Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sleep Paralysis, A Sufferer's View

I heard that rushing air sound, a whooshing in my ears and fear started in me as my heart began to pump faster and quickly I opened my eyes. I looked around in apprehension. I knew that sound. Still feeling sleepy despite the fear I changed position and tried to go back to sleep.

It came again. Not immediately. But not too long after either. I could hear my heart beat in increase in fear and I quickly opened my eyes and stood up. I picked up my phone cursed Power Holding for holding as usual in recent times and switched on my mobile data. Not much was happening on social media. Everyone was asleep I guess. I read the few posts and tweets I found and dropped back the phone. My eyes ached I needed to sleep. I drew the curtains to the side it to let in fresh air, it was a bit hot.

Back in bed I closed my eyes again and immediately the sound returned. So did the fear, and my heart responded to the distress but this time I couldn't open my eyes or move again. I knew it/they were here. I felt foolish. How could I have forgotten where that sound came from? They had taken a little break and I had gone and almost forgotten.

I felt someone slide into bed with me, I felt the mattress compress and then the pain of being compressed, being crushed started. I was lying on my side backing whatever whoever was behind me but my back felt like it had concrete sitting on it. My heart beat went wild to keep up with my fear and with the corner of my eye I saw someone walk pass the window. I had gone through this a thousand times watched this play a thousand times but somehow it never gets better or easier to handle.

I remembered someone from a sleep paralysis forum said he had tried to quell the fear and ask whatever it was what it wanted. Lucky him. I was in panic mode now and praying and struggling to open my eyes and get up. For though i knew i could see i knew the angle at which i saw was not my normal sight line and that my eyes were closed. I switched between English and Tiv in prayer incoherent even to me.

And then it was over and I was up, eyes wide open, off the bed and standing almost in tears. How can one be so helpless. From 13 years till now is a terribly long time to suffer what you don't know and can't explain. Reading medical journals about sleep paralysis makes me mad. Can't they just admit they don't know what the heck it is?

I looked at the time almost 4am. I opened the door and went outside. Immediately the dog started barking. I called her. She is sitting here by my feet as I type. My back still aches. It will stop later or at most in a couple of days. This attack didn't last long.....at least I felt it didn't.

What exactly is this? What does it mean? Why does it happen? Why to just a few of us? Who are they? What do they want? Why is there such an overwhelming sense of fear when they come? How come it only happens when you are alone? Why does it happen when you are about to fall asleep or just waking up? What makes them go away at times for months and then return? Why can't they ever just say what they hell it is they want?

Somehow I don't think I want to know the answer to that. The feeling that comes over me when it happens is open your eyes and stand up before its too late.

What exactly is sleep paralysis? And please don't tell me any REM stories.

Friday, 26 September 2014

One Cold Rainy Day (Part 2 of 4)

Ego frowned when she saw who was calling. Trust him to be the one to add to your misery she thought crossly. She had never known a more annoying man in all of her life. The funny aspect was Mr Jake was very handsome and she used to like him a lot and dream about being his girlfriend. The first day he stopped beside her as she walked home from the bus stop and said hello she had been so giddy and flustered that she didn't realise she was incoherent until he asked if she stammered.

She had reluctantly given her number but almost died with happiness when he called later. He told her he fell in love with her the moment he saw her and though she didn't believe him the words warmed her heart and for a few days she had floated around happily that even friends had noticed and asked her why she was always absent minded and smiling. On phone she was cool with him and refused every invitation to go out or visit his house which was just down her street but she loved the attention and dreamt big dreams about becoming his woman.

That was until she saw him visit Aunty Amanda in the office and the love she felt for him suffered a landslide. That whole day she had worked in a daze trying not cry telling herself she wasn't a child and shouldn't have expected him to be unattached even though he told her many times he didn't have a girlfriend. She felt a bit of contempt for him too that he wasn't even Aunty Amanda's main man or constant visitor. It was not a good day for her love for him and it showed greatly in her responses to him when he called but he seemed not to even notice. That was strike 2. After that she became cold towards him but deep in her heart she knew the love she had had for him was still there still smoldering.

