Finding Chuck Taylor on top of Roxanne

Traumatic as today’s post may sound, it is strange but true! Like any story it happened once upon a time. I was about to go out and I had packed a couple of things; my gym bag, my laundry bag and my trainers. Now, it wasn’t easy trying to hold all these items and still take the car keys out of my pocket, but in the end I managed with maximum awkwardness. Next on my awkward agenda was reversing out of my tight parking cubicle space – poor Roxanne. I probably drove her crazy after this ordeal. Observe a similar scenario:



Half an hour later I was able to breathe out the words, ‘Mission accomplished’ and then I drove out of my compound and into the unpredictable streets of Ikeja – Lagos. I drove past a couple of bystanders, one or two prostitutes and some bus conductors but I guess they all did not find it in their best interest to alert me about the unusual sight I was completely unaware of. It was only when I had driven for about 5 minutes and stopped at a red light then it hit me – where are my Chuck Taylors? I looked in the passenger front and back seat frantically like a fugitive looking over his shoulder. I sat back and traced my steps back quickly…and what felt like an out-of-body experience was me getting out of my car, reaching out to the top of the car, taking down my trainers from the top and throwing them back into my car. I then proceeded to throw my face into my two hands as I recovered from the shock of almost losing a pair out of sheer forgetfulness. Sad part is…this wasn’t the first time.


Have you ever been forgetful in a rather embarrassing way before? Do share 😀





Entry #69 – Down with the Shoe blues

Where do I begin? I woke up early and got prepared to go to work. I picked up my work shoes and put on a pair of slippers which I prefer to drive with. I took my jacket and an apple from the fridge. I hopped into my car, turned on my stereo and zoomed down a surprisingly free road all the way to the office. I was feeling good. Today is going to be a good day. I got to my office 30mins earlier than usual! I got of my car in my comfy slippers and reached in the back for my pair of loafers – they weren’t there.

I guess at the point of locking my door I dropped my shoes and forgot to pick them up. ‘That’s just perfect!’, I thought. Now there’s no way I’m gonna walk around in my suit wearing a pair of Hausa slippers – I’d look like a right twat. I had customers to visit so I had 2 choices: Either get into the mile-long traffic and start the gruelling journey back to my flat or cough out some cash to buy a new pair. Neither option was attractive but the second pair had the time advantage…I guess that’s why THEY say, Time is money (go figure!) 

So I’m still feeling positive about this whole fiasco, realizing that I can pick up a new pair of shoes 2mins from my office (since my office was in a shopping complex). But buying a pair of shoes proved harder than I thought. I walked into the only men’s shoe shop which coincidentally had new arrivals (Yippee!). There was a pair that didn’t catch my eye at first, but later it was ‘love at first wear’. There was just one teeny problem – The shoe was brown.

Not to worry though. The shop attendant said he’s rush down to their bigger outlet and be back in a jiffy (actually he didn’t use the term ‘jiffy’. In Nigeria, the equivalent of saying that is ‘now-now’, as in ‘I’ll be back now-now’…ridiculous, right? Anyway, this shop attendant’s ‘now-now’ became a 1hr overdue. I was getting pissed off now-now. The other shop attendant who stayed behind advised me to take another pair of shoes and that he would bring over the ones I wanted to my office – fair deal, I thought. But 2hrs after that the shop attendant comes to my office with two completely different pair of shoes that I never asked for. He explains that he wasted an 1hr looking for my shoe size but I argued that he didn’t have the deceny to call the shop and keep me informed. I was now the proud owner of a pair of shoes which I didn’t really want or plan to buy in the first place. I just felt they were more dressy than they were rugged.

