Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The End Of The Dragon

I don't know about you but I just can't believe how time flies. It really did!

We've been here in Lagos, Nigeria, for about 1 1/2 yrs now. That was fast. It was not an easy ride. Culture shock. Making and losing friends. Within that time frame, we had lost one of our cats. He got sick and died. I was devastated. I also get depressed sometimes. Emotions going up and down. Homesick. You  are not sure how your children are really feeling being here in a third world country even though they may seem happy. My husband has never been more stressed in his life and sometimes he come home from work with a big frown. At times, I feel scared to go out not knowing what might happen. I don't drive here. I miss my car. I miss driving. I miss listening to the radio while driving. I don't even know who is the most famous and popular singer these days. Once, when my husband told me that we might be staying here in Nigeria a bit longer than planned, I don't know what to say. I can't describe it but I know that I am not too thrilled at that idea but it is not bad here. Exaggerations can make the mind wander. What I do know is that, it will help our family tremendously by being here. We are settled in now. Our apartment is not huge but it is nice and cozy. The way I like it. We make it work.

This year is the year of the snake in the Chinese zodiac calendar. I hope it won't sting anyone like how the dragon did to us last year in 2012. It had been a very fiery 2012! So many things happened. Bad and good things. Let's forget about the bad ones and move on but always remember the good ones.

So to that, I wish everyone a blessed, Happy New Year 2013!

Monday, 15 October 2012

One Cat Two Cats

When people say dogs are man's best friend, they don't lie. In my case, a cat is a man's best friend.

I never knew how painful it is to lose someone you love dearly until it happened to you. Our male cat, Tikka, passed away about a week ago. He was my faithful companion all these years. Even though he's a cat, he's not just A cat. He was family.

It all happened in Saudi Arabia about 12 years ago. My husband and I just got married and we moved to Saudi Arabia shortly after. We had been talking about getting a cat as a pet and I suggested that we got two instead of just one so that they can play with each other. Cut the story short, went to a pet store in Al-Jubail (that's where we got posted for several years) and saw these two cuties! They were so tiny and fit just nicely on the palm of my hands. After we left the pet store about US$600 poorer, these two cats of mixed Persian breeds came home with us. Had to gave them a bath as soon as we got home as their butt were stuck with lots of poo and they had so much fleas on them. Needless to say, the whole car stunk all the way home! We also thought we had two sisters but apparently, while cleaning them up, i "accidentally" felt something funny down there that definately told us that we had one brother and one sister! Their names derived from a food signboard that we saw on the roads. Yes, they were named after food! Seika and Tikka.

We still have Seika with us but she knows that something was missing. I know she knows that her brother's gone. She had been hissing at him for a few days before he died eversince he became sick. Tikka was in pain. Few months ago, we noticed that he had been making these crunching noises with his mouth/jaw. We didn't know what was going on and didn't think much about it. The week before he died, his jaw couldn't close up and he was drooling lots of saliva. He couldn't eat and drink. I had to spoon-fed him. He was struggling. We knew we had to find a vet quick. Now, being in Nigeria, we couldn't get hold of any vet that was available to come immediately. I was cursing and really frustrated with the way things turned out.  Finally we managed to find a local vet to come the next day. Two days later, Tikka had to be in a surgery. His rotten molar was taken out. For a few days, he seemed fine. I noticed the last two days before he died, his tongue was sticking out and he was breathing quite heavily. I know he was suffering and in pain. He refused water and food.

Then, last Sunday, we went down to the pool to hang out with a neighbor and our boys swam with a couple of kids from our building. As soon as we came up, I went over to Tikka who had been under a table the whole day and patted him. He was still breathing very heavily through his mouth. He got up, walked towards me, made some noises as if he was talking to me and right then it happened. He collapsed, half choking half crying. Then, all of a sudden, he was gone but I did managed to "say goodbye". We all did. I went berserk. I couldn't believe that Tikka passed away. It was so sudden. He waited till I come up from the pool to say goodbye to me. I was a wreck for a few days after that. I still am really. It feels like a piece of me was gone. It really does. I just broke down last night thinking about Tikka.

It have been one week since he died. I know he's in a better place and he's not suffering anymore. We buried Tikka downstairs at the compound. I get to "visit" him now and then. He crossed that rainbow bridge and went to kitty heaven. We love you, Tikka and we miss you. Mama miss you. BIGTIME! You will be in our hearts forever.

Tikka 2001-2012

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I've Caught The Bug. Agege Bug.

I can't help giggling writing this post. Caught a glimpse of my neighbor out the window, buying Agege by the roadside as she was walking one of her son to school this morning. Wait, be patient, i'll explain to you what the hell I'm talking about! Usually, to buy something by the sidewalk/roadside, out of your comfort zone, it's being frowned upon. It's a big NO NO! You know being an Oyibo (E-X-P-A-T), you are supposed to do all things expat. I'm not going to be in a freaking expat "bubble". This neighbor of mine is like me. We are like whatever.

So, you've heard about Wonder Bread. Yes. Wonder Bread is an American icon. It has been around since 1921.

Over here, Agege, is Nigeria's icon so as to say. You see ladies carrying a tray on their head full of Agege bread everywhere here. Best to buy them in the morning when it's fresh.

Lady selling Agege bread
Lagosians swear by their Agege bread. Everybody here eats them. From the very prominent to the low-income earners. As they would say, it's Agege or nothing at all. It was first produced in Agege, a suburb and local government area in the Ikeja Division of Lagos State, Nigeria. From there it made its way into other parts of the state. Apparently, it is originally known as Ayokuno Bread. When it became popular, it became known as Agege Bread.

