Orientation camp is finally over; waking up by 4:30am, having to physically train by 5am, Gyrate (aerobics) at 6, martial arts at 7 and then lectures (geez! I’m surprised I didn’t die from the sheer routin-ey nature of the daily….routine, it was amazingly boring). Yes, Zibah is officially an ‘otondo corper’ (I’m still very much clueless as to what this means though). How was camp? Cool. Did I make friends at camp? Yes, a few. Was I ever caught hiding during camp activities? Sure. Did I return home with my complexion resembling a pig roasted over a warm toasty flame? Yes. Did I get to have sex at camp? …nah, ain’t telling, (I did suffer severely from acute hyper sexual syndrome for a while). Anyway, I’m back to my condo in Lagos and yes the epileptic power supply is now officially dead. Out of the 120+ hours I have spent outside camp, I’ve had power for about 20minutes *sighs* and this is no lie ‘cos I’m presently typing this while sitting down bare-assed on my bed (my gen developed a temper…), sweating, running on my laptop’s battery and charging my phone via USB.
Previously, I’d promised to give y’all the deets of my experience at camp right? Well, here it is. (Note: take a deep breath, grab that box of popcorn and lean back ‘cos this is not as interesting as you think it is going to be. Lol
‘Shit (relax, I’ve started narrating, I don’t mean actual shit), camp is on Tuesday’, I shrieked.
Now this is me at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), finishing up with my clearance and I still didn’t know that the three weeks Orientation exercise of the Nigerian National Youth Service Corp (NYSC, a mandatory one year service to the nation) was going to commence the following Tuesday (in 5days time), typical me, always ‘carrying last’.
Thursday: Clearance. It was such a hassle with the staffs at Admin I was unfortunate to meet, most of whom I have never seen in my entire stay at the Institution. The lady that attended to me was shockingly polite and courteous till she pointed to an old empty ‘Okin’ biscuit carton (yes, ‘Okin’ that awesome biscuit that normal people saw last decades ago) and insisted I drop my ‘offering’ or leave with my clearance documents. I swear, my mouth was hanging for a few seconds at the ‘official extortion’. Seeing the reluctance in my stance, she pushed my paper aside, leaving her pen to hover a few inches from my form and pinned me with a piercing glare that seemed to say;
‘Pay up you fuc*er, others have done it already and they didn’t die’.
Na wa o!
Still stunned, I dropped my ‘offering’ into her carton and had my paper signed in a few seconds, she even had the guts to wink at me. I left the faculty only to be met by several other people that required a little greasing to do their job. Seriously, I was getting mega pissed. The height was at the bursary, by that time I was financially seeing red and my vision was even redder, an unfortunate combination for the lady I met because as soon as she opened her lips and ‘where is my Chivita money’ slipped past it, I gave my frustration free reins and let her have it.
‘‘What bloody Chivita money? When last where you fortunate enough to drink one, at a wedding? I thought so. So where the heck am I supposed to get the money for it, you didn’t even ask for Caprisone you greedy bitch’’
You guessed right, all these were said in the comfort of my mind. I summoned the last bit of energy I had and forced it to make my fatigued lips stretch out into a smile (read grimace), an idea popped into my head and with a mischievous chuckle, I proceeded to pray for her (in the most arduous situation, pray. Isn’t it in your Bible?)
‘‘Ma’am, you would never lack, as you have served the Lord faithfully in this small hot office, he shall remember you one day and move you to a bigger place. Your children shall graduate with 1st class degrees; you shall never want or BEG for anything….’’
I was on a roll and other students joined me. Within seconds we were all ushered out of the office with signed forms. Apparently, nothing turns a bribee (we were the bribers, right? English, *sighs*) off faster than Religious onslaught *chuckles*. All done for the day, I set out for my condo.
