Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Naomi Goes To Kano 2

If you missed the first part, read it here.

The supervisor of the field team I'm travelling to visit calls and says all the schools in the coverage plan he sent to me were not open. The state had given them 2 extra days for Sallah break. He heard I was coming for a visit and had been trying to reach me. I start laughing hysterically which is what I do when the only other option is to cry. In lay man’s terms, that means my team isn’t working and there’s no point visiting when they aren’t; and that means I just wasted my client’s money. I had booked return and in my trauma, it does’t occur to me to just get down from the frigging plane and take the next available flight back to sanity. I stay in the plane and to comfort myself; I bring out the cup cake a hostess had given me and begin to eat , feeling very very sorry for myself.
I get to Kano some 3 long hours after. I’m at Mr Biggs eating stale jollof rice and malnourished fried chicken. They have only the big sized Swan water and no straw so I lift the keg to my mouth and drink. At this point, I am past caring. I see a pot-bellied man sitting across the hall talking to a very young girl who is clearly uncomfortable sitting where she is. She does not look at the man all through. He rubs her hands and thighs and she squirms. They bring some items in a take away bag; she collects them and practically runs out. And then he beckons to me to come. ‘It’s a lieeeeee!’ I think in my head. Lord haven’t I been tried enough already? I beckon to him to come too. He does.  Mumu. ‘Hi. I noticed you from over there. You are so pretty. Can I have your number?  De javu! I smile and politely tell him no. ‘Why princess?’ All I can see are his nostrils full of greying hair and his oversized pores. It strengthens my resolve. No! I almost yell. ‘No problem, nice to meet you though’, he concedes. ‘Yeah, same here', I say. I do not mean it.

I finish with my supervisor and head back to the airport and check in. Screening is manual ‘cos NEPA just took the light. Again I scale through with my perfume. I’m on board now with a rowdy set of passengers and a seatmate who is bent on becoming my friend whether I like it or not.  To avoid him I close my eyes. If he asks me a question and I don’t respond, he wakes me up and repeats the question. Funny enough, I'm too tired to get angry. So with resignation, I leave my eyes open and answer all of his questions whether they make sense or not.

...and then the real drama begins.

Boarding completed. The plane cruises down the runway. No problem. Then the pilot takes off. One minute I can see houses, the next they have shrunk to pea sized images.I feel weighless like I I'm going to fall. Shouts of Jesus, Allahu Akbar and so on rent the air. Some white kids behind are shrieking with laughter. Problem is-The pilot did not ascend, he took off like a rocket. Realising his mistake, the pilot lowered the plane, a little too fast, and we're all dumped into our seats. Again, shouts rent the air. I think after that time, an experienced pilot takes over. The nose of the plane tilts upwards until it reaches the desired altitude, and then it balances. Phew!

I'm mistaken.

The trainee pilot (I'm guessing) then takes us on the wildest ride of my life. The plane tilts sideways, I feel like I'm going to fall out of my seat. The tail dips and it feels like I'm lying down on my chair. Then we hit turbulence without warning. Just imagine a car entering huge ditches at 100km/hour.
I feel nauseous.

We hit the ground with a thud and off speeds the plane, I can feel my seat belt tugging. After 15 gruelling minutes during which it becomes obvious that the pilot had landed on the wrong spot, it comes to a complete stop. We clap out of relief.

Too soon!.

A cabin supervisor informs us that the entrance door is stuck so we have to wait. At this point I am about to start crying. ‘Abeg make we use emergency exit before the pilot go take off again oh! Someone jokes in pidgin. The door opens 5 minutes after. I get angry when the air hostess, like an automated machine says ‘Thank you for flying with us, we look forward to welcoming you...’ I don’t let her finish. 'That was a horrible, horrible flight! That was a trainee pilot you guys used abi? How could you risk the lives of a hundred people like that?? (See transferred aggression) 'How do you mean?' She asks rudely. I feel like biting her nose.

It is all everyone talks about in the shuttle bus. After the short ride, we get down and go our separate ways.

My bill at the parking lot had come to a thousand one hundred bucks. It’s been eleven gruelling hours of trying to get killed. I pay and get to the gate. Oya produce your receipt now? Naomi cannot not find it. The guy in the SUV behind honks impatiently, his arms flaying. He looks animated. I tell him to reverse so I can get out of the way; More wild flaying of arms. After 5 minutes of confusion, I find the receipt. ON MY FOOTMAT! I feel like slapping myself.

I drive at 40km/hour expecting the worst; a burst tyre, police accusing me of driving a stolen vehicle, someone bashing me from behind. I am that paranoid.

I get home and rush to the bathroom, no water! I am told the ‘boys of the landlord’s mansion’ have not pumped any. I change from towel to nightie and heat some agidi and okro soup and look at the ceiling and ask God ‘...and the moral of the story is???’

It’s been a while since this happened and I still don’t know what to make of that day’s brouhaha.

P.S: Just in case you were wondering, I flew Aero Contractors.

©Naomi Lucas


kikaRadio said...

Hmmmmmm interesting episode maam Naomi.so what what hapend after the agidi consumption and ceiling staring....

Naomi Lucas said...

Ah ah Kika, time to sleep. Story don finish. To God Be The Glory! lol

Jennifer Mozie Ekwueme said...

=))º°˚˚˚°ºнaĦaнaº°˚˚˚°º‎​=)) can't stop laughing. Can only imagine

Naomi Lucas said...

@Jennifer, it wasn't funny then o. Good to see I made you laugh, lol.