With all the hype about this bread, I had to try it. I know why Lagosians are crazy about them and so is my neighbor upstairs. These bread are soft! They really taste good too.

Hey, Agege!
With a price tag of N50 (US$0.30) for a small loaf and N120 (US$0.80) for a bigger loaf, you can get one yourself too. Just don't think about how these breads are being processed/made and you'll be just fine! So far, my tummy and ass like them. So far, so good. Experience life in Lagos. Stop being too much of an expat, suck it up and try these Agege bread.

Monday, 27 August 2012

La Vida Lagos

I cannot say my life here in Lagos is, well, boring. Those who have been here, should know what I'm talking about. For those who have not been here and may be here for an assignment, get ready! Do not listen to all those bad stories that you will hear about Lagos, Nigeria. It is not as bad as what people would describe it. Yes, it is a dangerous place. People treat guns like toys here. If you think about it, it's dangerous everywhere. Of course, if you bring attention to yourself, then you will invite trouble, stupid!

Oh yeah, listen to me! I had the same feelings before we got here. Now, after just a little over one year, I am so used to Lagos. Sort of.

I have been busy eversince school started. I took over the bus mom coordinator job. Basically what I do is to update the bus rule, send out information to the parents anything related to the bus and coordinate the bus duties of parents who have kids riding the bus to school. We usually take turns every few months to be the bus mom/dad. That's right, I'm important. Don't piss me off otherwise I'll make sure you really savour and taste the meaning of bus duty!

Now that kids are back in school, ALL the activities start to roll one by one. Yesterday, was the first birthday party that our boys were invited to.
Kids are busy and so are the moms especially. Busy with school activities, house chores and party! Hey, we, moms, can party too. We deserve it. In fact, I'll be partying every month till Christmas break. Every week, every month, there will be someone's birthday. Our boys' birthdays are coming up soon in a few weeks and so is mine!! This weekend is GNO. If you don't know what GNO means, for goodness sake, it's Girls Night Out. That's right. This is La Vida Lagos.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

I Don't Want To Go Back To School!

Yes, I've been hearing that lately. All the moans and groans about going back to school. "No! I don't want to go back to school!" our two boys would say to me. Guess what kids? You WILL have to go back to school. You WILL stop being wild for a while. You WILL let me have a bit of peace and quiet in the house. Tomorrow, our boys go back to school and I'll be "shooing" them away first thing in the morning.

I guess I won't blame them for feeling that way. If I was still a kid, I would be saying that straight at my mom's and dad's face! It have been a good summer. We all need it. I need it.

I will feel pain early tomorrow morning. Not that I am sick. It's just that I have to start dragging my butt off my comfortable bed before sunrise. Can't sleep in late anymore. This morning I woke up at around 9.15am just because my nanny/stewardess is going to be here to clean the house up. It was a sweet feeling. I felt rejuvenated. Ha!

You probably won't find me blogging everyday in here as sometimes I can't be arsed! I will "see" you when I see you, folks.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Back Oh Back

After experiencing a HOT summer break, it is always nice to come "home" to some cool weather and Lagos has that. Right now.

Rainy season is still around. I love it!

I took a blogging break the last 2 months. It have been a great summer break catching up with some good friends and family but it is also good to be back. You know how it is when after you've been away for so long, at some point, you are itchy to come back home. That's exactly how I felt!

Kids have two more weeks of holidays left till they are back to school. I know they are NOT looking forward to it but I am! Ha!

Enjoy some pictures that I took while we were enjoying the sun, sand and sea/sceneries.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Out With The Old, In With The New

That phrase always get stuck in my head eversince I heard it.

Yes, this is the time when lots of expats move out of Lagos and I can't believe how many expats are leaving. Some are going back to their home country and those that are moving on to other places, lucky them! Really miss living in our own house. Living in this apartment building is alright. There are pros and cons to it. To share a common bus among the kids to go to school is even horrible in a way that when your kids get into a situation with another, it's not good! Some neighbours I don't really see them though we all live under the same roof. Some, we see them ALL THE TIME! My husband would tease me and said, "Ah, you are good friends with our this neighbours so and so..". I had to correct him saying that good friends and neighbours are totally different! Good friends are good friends. Neighbours are neighbours. There's a difference to it. Believe me, I am not too keen with some of them. 

So I say, adios to the "old" and hey, hello to the "new" if there's any other new expats coming in!

Best thing that happened today was I got the chance to meet some very important people. I saw Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, Leonardo Da Vinci, Cleopatra and the list goes on. Jealous much? Relax, there's nothing to be jealous about because the 3rd Graders were doing their Notables presentation in the gym today. Each of the kids had to choose a notable person, someone who has made valuable contributions to society, set/reached personal goals and achieved personal greatness in their field. Our oldest son became Nelson Mandela :) Thus this morning, they had to dress and play the role of their notable.

Cool Cleopatra!

Leonardo Da Vinci  :)
I came out from the gym and went straight to our youngest son's classroom next as they were having a mini year end party. These cute 1st Graders gave us, parents, a short but really cute mini concert. Each of them received a certificate and a really nice farewell wooden frame from their teacher. I can't believe that our boys will be in 2nd and 4th Graders come August. They are growing up way too fast!

That was my Wednesday morning. Busy but good. My luggages are calling me. I'd better get back to packing. Have a nice, cooling rainy day, Naija!