Friday: Today I was to discover which remote part of Nigeria the NYSC Scheme would send me to for my mandatory one year service to the nation. Considering my origin (which almost no one knows about) and the fact that my tertiary education was in the South-West of Nigeria, I was expecting the North. I arrived UNILAG with a growling stomach at 8am to see a notice that said call-up letters wouldn’t be given till 2pm (read 4pm, Nigeria time remember). At around 1:30pm, the list was pasted on the Students affair notice-board and about 300 over-excited graduates gathered around the frail structure roughly pushing, pulling and shrieking trying to figure out where their sorry arses were posted to;
‘‘OMG, Zamfara *chokes*’’
*screeches over the phone* ‘‘Mummy I got Lagos’’
‘‘Ha! Jesus, how can they give me Imo State, how would I survive with those Igbo People?’’ *talkingto noe in particular*
…….and on and on it went for several hours. I didn’t bother approaching the notice board, not because I was wearing my favest Tommy Hilfiger shoes but because in my hungry and frail state, I was afraid I would pass out from exhaustion if anyone shoved me aside and with the crowd, it would be awhile before someone noticed that it was Zibah’s head and not a stone they had been standing on.
After close to 3hours, the crowd had considerably reduced and I gingerly walked up to the board to see;
State code: LA/12A/xxxx
State posted to: Lagos.
I sighed in relief, at the very least I wouldn’t have to travel the long distance to a certain place that hadn’t ever heard/know the meaning of PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria, they are supposed to distribute electricity to the corners of the Country instead due to corruption and other stuffs I have no time to analyse they hold on to power thus, leaving Zibah’s butt to drip sweat on this fine afternoon.
Some of my friends got posted to places I have forgotten still existed on the national map; Borno, Jigawa, Zamfara, Abia etc oh well. Armed with my call-up letter (which I’d to struggle to get, apparently these particular Nigerians believe that to obtain anything, there has to be chaos), I made my way to the popular Yaba market (located on the Mainland and quite close to UNILAG) to buy a few necessities but as soon as the traders started to yell and pull my sore arm, I retraced my steps and headed to the nearest boutique.
I arrived at my condo around 9pm, thoroughly exhausted and lacking in enthusiasm for the Orientation course of the NYSC Scheme (can’t they just scrap they scheme already?). I was already thinking of how skinny I would be after three weeks (sorry, I’m vain like that).
Saturday: I decide to get a new phone. Hey, I heard Lagos is like where all the crème de la crème Corpers lobby to serve. Ain’t no way I’m taking my Blackberry look-alike Nokia phone and appearing as a BB wannabe (no-uh *snaps finger and roll my eyes*-LOL, too much high school movies), I decided to go Android (one thing about Zibah you probably don’t know is that I’m a gadget freak. Give me at most a few hours and I would have mastered the innards of any device/electronic…as long as the interest is there). I ended up going with the Samsung Galaxy brand. Unfortunately, the S and S2 were sold out so I grudgingly accepted the SL even as my memory started to skit through the specs and reviews while highlighting the pros and cons of the device that I must have gotten at a point from the internet (yeah, I’m creepy like that).
Sunday & Monday: Erm….sorry I can’t remember what happened. They must have been quite uneventful or I probably spent them mutating my Galaxy SL from TouchWiz skinned android to ZibDroid.
Tuesday: Wow, the appointed day. I arrived at Iyana-Ipaja- the location of my camp (somewhere on the mainland of Lagos state) at around 11am with just two of my laptop bags; the very large backpack styled bag and the messenger styled look-alike, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw people with 2 buckets on their heads dragging travel bags behind them, bags that were large enough to conceal two sleeping Zibahs. Immediately I showed the security detail my call-up letter and was admitted through the gate, I felt claustrophobic because for the next three weeks, I was expected to stay within the irregular four walls of this compound and behave myself.
‘Sheesh’ I muttered under my breath, it’s going to be a rough ride.
Whew, sorry but it’s already past 10pm, I gotta crash (may have a long day tomorrow) and I’m on the fourth page so stay tuned for part 2. Ciao.