Jake heard the sadness in her voice the moment she said that nonchalant hello. Normally he ignored  or refused noticing or asking women how they were feeling. It was a recipe for bullshit he did not have time nor the patience for but not today. Today he was a desperate man. So he asked her what was wrong and refused to accept the 'nothing' she offered and 3 minutes later he was listening to her cry and try to make sense of the story of frustration she was relating. He told her he was coming over to pick her and if she didn't come out he would come in.

He drove out there immediately but wasn't sure which particular house and he wasn't sure she would come out. It was a pleasant surprise to see her peeping from a gate on the left holding a tiny umbrella. The moment she got into the car she announced she wasn't going to his house to which he promptly told her she needed air so he was talking her to the lake.

Ego looked at Mr Jake from under her lashes they were walking by the lake under a large umbrella he held in his left hand while his right hand rested loosely on her shoulders and he kept telling her that things would be fine. She had never seen or thought of him as a caring person and felt touched and happy and grateful that someone understood what she was going through.

E : The rain is splashing on your jeans
J : See how you care about me? It splashed on your beautiful legs but its this jeans you are concerned with
E : (laughing) I can rinse my legs easily but you don't look like someone who likes washing
J : Ok today I will wash your legs and wash this jeans and mop the mud we take home

He said it in a carefree tone, things were going fine and he didn't want her slipping back to her usual reluctant manner.

E : (Her tone becoming serious and low) I am not going to your house

Jake stopped and turned to look at her holding the umbrella with both hands and lifting it high above them. She looked down twisting her hands

J : Look at me. Are you afraid of me? Do you think I would hurt you have I tried to force you to do anything? Look at me

Reluctantly she looked up at him and shook her head.

J : Then come and visit me if after 5 minutes you don't like it I will take you home.....I don't want to be arrested for giving you a cold in this weather....deal?

She smiled and slowly nodded.

Her heart was beating madly she wasn't sure she was getting enough oxygen when they got back into the car and even though he kept changing CDs and asking her which she liked it was a strained drive back to his house. It was a huge house just as she had imagined and she stood off by the door until he came and dragged her walking her straight into his bedroom when he felt her start to pull back he told her to go into the bathroom lock the door add a chair if she wanted and take a hot shower while he fixed her a cup of tea.
She looked at him unsure, he pulled at her hand gently leading her into the bathroom

J : Just drop your dress into the dryer and by the time you are done it will be dry and you can wear it. I promise I won't break down the door I promise I won't even come back into the room until you come out to the sitting room ok?

Without waiting for a reply he turned and walked out closing the door behind him. Ego stood there confused and  wondering what to do next. Then she locked the door and turned around to look at the bathroom. She felt cold and a hot shower sounded like a very good idea.

Jake thought he was just about due for an award as Mr Patient. There was a bit of fun in this cat and mouse game but he was really getting bored now. He went into the guest bathroom and showered then returned to the kitchen to get the tea going.

The first thing the girl said to him when she came out of the room was
"You have a girlfriend" and immediately he denied it wondering what she had seen to bring that on.
"Yes you do....Aunty Amanda!"
"Amanda?... lol, She is my cousin....why did you say that"
"Your cousin?....I saw you in her office,  I work there"
" Yes she is my cousin.....is that what you thought that I have a girlfriend?"

Feeling shy and stupid she nodded. He came to her and hugged her and though she hung her hands by her side she didn't try to move away. Which he counted as a good sign. Amanda his cousin! Hilarious.  One had to think on his feet though. He hoped that was the end of the Amanda angle.

"Come sit down let me get you a cup of tea its really cold"

When Ego woke up it was already getting dark.

