Now I manage Stories.ng with a few of my friends. Will I still blog here? I don’t know.
*strolls into empty abandoned movie theatre*
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
How many times do blog owners have to apologize for not being regular with their posts? If I thought last year was sparse for content on here, then 2014 was an absolute drought! Will I apologize? Yes. Will I make any excuses? No. Will I make any promises? Hahaha!!
We have finally reached the time in the year where we look back on the year. We have done this for 3 years now (this is the 4th edition) and the general feeling is that reading these true life stories is often the most moving personal experience of the blog year.
But, 19th Street shuts down on this address tonight. Tomorrow, we move to our permanent site. Stories.ng
I wish I could carry you all there to the Promised Land. But alas, in my migration I have to manually transport you all there. By road, by air, by water or by you subscribing on the new site.
There are plans for Stories.ng. I will share those when they are ripe. But for now? Get ready for the 2014 Guest Blog Review on Stories.ng.
Love you all. See you tomorrow by 9 am. On Stories.ng. 🙂
I’m struggling with a moral or ethical question. Yesterday I denied my friend in public and I don’t know how I could have done better. I never thought I’d be in the shoes of the biblical Peter who denied his Christ in his worst hour but here I am.
Yesterday Bolu burst into the exam hall one hour late, wearing his pyjamas bottom and a singlet. I could see him looking around wildly for me as he called out my name to vouch for his sanity as the invigilators and security tried to drag him away.
I told Bolu. I told Bolu to take it easy last night when he woke me up at 1 a.m. to ask me a projectile calculation question. I was so deep in sleep I even thought it was just 11 p.m. Only after the call ended did I see it was so late. And we were to be at the exam venue for accreditation by 7 a.m! I didn’t have credit to call him back so I went back to bed and fell asleep almost immediately.
When I’d sat down in my hall earlier that morning, I hadn’t even thought of Bolu until we were told to take our phones and bags to the front. I remembered he was the last person on my phone just 7 hours ago and it occurred to me to give him a call to check if he’d settled in his hall. I also realized I didn’t have any call credit or time to recharge online. I said a prayer for him and sat down on my assigned seat.
The test must have gone on for about an hour when suddenly there Bolu was at the door! Eyes bulging and rolling like an epileptic, veins twice the size of those on a footballer’s leg popping from his neck, his shrill intelligent voice shattering the peace of the exam environment like a crazed banshee. He was pleading and threatening alternately, fighting desperately to enter my hall. I could have spoken up for him but I found myself tongue-tied as he delivered a solid head butt to the main invigilator.
After the head butt was delivered, things went downhill quickly. The standby medical ambulance was called (apparently they were always on hand for mental breakdowns of students in exam hall situations). They were about to take Bolu away from the exam hall and away from his dreams. He pretended to calm down, explaining gently that he wasn’t mad, unable to keep his breathing or darting eyes under control.
Nobody listened to him. Other students in the hall were actually taking the opportunity of the distracted invigilators to exchange answer sheets and cross reference solutions. I couldn’t speak up for Bolu, I might have been punished for his violent head butt, or worse still, carted off to the psychiatric hospital along with him. After he was dragged away I struggled to focus on my remaining questions and finish the test.
Now I’m on my bed. I’m to leave town this morning back to our diploma school. Bolu and I were supposed to travel together to go complete our clearance but he’s locked away in the hospital. I don’t know how to bring myself to face him. What would I say to him? That I wrote the exam and it went well? That I saw him at my door and refused to stand up for his sanity? The alternative is to go complete my clearance quickly and start at my new school without ever seeing Bolu again. He would hate me yes but from outside the school, because he wasn’t able to get in. But how can I live with this on my conscience? What if he encounters one of my unborn children in the future and decides to initiate a generational vendetta?
I need your advice people. *sigh*
Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family.
(Prov. 18 vs. 24, The Message)
Please tell my family to come get me out of this place! I’m in Ward 9 of the psychiatric hospital, Uselu and I’m terribly frustrated with my life at this point.
This all started three days ago when we were informed that direct entry students would have to write post-entrance exams just like the other intending freshmen. We had no prior warning and this was the first time we diploma holders were to be included in this silly exam. There were also no past questions to prepare with because of this.
I could not let my family down. I had failed the matriculation exam two years ago and opted for the diploma programme to pass the time while I tried again the next year. When I was given physics instead of my preferred mechanical engineering, I decided to just go ahead with the diploma, promising my parents I’d end all this back and forth this year, with a direct entry admission. So failing this test was unthinkable. I had to burn the midnight oil!
