Ok! Settle in, fasten your seatbelts, and get ready for the ride of your life! This chronicle is the first and the beginning part of the Fairy Godsister’s (moi) trip to Cameroon and its environs. I’m lying in bed now and ending day one and I must say that at this rate I might just have six or seven chronicles in one day alone!
Anyways, so this morning I ‘woke up’ and a friend graciously got me to the airport before 7am for my 7.30am flight. I checked in, said hey to a couple friends, and then sat in the departure lounge, praying our flight would be called early so I could board and then sleep. The FGF heard my prayer because we were all seated before 7.27am. Again I was privileged to seat beside a pretty lady who didn’t know how to use her seatbelt and I wondered why I get to seat with such people when I’m too tired or busy to be mischievous. Meanwhile after I helped her with her belt she said, ‘are you going to Lagos’? What! ‘No, I’m going to Belgium so Aero will drop you in Gidi then take me to Belgium, jeez’! Don’t worry I said this and more in my mind. Reminds me of an incident that happened in our office recently. So, someone from the admin department came to ask for my department’s work plan for the next week. Amongst other things I said, ‘the writers are coming in on Monday too’. She asked, ‘are they coming to write’ and before I could stop myself I said, ‘nope, they are coming to paint’! We had such a laugh! But, I digress.
Ok so I slept soon after and next thing I knew my ears were ringing because we were in Lagos. Fast forward to me sitting in a café in the international wing, trying to decide whether to write, eat or sleep! I decide to have breakfast and because I am for now a good Nigerian (who doesn’t want to run down), I look up and match the items with prices. Now is it me or are the snacks/foods/confectionaries sold at the airports worth an arm and a leg? The most ridiculous was one springroll costing N300! Haba! How many are you supposed to eat to feel like you’ve eaten something? Or is it the small Pringles pack that cost N800?
Finally boarded (after Virgin Nigeria called me on board to please come and board); got in to find just about everyone else was seated and I smiled to myself, grateful that they had the presence of mind to call me on the one hand, and on the other hand thinking, ‘how will they know I’m the Fairy God Sister if I’m not the last to board? We took off and again I slept off; waking up once when lunch was served, and when I was told to straighten my seat for landing.
The landing was rough (nothing that Nigerian airlines don’t do) but the pilot apologized! Yes, he said he encountered strong unexpected adverse weather and that’s why it was like that. I kinda didn’t believe him but the fact that he apologized? It’s the little things that count you know.
So we got down from the plane and started walking towards the immigration and health desks. At the health counter (first stop), I realized that everyone else had a small white card (immigration form) and yours truly didn’t have it. I asked and was told it was shared during the flight. Seriously? They could wake me to eat but couldn’t wake me to take the card? One gentleman gave me one (how nice I thought, and I tried not to ask how he had two) but then he asked for my number and I thought, ‘oh hell, nobody does good deeds for free again abi’? And no, I didn’t give it to him!
I must say that in less than two hours of being here I’ve noticed two things
- Wood and woodworks are a major source of income here! Everywhere I looked, beautiful woodwork rose to meet my eyes! Some parts of the airport look like one bamboo republic I saw in Asaba just that here it’s all wood. And it’s beautiful
- Douala (in particular) has loads and loads of food! Oh My God! Food, fruits, drinks (and yes, I was told that 60% of Cameroonians are semi alcoholics)! This is one of the places you can come and live a life on fruits (and cheaply too, especially since their currency – FCFA – is one naira divided into four)!
Moving around I noticed quite a number of women wearing a particular kind of boubou. I’ve since learnt that it is called ‘Kabala’ and looks like our regular boubou in Nigeria; this one is just mostly with thin sleeves, bunched at the shoulders and then free from the bust downwards, running either to the knees or ankles.
Then for the Owambe lovers, Douala is the place to be! At least two streets on the way home from the airport were closed for parties….need I say more?
Ok, so I need to stop writing now, decide what I’ll eat and then get up to find it!
A bien tot!!
- 40 gunmen attack Nigeria/Cameroon border town (talking12.wordpress.com)
- Spotlight on Deeyah: Listen to the Banned (selinadee.wordpress.com)
- Opit’s Notes (oldephartte.blogspot.com)