One Cold Rainy Day (Part 1 of 4)

Jake was thoroughly bored. Nothing worse than waking up to a cold cold rainy Saturday with nothing to do. It was well into the day but the rain that had started before his alarm went off by 6am showed no sign of relenting. It was cold and he was bored and lonely. He thought about Amanda and wondered what she was doing....probably ....ing someone or the other. He had never come across a girl that lied so much but funnily he admired her greatly. She was a fantastic lover cook and home keeper if you could get her to stay still for a bit. Although she was also the most promiscuous human he had ever met he felt she would make a good wife. After marrying her of course he would have to cure her of a few things....he smiled at the thought.

Then sighed. How did that help this hard-on. He had tried calling 3 other girls but it seemed it was ignore Jake Saturday. The only one that picked up the phone said she was on her way to visit her sick mum. This was a girl that asked him for money if she needed to go visit a friend in the same city but conveniently forgot to collect transport to go see a sick mother....hadn't she collected money to go bury her mum once? He wasn't sure maybe it wasn't her. But it sure was Ignore Jake Saturday.

That was when he remembered Ego. That slip of a girl that always paid no attention to his advances. When it didn't irritate him it amused him that it was a mere 22 year old that was taking him for such a ride. She returned his gifts, and ignored him after saying Hello when she saw him. She would take his calls and answer hmm, yes, no till he got tired and cut off the line. She wasn't even in the league of his usuals. He wondered what the silly girl was up to now and picked up his phone.

Ego laid in bed trying not to cry. The endless rain was adding to her annoyance and sorrow. All her friends were in the university all of them and here she was still unable to get a credit in Mathematics on her fourth attempt. Sometimes she felt there was a plot against her how come it was the same Mathematics she always managed to fail was it harder than the Physics that she had once gotten a B in? All she wanted was a C even a 6 would do fine but not even a pass it was another F staring at her. What would she do she thought frantically.

She didn't want to work as tea-girl all her life despite the fact that the expatriates she worked with paid well and had given her accommodation. She wanted to be like Aunty Amanda dress sharply and be a top executive.....ok she didn't want to have so many men visiting her in her office when she got one but she did want to be intelligent like Aunty Amanda. She was kind too and always laughing and happy. She had even taught her how to add slices of cucumbers and make a glass of water seem like something else and also a dash of ginger into tea. People appreciated that and she got tips. It was very doubtful that the woman had started with 4 failed WAEC attempts Ego thought miserably pulling her blanket around her shoulders and watching the rain through the window. That was when she heard her phone ringing.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

SHIPPING PACKAGES US TO NIGERIA : NIPOST REVIEW


The Nigerian Postal Service and I have had an up and down relationship, from a very happy one when I was in primary and secondary school and had pen pals all over the world. My letters got delivered and replies reached me even if it took a month, to the very sad events of a year ago when  some nifty NIPOST workers decided to help themselves to some of my items before I got there and met everyone with a blank face.

I have been itching to write them a very lousy but true review but never got around to it until someone was 'gisting' me about the changes in the service and asked me to try them again. If you buy stuff outside the country and try to ship it back home that's when you will realize there are plenty problems but none as big as the problem called a NIGERIAN.

An average Nigerian in business will show you no courtesy, no respect and if his/her business is in demand know it that you are entitled to a double dose of disrespect. First you spend hours if not days reading horror stories of what this and that shipping company did to people then you eventually settle on one for lack of options. Their websites will make you wonder, their customer service will put the fear of God in you. But know it that your troubles just got started.

SO I DECIDED TO TRY NIPOST......again.

I bought my stuff and had it sent by USPS priority mail from Canada to Nigeria. It had a 3.28kg weight. I checked customs on the item and discovered it had no tax or VAT. Stored away that information for when I would receive the item. The package was posted on 23rd of July. A week later (6 days actually) out of boredom (I had decided it might take a month to get here) i checked to see where it had gotten to. The tracking number worked on both the USPS site and the NIPOST site. To my surprise I saw the package had arrived Nigeria and was with Customs. Next day I checked again it had cleared customs and was at the post office. Following day 30th July I saw it had reached Wuse post office which is the post office in my area. I waited a few days to see if the Post Office would contact me but nobody did so on the 5th of August I went there showed my tracking number and was promptly given my package and a receipt for the 500 Naira I was charged.

