I love and enjoy travelling and it is with much delight that I will be starting this series with gist of the first time I traveled alone (no mummy, no sister, no aunty) just me, myself and friends.
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In August 2012, I traveled with a few guys from our neighborhood who lost their grandma, to Ilesha in Osun State Nigeria for a funeral. When I first heard of the ceremony, I had a strong conviction that mummy Bliss will never allow me attend.
“Say what? Whose burial? The person that died, how are you related to her? Is she your father’s family member?” These and many more questions mum was likely to ask danced around in my head but somehow I summoned courage and told her of my desire.
Mummy must have seen a vision that my trip to Ilesha would be the beginning of my travels and she didn’t want to shut the door against my love for traveling because somehow, mummy just said “tell the boys to come and see me”. Ehn? Just like that? I ran out before mum could change her mind.
The guys came around and my mother almost gave them an account of how I was born and warned sternly that nothing must happen to me, she spoke with their parents and they said I would be fine. Mum asked for the date and what I would need, turned out I only needed to give a tailor my aso ebi and pay for sowing, every other thing including transportation had been taken care of.
A picture of me wearing the aso ebi – 2012
The day of travel came and I’m sure I must have ushered dawn in with eyes open because I was up as early as unusual. I usually don’t eat when I’m traveling (the smell of fuel nauseates me and most times I throw up) so I didn’t have much to waste time on. I had my bath, carried my travelling bag and said goodbye to mum and my sister, I wasn’t going to be the one to delay our group.
I arrived at the designated location for departure around 8am and nobody in that house had had their bath. Chai! They were watching TV, gisting and lazying around. Oluwa mi o… African time!!!. I took a seat and started doing one thing or the other on my fingers and bag, the ladies I met in the house were unfriendly, they squeezed their nose and faces like someone gave them bad news so I told myself to respect myself and not try to make friends with people like that.
Eventually, we got out of the house around 12:30pm, turned out we were waiting for the Graphics designer who was supposed to bring the souvenirs for the event before 8am. You go fear fear nah, designer didn’t bring anything, he asked us to come and carry them in his shop.
After waiting for hours and telling my mummy everytime she called that “we would soon leave”, we got into the cars and buses available and proceeded to the designer’s shop were the boys almost created a scene… I didn’t even say a word to all of them, I was already hungry by then.
We left the designer and had a few stops again, then we got snacks, if I hear say I no chop. At one stop we picked up kegs of palmwine and that was the beginning of conversation between the ladies and myself (who said palmwine doesn’t unite people?), we poured palmwine for each other and helped one another hold on to one thing or the other, one of them had a baby girl and we took turns to carry her. The men just looked at us and laughed.
Thanks for reading, come back next Thursday for the continuation of this gist.
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