All this while I was day-dreaming about my Ferragamo loafers which I left lying outside my door…in a communal compound with about 9 other tenants (Oh crap! Are they safe? Would anyone want to steal a pair of used shoes? Is anyone using size EUR 45/UK11/US12 in my neighbourhood whom I should be worrying about? It’ll be fine. Don’t go all Crazy Nigerian…

Well, I wish I could tell you I got back home to a happy ending. I wish I could say that I found my shoes lying outside my flat where I left them. I wish I could say that I wasn’t reluctant to type this post. I wish I could say that I wasn’t feeling bitter. I wish I wasn’t forgetful in the first place. I wish today would just end now-now…(sigh) 🙁

Junior High – 2nd year…

I.S.I (International School, Ibadan) was where I first learnt how someone could be under constant pressure…just about every single day of his/her secondary school life. And I’m not talking about pressure to excel above the pass mark (which, then, was about 40% in all subjects)…no, I’m talking about the pressure to be cool, ‘bam’, ‘hard’…if you were linked to any of these accolades back in the day then your ‘rep’ was off to a good start…supposedly.


Now the problem I had was that I didn’t fit the bill particularly. I had a small tennis-ball afro which wasn’t cool enough, overly smart shoes which weren’t ‘bam’ enough, and a group of friends I rolled with who were not ‘hard’ enough. As a ‘day’ student (i.e. a student who doesn’t reside in the school’s hostels during the term) I was already screwed because the ‘boarders’ (those students who do reside in the school’s hostels…) were automatically catapulted into ‘hard’ status. I don’t think I’ll ever know why.


Maybe it was because you’d see one guy wear a different pair of ‘pumps’, moccasins and Tims for 2 straight weeks – I was baffled! How could one kid have close to 14 pairs of shoes? But I soon learnt that boarders had a sharing culture – they exchanged just about everything. So of course you could seem to have so many clothes, shoes, schoolbags…oh my God…I just remember I had a hideous schoolbag.


It was called a ‘U.S army bag’ – Trust me, it didn’t look as cool as it sounded. It was the size and shape of a 14-inch box TV – perfect for those tons of textbooks which I carried but would hardly have to read. Mine was black with all the different colorful badge prints and miniature flag images. It even had an ID number, yet I didn’t feel anything close to being a boy scout. Instead, as I walked around the school grounds with the crushing weight of my backpack I felt like Quasimodo – the Hunchback of Notre Dame.


My cousin (the eldest of the three, who was in JSS3 at the time) used to make fun of me – at home and at school. We didn’t quite get on initially but during my stay at his mum’s place I started trying to emulate his style as much as I could. He was like the big brother I never had. He would help guide me through this transition from Pee Wee Herman to ‘Cool’, from Inspector Clousseau to ‘Bam’, and from N-Sync to ‘Hard’. First stop – the barbershop.


My cuz and I went to the local barbershop and said hello to the natives. I was corrected abruptly. Hello = Not cool. Hi = cool. What’s up = cool. How far! = Razz but way better than Hello. Anyway, I got into my chair and looked up at the charts to see what was on the menu. Skinned (Oh, HELL no!), Bobby Brown slant (not brave enough), The Punk (hmm, now there’s an idea!) It was a kind of square-cut with a puffed top (View pic: Kadeem Hardison a.k.a \’Dwayne Wayne\’ in teen comedy, \’A Different World\’ ). It was one of those I-love-my-mama-but-she-don’t-tell-ME-what-to-do haircuts. It commanded respect. I loved it. I got my first pair of Reebok pumps too. I even started wearing cologne (with a cologne-drenched handkerchief in my top pocket just for good measure).


I was ready to re-enter I.S.I with new a found sense of courage. At break time it was ‘cool’ to be seen having lunch with a (pretty) girl. After managing to save up a decent amount of pocket money I asked a girl to lunch, she agreed, and we took a pleasant stroll to the kiosks to get our soft-drinks and snacks. As I sat on a ledge with her I was excited because I could feel eyes on me…not hers, my peers. They were filled with awe and probably a little jealousy. I savoured this moment. But mid-way through my conversation I felt like either I had coughed up a fur ball or Barry White’s ghost was trying to use me as a medium to convey a message. Perfect! Just as I was trying to break my way into the ‘In-crowd’ my voice decided to break its way into Puberty.