Yes I am still pleasantly surprised on how fast the package got here. Only drawback is the cost. I paid $80 postage. The beauty of it was that not one item was missing or handled badly. In fact the package looked untouched. Just the way I like it :-D


I would have given NIPOST a perfect 10 score for the service (Please note that USPS ended when it entered Nigeria and was then handled by Nigerians.....us :-p ) but I will give them 8 of 10. I am deducting those 2 points for the dusty office, badly dressed workers yapping at the top of their voices and for having to walk into a passage way to get my package. They should have taken the tracking number, gone in and brought out my package. Ok I will return back 1 point for the large complex' (though most of it looks un-used and ill-used) parking space. Finding parking space in that area can be a pain so its a 9/10.

NIPOST WELL DONE on this one at least. I will be back again.

If you have had any experiences with NIPOST please share.

I sent some items through two shipping companies ShippyMe(Circuit Atlantic) and Luxury Shipping Lines they are both on -3 already and the stuff isn't even here yet. Will keep you posted ;-)

Friday, 11 July 2014

Got your Legal Paypal account in Nigeria Yet?

Yeah Paypal at very long last has reached Nigeria. Ok that's old news that happened a month ago but not everyone who wants to has been able to find Nigeria on the list. Yep I couldn't find it either and went a-searching and tarah!

The way an e gives very different meanings to :
Please note all payments are in Naira AND
Please not all payments are in Naira
is the same way we couldn't find Nigeria. Ok maybe not exactly that way but I have been looking for where to play that in :-D

End story. Get started sign up for Paypal

https://www.paypal.com/ng/webapps/mpp/home

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Perfect Male

Doctor Martin Lester smiled from ear to ear as his many achievements in robotics were listed and friends and colleagues seated close by patted him heartily on the back. He stood to rousing applause when his name was finally called and walked to the podium shaking perhaps a dozen hands on his way. He was sharply dressed, he looked immaculate, he felt immaculate.

It was a great day. He, Doctor Lester who once lived in an orphanage for 6 years even though to the best of his knowledge he wasn't orphaned, was now the most talked about scientist on the planet. And rightly so. He had designed the Robot of all robots. He felt a bit miffed that his creation still had to be listed as a robot where one could mistake it for the common house chore robots that littered every household. At least the term 'best robot' in the world set it apart from ordinary rag tag robot designs.

It wasn't every day the perfect robot man was designed. In fact there was hardly any robot with a distinguishable sex until his perfectly male robot. A robot designed to be the perfect man, gentlemanly, loving, caring, patient, hardworking,  a listener, a friend, a protector and a great lover. Haha! he swore at his parents, a father he never knew and a mother who wouldn't take an 8 year old baggage to her new life of a husband and a real home.

He had come a long way from all that. Today he was the greatest man alive. A man who had solved the great problem of what women really wanted. He had created the perfect man. As he stood there talking about his creation and his great vision for the future, he looked around at the great mass of people....here because of him. Little ginger haired Martin of the freckles and pimples. Indeed he had come a long way from scholarships and awards through three marriages and divorces. He had left his bad days behind.

Or at least that was what he thought until it was time for questions and an impeccably dressed female at the back who's face he couldn't see raised her hand. He wondered who she was and why the crowd seemed to turn around with such intensity to hear her speak. When however a mic got to her and her voice rang out through the speakers he felt his heart plummet and saw himself again standing again at the orphanage wondering what he had done wrong.

"Tell me Doctor Lester how does a man with 3 failed marriages and a recorded history of violence design the perfect male? Through experience perhaps? And is this a perfect male by your standards or by the standards of females?"

