I got out of bed on Thursday feeling great. The day had arrived. I was officially off on a much-anticipated holiday; after 2 months of solid work. The days and weeks had seemingly crawled by, painfully. Of course, there were periods of elation mingled with periods of depression during the month. Days when the operations had gone smoothly were happy days and days when it had been a slug were downright shitty. But, thankfully, the time to relax was finally here.
Or so it seems!
The first indication of a spoiler was the near accident on the airport road. A driver was coming against the traffic …. on the speed lane…. with full headlights on! This madman was driving down the wrong side of the road with all confidence. I mean seriously! One minute all was well and the next minute, this fool had appeared out of nowhere, driving straight at me.
Not funny ha-ha!
So, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision, I drove to the hospital and called Uber. Mr Ubah showed up! We will get to him later. First, I must tell you about Joseph, my man Friday at the hospital. Joseph is charged with customer services and relations. He potters around the hospital doing the odd maintenance jobs and doubles as a customer relations person.
Apparently, he served a patient with a bowl of fruits in the evening. Thereafter, he forgot to serve dinner, thereby the patient starved all night. I mean, yes, he needed to lose weight, but starvation was not quite what we had in mind. Meanwhile, Joseph had dinner, no fruits in sight! Its little things like this that ruins reputations!
Not funny ha-ha!
Anyway, I called Uber and Ubah showed. This chap drove up in a rickety vehicle with cracked windscreen and totally overrun by mosquitoes. Unbelievable! I thought Uber did a better screening job than this. But he was pleasant enough and kept apologizing for the mosquitoes as I proceeded to slap myself silly. It was funny, not!
It was at this junction, or juncture, that I remembered Olamide’s song, ‘Poverty Die’. However, this version was different. ‘Mosquito die, die, die, mosquito die!
To make matters worse, he asked for a thousand Naira to buy petrol. Surely, he was taking the mickey. However, I was in a good mood and he was not going to dampen my spirits. Afterall, I was on holiday and so not in a hurry to go nowhere.
Let me digress again.
Apparently, the UBER APP has been hacked in Nigeria and fake drivers appear when you call Uber. Also, some drivers seem to work for both Taxify and Uber. So, whichever company you call, gets you the same driver. More money for him. However, the real deal is to be careful out there with criminals posing as legitimate Uber drivers. Be vigilant and check the vehicle registration number, model and color plus confirm the name of the driver. You just never know in Nigeria with criminals looking for soft targets!
Not funny ha-ha!
I was booked on a flight out of Abuja. At the airport, one of the staffs offered to fill in my customs and immigration cards. This is not the first time and it’s not good practice. They are trying to help but this circumvents the rules and presents security risks to all. By the way, I know its British airways, and somebody should bend their ears for me!
Unfortunately, that was not all that happened at the airport.
The immigration cards
The immigration card is not very important it seems. You see, some white woman was not given the card to fill. The one that asks ‘how much foreign currency are you carrying? Usually, you get it from the counter as you get your boarding pass. So, she said, ‘No one gave me the form’. The immigration official said. ‘Okay Ma carry go! Different rules for different animals in the farm. This is how we miss out on our border protection. Someone should tell the Nigerian Customs and Immigration!
Not funny, ha-ha!
Nigeria is a hard place and it needs not be. This is a country where vigilantes rescue policemen from kidnappers! A place where the first to pay the police gets the judgment. The accused is thrown behind bars even before investigation. Where negative has exchanged places with positive seamlessly? Right is wrong and no one has noticed the difference. Some might even think this is funny until it happens to you.
Then it’s not funny, ha-ha!