Living in the suburbs of Osun State reminded me of how humane and cordial we can be. Lagos had successfully erased that part of humanity from my brain somehow.The first week I packed in to my palatial flat (palatial because I got a two bedroom flat for a staggering unbelievable amount that could not get a single room at a good location in Lagos), the neighbors were so friendly, already helping with the offloading and stuff.
The next morning, I was woken up with a steamy bowl of meal! I was surprised, like why would you even do that, why would you bother to offer me food when it’s not a love feast or something? It took some lectures from a family member to make me realize that’s the norm in the suburbs. This single act got me thinking about how this world could be a better place if there was real love in our hearts. I mean, this particular neighbor is a civil servant widow in Osun State with five children (if you know, you know). She must have prepared something close to the best, if not the best she had. Unlike in Lagos, where everybody is a suspect. You can’t even stop to help someone in need for fear that it’s a strategy to be mugged. I sorely miss the hospitality of the suburbs, who else does?
To the real gist for today…while I was at the Blue Room, one of the lecturers in my department organised an academic conference, to which participants from all Nigerian Universities attended. As a member of the Local Organizing Committee, I was given the duty to oversee the Ushers for the event. Everything was going according to plan. After a while, I felt like resting a bit before the sale/distribution of the ‘Book of Proceedings ’. Immediately, I had my sit, a young man came to introduce himself. I did what was expected of me (smile and ask how I may be of help). He said he just wanted to have my contact so he could easily get in touch in case he wants to write some journals with me. In my head, I was like wow! So this is how ‘acada’ woo ladies in their world? Let’s see how this goes…LOL.
Thereafter, we became chat-pals. We got to know we reside in the same area in Lagos. So I promised him a ‘hang-out’. Please, note I said ‘hang-out’. On this fateful day, I went to the shopping mall a bit far from our residence, so I alerted him I was in town and gave him my location while I went on with my shopping. Few minutes later, he arrived without my knowledge, bought two plates of fried rice with two cans of chilled Fayrouz together with chilled bottles of water. Anyone who knows me knows I can kill for fried rice…and grilled chicken of course! or have you ever come across any fried rice without the chicken? NEVER!!! In my head, I was like; this guy is in the spirit, how did he know my fave?
The alarm should have rang in my head because, when I suggested we locate a cool spot to hang (and eat of course), he said ‘No…I don’t like sitting in malls, let’s go to my place’ I looked at him discreetly and concluded he couldn’t hurt a fly. I guess that’s because of his physique and the fact that he talked and gesticulated like a Sissy. Asides, I couldn’t let go of my fried rice still in his custody! So I followed, with my eyes and thoughts on the prize.
When we got to his apartment, he started off by showing me around as if I had come to stay for the weekend! I don’t blame him though, that must have been his flirting strategy. Rather, I became so bored (I’m sure you know why by now). Eventually, we got to ‘Item 7’. He carefully brought out our sumptuous meal. He gave me water first and kept the Fayrouz. Check out something SIMILAR here ( at viewers discretion).
I looked expectantly at the drink; he caught my questioning look and explained that we would drink after the food. I said okay! (In Lasisi Elenu’s voice). The most important at the moment was that fried rice. Any other thing was irrelevant. I was well sated with my rice, sipping on the bottled water, when ‘uncle’ started rubbing his left hand on my right arm!
The fact that we were gisting made it look as if he was carried away with the gist and unconscious of what his hand was doing. I kept looking at his face to really catch his expression but he masked it too well. As if that wasn’t enough, the same hand moved to my right thigh! His facial expression had not changed so I stood up and sat in the yoga style. He was like, why are you sitting on the rug? I said I was too full from the food and wasn’t comfy anymore. He came down to my level and that’s when he made the final move…his right hand replaced this left, while the left hand went to the small of my back!!! Thank God for the invention of Jean Trousers and Belt, his hands would have gone further down. I knew there and then that if I didn’t take my leave, I would be part of statistics and society would still blame me for following him to his place.
Since that incidence, I have been careful not to visit ‘acada’ brother anymore…except for one more time for something very important (story for another day). The funny thing is that he still behaves as if he didn’t know what he did and is always looking forward to when I would come visiting. Me, go visiting? No matter the amount or sweetness of the fried rice, his house is ‘jump and pass’ for me. His hospitality went too far.
Please, I’d like to read your comments about what you think…do you think I was imagining things?
*Acada: An Academic/ someone in the academic world.
*Lasisi Elenu: A Nigerian Comedian/Ranter (for my Non-Nigerian Readers who don’t know).
*Jump and Pass: To ignore.
NOTE: Name of ‘acada’ brother withheld.
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