, but will my country people ever hear word? No. That's why I love them so much. I may have written this post just to talk about this man because I will never forget him. He was fair and of average height with a smidgen of a pot belly whilst his head was bald, there was also no facial hair to be found anywhere on his body. I'm no Chuck Norris but even I spot a bit of a beard. But there were dark stubble patches, the type earned after many moons. Then a habit I seem to have picked up which I can't say if it is bad, is looking at left hands. I just want to see a wedding ring. Which my fair friend wasn't sporting on his fourth finger but the ring indentation remained. We have an obviously married man in his 30's coming to joust for a job meant for graduates with his football age probably printed on his CV. In his defence, nothing ventured nothing gained. And he just kept looking ahead with all the confidence in the world like he wasn't aware that he's not a young man anymore. I got called for another interview tomorrow and I'm trying to squeeze all my luck out. Wish me luck if you want me to have more stories.
Agbajoh Gerrard Temisan