The audience turned as one back to Martin when his third and ex wife gave up the mic. It was as if she was sure she wouldn't need to say anything more no matter his reply.

Martin Lester stood watching his mother drive away that sunny day with his little green box by his side and the huge fat woman he would call Mama for 6 years rubbing a soothing hand in his bright ginger head. What had he done wrong.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Wisdom Is An Asset

There was this woman who had a young man flirting with her. She appreciated his attentions but could not take it forward for you see she was older and married and living with her husband.

One day however she deviced an indigenous plan. She decided to visit her daughter who was also married but lived miles and miles away. She invited this young man to join her on the travel. He, of course gladly accepted.

So she arrived her daughter's home with the young man in tow. Her daughter didn't understand who the young man with her mother was but was too respectful to ask. Her husband who she felt would have enquired was out of town. She twisted her hands and hoped for her husband to return early when her mother requested only one room be prepared for her and her young male.

Two days later to the poor girl's great relief her husband returned. She told him what was going on and immediately he called his mother in-law to order threatening to report the events to his father in-law at their very next meeting. The woman in anger left the very next day with her beau in tow.

A week after his mother in-law left he received a very terse letter from his wife's father summoning him to come over immediately. The young went to see his god-father and told him of the events passed. His god-parent told him he had done right, foolishly. He adviced him if he loved his wife and wished to keep her he should act with wisdom when he faced his in-laws.

When the young man arrived at his parents in-law his greetings were returned coldly. He sat facing both of them and the following discussion ensured.

Man: My father in-law I greet you mother of my beautiful wife I greet you too. Pray I have met you two in good health?

Mother in-law: Hmm!

Father in-law: I wish it was so. Let us not beat about the bush. I will like to know why you wanted to rape my wife, mother of your wife. Did we do wrong by giving you our daughter?

Man: Ahhhh my father please forgive me

Mother in-law: forgive you indeed! (scoffs)

Man: You see how beautiful your wife is...you see how much your daughter takes after her. I was away for days and missed my wife I couldn't wait to get back to her and when I did I couldn't wait to hold her. I didn't realise my mother in-law had come to visit, you see and out of the great respect we always show her your daughter put her in our room. I thought it was my wife I was hugging....you know how beautiful and young and so like my wife she looks, until she screamed I thought it was my wife I....

Mother in-law: (cutting in) That is exactly what happened my husband!


And the young man returned to his wife and they lived  happily ever after.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Other Baby

I came across this picture a few days ago and to be honest was a bit shocked. I don't think I ever imagined men sucking when there is a baby around and when obviously the woman's breast was with milk. It got a few weird thoughts racing through my head. Does a baby suckling bring pleasure on any level to it's mother? (innocent question no need to burn me up yet)

It is obvious suckling brings great pleasure to the child innocent as it may be but the other baby looking at this picture seems to be drawing life from what he is doing. The woman too looks to be aiding the theft of the sleeping baby's milk. What I want to know is since both are drawing milk from her right now, is it instinct that separates the pleasurable from the nurturing? Help me understand. Mothers I appeal to your sense of educating the idiotic, sincerely, is there a difference? I know this question probably offends the senses but I can't stop thinking about it.

Funny thing is on some level I find this a very beautiful picture. The family. Together. Sharing.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

100 Movies You ought to Have Watched

There are a gazillion movies but this 100 should be in your 'Have Seen' list already. From Love stories to animation, horror, comedy, thrillers and all. This list probably left out some good ones but I kept the list to movies I have watched and given at the very least a 7 of 10 :-D

