Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Episode 11: Wedding Bells in England

           First of all, let me apologize for not posting on this blog for about a month. I’ve been ridiculously busy. Weddings tend to make people busy and I still had other things to attend to. No, I didn’t get married. I was the best man. My mum passed on just before I turned eleven (I miss her). That was eleven years ago. My dad, like the God fearing man he is, didn’t remarry until God showed him his new wife (and simultaneously showed my dad to the lady) before they ever met!
        The wedding took place in England so as the best man, I had the opportunity of going to England for the first time. I spent eight days there; two days in Loudwater, Highwycombe, another three days in Bromley, then two days in Camden and finally my last day in Highwycombe again. I’ll try to be as brief as possible when talking about what I spent my time doing so I don’t bore you to death, but let’s just say that my five-month shopping spree went out with a bang!

                                             My Dad and my new mum.

         I left Nigeria on the same day that my school resumed. I had spent my holiday doing my Industrial Training as a software programmer at my dad’s office. Wedding preparations, rounding up my I.T work, I didn’t have time to blog. In fact, when I finally got back to school, I didn’t get my I.T report ready before the deadline so come Monday, I’ll find out whether I’ll be able to submit after paying some sort of fine or whether I’m going to lose all the marks for my I.T.
       What DID I do in the UK? Well, I have three paternal uncles there, each of which has two daughters, and the one of them has a son. In other words, I have seven cousins in the UK, who I hardly ever get to hang out with. The only boy among them didn’t leave Nigeria until he was almost done with high school, but of the six girls, I had only met two once (I mean once) before. I really had fun hanging out with my family. There’s this inexplicable love between family members, even when you haven’t really spent time together before. It doesn’t hurt that all my aunties, including those in Nigeria, are always trying to overfeed me.
My wonderful cousins. You can check out Tasha's (Girl in green) blog, tashloves.blogspot.com for short posts on everything Christian and Fashion.
        I spent most of my time in the UK alternating between shopping for myself and (more on that in a minute), shopping for the wedding with my dad and uncles, hanging out with my family members, and for the two days I spent in Camden (in one of my closest friend’s home), hanging out with my Nigerian friends. The wedding was on Saturday so on Sunday after church, my uncle took me to Liverpool street, we went to Chinatown and had lunch (shark fin soup! Also, pineapple fritters are awesome), then I went on a tour bus with my high school friend, Baby Spice. Remember, I use aliases on my blog when referring to people I know. I would never use their real names without their permission.
             Baby spice and I went on a tour bus. While I spent most of my time on the open-roof upper deck so I could take pictures, she stayed on the lower deck to stay away from the cold. There were these two chicks on the upper deck that were trying to get a shot of themselves kissing so I walked over and asked “need help with that?”. One of them looks at me like “mmmmkay!” and hands me their camera. So I used the camera dual-wielding technique I learnt at the wedding and took a shot of them with their camera in my right hand and my camera in my left hand. Enjoy the eye candy!
      And I didn't get the first pic right, so they had to kiss a third time!

              I spent the night at my friend Lupine’s house (not his real name, of course) and the following night, Lupine, Baby Spice and I had some Japanese for dinner. Lupine taught us how to use chopsticks. They’re easier to use than I thought they’d be. I’ve watched enough anime to know over a dozen Japanese words so I wowed Baby Spice at the dinner until….
ME: Please pass the fruits
HER: Here you go
ME: Arigato (thank you)
HER: Ok, If I hear another Japanese word I’m gonna b**ch slap you. I hope that doesn’t mean “I love you cause I know that’s the first thing most people learn in any language!
            Ah! Fun times. Lupine had to go back to school in Sheffield on Tuesday morning so he left the apartment before me. I didn’t have the keys to his apartment so whenever I finally stepped out of it, I wouldn’t be able to return to it. When I left, I took all my bags and the trash that I was supposed to take out, made a phone call in the lobby of his apartment, and forgot the trash in the lobby. Needless to say, he’s really pissed and he’ll have to go back to London to dispose of the trash properly. I know I messed up. It’s the first time I’ve ever really pissed him off that much.
         The shopping! When I got to the airport on the day I was to leave the UK, I heard a taxi driver tell the Nigerian lady he was dropping “Whenever Nigerians go back to Nigeria, they take so much stuff!”; I laughed because I was doing the same thing. You can’t blame us. We have to shop for so many people! My sisters (a maternal cousin and a lady not related by blood, but more or less my sisters) each had a list of clothes I was to buy. I bought most of them. Then I got myself and my immediate younger brother The Legend of Zelda 3DS Special Edition bundle, got my youngest brother a white 3DS and then got five 3DS games to go round. That doesn’t include the two copies of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that came with the two 3DS bundles. Then I got a phone for an aunt, a camera for another aunt, a shoe for one of my dad’s staff, some stuff for a few special girls (including ‘awesome’. Remember her?) and of course, some stuff for a couple of my bros in school. Of course I still ran into that one guy that saw what I got the other guy and was disappointed I didn’t get him anything. It’s not the lack of a gift that hurts him; it’s the fact that I didn’t see him as one of the people that were special enough to me.
                      My Zelda 25th Anniversary goodies!

      I almost forgot the things I took home for a family friend’s children. Three of them. Luckily, I came prepared. My bags were only half full when I left Nigeria! It’s not that we can’t get these things in Nigeria, it’s just that they can be up to twice as costly sometimes because we’re paying for the import costs and stuff. It just sucks that I was unable to get a single Value Added Tax refund form.
      I didn’t get to see many of my friends that are schooling in the UK during my short stay. I also didn’t make any new friends apart from spending more time with my family members who I hardly see, or hadn’t even met before in some cases. I also didn’t get to talk to enough local people to get a good idea of their opinion of Nigeria. I’ve seen the exaggerated images of Africa the media feeds first world countries so I really wanted to get a feel of what the average bloke thought. I was able to go around a fair number of places within that short time and make many observations at least. England is quite organized, beautiful and man, do they have small buildings. There usually is no space between adjacent buildings on a street too. It’s in stark contrast to the walled compounds each house on a street has in Nigeria. I don’t want to list the numerous differences between England and my motherland, or rant about the exaggerated images of people suffering in Africa that most first world countries are fed (believe me, I’m getting to that. I’ll have a whole blog post for that one), but let me just say it’s amazing how accurate the picture below is. And yes, that image in the bottom center actually looks a lot like where I live.
Those are two seperate homes pictured, notice 2 black gates, one for each home.

                            I also noticed this! LOL!

The wii games I bought. They may be PAL, but my hacked NTSC wii can play them.

The 3DS games I bought. I ordered Starfox 64 3D but it hadn’t been delivered by the time I left the UK. My dad just got back to Nigeria on Friday the 2nd of March (he went honeymooning in Dubai) and my brother at home has the game now, with the two hooded sweatshirts I got custom made for me and awesome.

      In summary, I had a great time in England, my dad is finally married and I’m in school now trying to catch up on two weeks of work. To make up for all this time I haven’t posted anything, I will be making my next post almost immediately after this one and also, I am working on an RSS Reader that you can use to keep track of the changes to my blog, as well as any other sites you may be interested in. Maybe you already have an RSS Reader but I bet you’ll like mine. It’s got the same color theme as my blog and I call it the “Online Sharingan”. The best part about it is once you download it, you can request for features that you want added or removed in the comments section of this blog and I will update it. Please read the next episode. It’s going to make you laugh!

UPDATE: I should have uploaded this picture when I first made this post, but the wedding photographer hadn't sent us the pictures yet.
 We're awesome, I know!

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