My first thoughts when I opened my eyes this morning were about how bright the sun was. Something was wrong. Surely it wasn’t afternoon when I slept off. What was today’s date? Was it not today I had my life changing exam? I couldn’t be bothered with brushing my teeth or bathing or changing clothes. I grabbed my exam slip and pen from my study table and ran out the door without bothering to check the time. By the angle of the sun, it must have been risen for about an hour!
I jumped on the first okada (motorcycle transport) available. I couldn’t wait for the passenger he’d just dropped to find the change to pay. I promised to pay her bill along with mine. Somewhere along the very bumpy road I realized I hadn’t taken any money with me. I decided to wait till I got to my destination before settling the rider. Somehow he didn’t buy my story of being late for an exam. He was seeing me on the university campus for the first time and to be fair to him, I must have looked slightly demented asking him to trust me to pay as soon as I had the cash.
Well, I ran off. He chased me. We turned a few heads as we ran zigzag through the student crowds. I could already see the success chances of my future toasting attempts going down the drain but it was a small price to pay to get to the hall in time. At a particularly sharp corner he grabbed hold of my pyjamas top. I wriggled out of it faster than Houdini would have and continued my race like a boy with a Bunsen burner to his butt.
Like the biblical wife of the Egyptian jailer, the bike rider gave up his chase and held on to my Josephic cloak, shouting threats of capturing me at the gate on my way out. I couldn’t be bothered. I just hoped whatever time I had left would be enough for the exam. Of course I couldn’t even remember what the bike man looked like and now that he’d stolen my pyjamas top, I had no intention of paying anything. He could sell the pyjamas top and settle my debt.
The silence on the exam corridors scared me. Everyone was so orderly and writing quietly. On getting to the exam hall, I overheard the invigilator say they had one more hour to go. One more hour?! Out of two hours for the paper I’d lost one hour already?! I burst into the classroom and begged for question papers and an answer sheet, brandishing my exam slip in the invigilator’s face (now that I think back, it must have been too close to his eyes for him to see).
He refused me entry. He said I was too late. I ignored him and went to the stack of question papers and answer sheets and grabbed my copy. I looked for a vacant desk and sat down immediately to begin writing. But they simply would not get out of my way. They came, overzealous security staff, snatching my paper and hustling me out, claiming I was mentally unstable. They didn’t even let me keep my exam slip.
I went looking for my friend Adebisi. I hoped she’d be able to clear my name and vouch for me. I remembered she was writing for Computer Science but when I got to her hall I couldn’t find her. I was hardly given a chance to. There was a big struggle at the door and before I knew it, the medical staff were rushing me to the psychiatric hospital.
I’ve been here for 10 hours. I want to go home and lick my wounds. I don’t know where my friend is and I don’t know what to tell my parents. I’m just tired and depressed. I don’t know what to do with my life at this point.
A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone–tired.
(Prov. 17 vs. 22, The Message)
This year I had the chance to visit Europe with the wifey. It was more like an exploration visit to find a city we would love to visit again.
Paris was nice and cliche. I think everyone should go there see the fashion on the streets and the designer shops and climb the Eiffel tower and go on the River Siene. Still, the city was so touristy and almost too well planned.
Rome had a lot of fine buildings but that was it. I don’t know how that city once ruled the world. Now the people there look so ordinary and all they’re left with are their impressive buildings and the Colosseum. Seeing the arena at the Colosseum was nice though. I didn’t know before then that the word arena was derived from the Latin for sand.
I think our favorite city was Barcelona. The food was a bit closer to what we were used to! Meat! In abundance! Not like the small cubes of meat presented in other restaurants with the name Meat Special on the menu. If you see a Brazilian restaurant anywhere please empty your stomach and go in and pay whatever they ask you to pay. Eat whatever they set before you too. I had the chance to taste croc meat and it was just awesome. (Please it was just there, like roasted chicken).
Why did we love Barcelona? We went on the guided bus tour. We went to the aquarium. We saw the Flamenco!!! The inhabitants of Barcelona didn’t speak much English. Even the helpers and staff in uniforms didn’t understand us much. Google maps was all over the place in Spanish. On one occasion we were on a high speed train out of the city when we realized that we must be going the wrong way. It was so funny because the maps were all finished and the other people in the train could communicate with us only using sign language. After lamenting the lack of English education in the country (very high level of unemployment in Spain) we laughed about it and consoled each other.
The level of depression in the country was a bit palpable. There were no fancy fashion exploits on the streets like we saw in Paris. We began to appreciate the value of football as a unifying beacon of hope for the country. Like Rome, Spain was truly a shadow of what we’d read it was. Still, when it was time to leave we found it difficult to drag ourselves away and promised we’d be back.
Traveling is good for the soul.
See y’all tomorrow people.
There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough;
look again––it leads straight to hell.
(Prov. 14 vs. 12, The Message)