1. Shawshank Redemption
2. Sound of Music
3. Crash
4. Sinners and Winners
5. City of Angels
6. The Patriot
7. A Destiny of her Own
8. Tombstone
9. Saving Private Ryan
10. Legends of the Fall
11. Pretty Woman
12. Gladiator
13. Good Will Hunting
14. Glory
15. Troy
16. Pearl Harbour
17. Slumdog Millionaire
18. Star Wars - The Phantom Menace
19. The Good the Bad and the Ugly
20. Scent of a Woman
21. Last Samurai
22. The Exorcist
23. Casablanca
24. ET
25. Die Hard
26. Raiders of the Lost Ark
27. Romancing the Stone
28. The Last Boyscout
29. The Mummy
30. Terminator
31. Devil's Advocate
32. Robocop
33. Lion King
34. Always Remember I love You
35. Untouchables
36. Django
37. Lord of the Rings
38. The Champ
39. Rocky
40. Madagascar
41. Seven Samurai
42. The Avengers
43. Sleepless in Seattle
44. Forest Grump
45. King Kong
46. The King and I
47. Azumi
48. Oliver Twist
49. Pirates of the Caribbean
50. Wizard of Oz
51. Silence of the Lambs
52. Iron Man
53. Man in the Iron Mask
54. Drunken Master
55. Tuck Everlasting
56. The Matrix
57. Constantine
58. Gone with the Wind
59. SuperMan
60. Akira
61. Toy Story
62. The Sixth Sense
63. Scorpion King
64. 300
65. Sin City
66. ConAir
67. Dragons Forever
68. Conan : The Babarian
69. Aladdin
70. Mercury Rising
71. Indiana Jones n the Temple of Doom
72. Yeh Vada Raha
73. Not Without my Daughter
74. 7 years in Tibet
75. The Constant Gardner
76. Blood Diamond
77. Enter the Dragon
78. The Killer
79. The Bodyguard
80. The Day after
81. Van Heilsing
82. No Country for Old Men
83. Django Unchained
84. The Green Mile
85. Rules of Engagement
86. Blade
87. Airforce One
88. Borne Identity
89. Soul Food
90. The Getaway
91. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
92. The Thief of Bagdad
93. Thor
94. Police Academy
95. The Pelican Brief
96. Eat Pray Love
97. Liberty Stands Still
98. Border
99. Despicable Me
100. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Maybe I will write a little on each movie soon.......I like to think every single movie listed here won't be a waste of your time or popcorn so if there is any you haven't watched yet best get cracking :-)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

5 Things You Should Do Before You Move On

I keep seeing a whole lot of bucket lists, 1000, 100, 50, 30 things to do before you die. And I thought to myself what things would I love to do before I die?

If you fall in love no matter the timing allow yourself to fall. Float in its euphoria, enjoy it's joy and freedom, be greatful for the gift and above all aspire to suffer disruption deserving of it's time. Love is crazy but love inspires us to understand the reason for life itself. I am not talking about friendship that blossoms, it's that unexpected attack of feelings so sure even breathing becomes a secondary necessity.

Set out to do at least one thing you yearn for no matter how far fetched it seems. Explore the power of mind over matter. Is your biggest dream driving a Ferrari? Go look at one, pick a colour even, find out it's price and draw up a plan to get to own it. Don't worry too much if it's a 10 year plan. If you feel in 10 years you wouldn't want one then you actually don't want a Ferrari it's just a passing fancy. When you want anything badly you will find a way, it's the power of mind (will) over matter. Houses, horses too and even a pair of shoes follow the same principle. Want it enough to set into motion the process of getting it. It does not matter how fickle it seems to others its your dream.

An education from school is a great asset but an education from travel is priceless. Aspire to travel and when you do don't just be a tourist following tourist routes. Find and meet the locals they are what that place is about and not the guide books. You think you know people, about places but travel and you will discover that what you think you know and what really is are worlds apart. Travel close travel far but above all, travel. What you learn will never be taught in any school.

In this life, find time to live alone. Just you. By yourself on your own. To discover you, find time to sleep alone, wake up alone, think alone, do things by yourself, think for yourself.  Just you. With no thought and consideration to people's opinion or feelings for a while. To discover you, to explore you, to learn your strengths,  what you are capable of, to know who you really are, you must live alone even if only for a short while.

Study the Supernatural. Be it God, Allah or whichever other Almighty Being you know or have heard of. Everyone believes in the Supernatural, believes there is Someone out there or Something out there bigger than us greater than us. Study it for yourself from your perspective. Read books, study the events around your life try to make meaning of it by yourself and for yourself.  By all means be religious but seek to discover a personal truth not necessarily an accepted one.

There are a zillion things to do in this life but certainly these five must be part of it :-D


Monday, 10 February 2014

The Day It Happened

Dinah had woken up unhappy. She couldn't remember any bad dreams or having a sleepless night. She just woke up profoundly unhappy. She laid back in bed wondering why she was feeling that way. A shiver of fear ran through her at the thought of her mother and two younger siblings and immediately she reached over for her phone to call them. Something was not right, maybe with her, maybe with the world, she didn't know but she was convinced something wasn't right.

She almost cried in relief when she heard her mother's voice but the worry in her tone got her heart beating wildly.
'Ma are you OK?'
'Dinah are you OK'?
They both asked. Dinah assured her mother she was fine and listened a bit freaked out as her mother explained she had woken up with a bad feeling and gone to check on the boys who were still sleeping and was about to call her when the phone rang. They spent twenty minutes trying to figure out why they both felt something was wrong far away from each other as they were.

Work dragged on as usual, boringly. She went through the motions without much thought. After six years of doing the same thing 5 days a week, she could carry on with her brain left in the fridge and her eyes closed. But the strange feeling she woke up with persisted and at lunch she had called her mum again. Freaking out a little more than she was, her mum had decided to keep the boys home for the day and that the clients of her little herb shop could do with a break too.

She looked at the clock again in frustration.  The twenty minutes left felt like an eternity she couldn't live through. Suddenly, at least three of the office phones went off as her mobile vibrated unable to join the cacophony.  The cries of "Oh God! Oh God!" filled the office before she could identify who was on her line and ponder on when her colleagues had become spiritual.

At exactly 6:28am when Dinah and her mum woke up feeling odd, a still sleepy and hungover man called Adam made the decision to clear a WyhiteAir plane that had not passed all tests for the third time running. The pilot, Captain Tristan was very experienced and a good friend of his. Things were bad everywhere, even in the aviation industry. If the fault was a really bad one, Tristan himself would have known by now and chosen not to fly it until it was fixed. He was a sensible man, so Adam cleared his plane.

He refused to think about the sadness he felt today. He refused to think about his ex wife and the happy life they had.....or he thought they had until that day he rushed home to tell her about his new job. Some days you wake up happy for no good reason there must be sad days too he told himself. Sad days when you remembered your wife had made you nip yourself because she didn't want kids and then took her cheating self away with half of everything you( where you was us) owned and left you too old and too nipped to try again for kids you always wanted. There were sad days and they would hang around if you allowed them. He would take Tristan out for a beer whenever he got back. That thought should have cheered him but instead he stared anxiously at the goose bumps that crept all over his right hand. Something was not right with the world.

7 hours on, WyhiteAir flight 776 took to the skies on a 3 hour 40 minute flight but it would only travel 3 hours and 10 minutes before it came back down faster than it had planned to with 258 of the souls on it screaming as the ground rushed to meet them.

Captain Tristan knew Adam would clear his plane, he wasn't worried about that. What worried him wasn't the fact that airline was yet unable to pull this plane out for a full check either. He worried that up until now he was yet to get a fix on the exact problem with the plane. He was also worried about the creepy sadness that he had woken up with today. An immense feeling of lonesomeness and sadness had come over him as soon as he opened his eyes. If he had family he would have called them immediately fearing the worst. He remembered a woman he had dated once, who had a herb to cure everything, she would have had a cure for this feeling. He didn't have a cure for the life she wanted of him and she walked away. He fought away the feeling as he got ready for work. Different beds, rooms, cities every day would give anyone the hibbily gibbily, he smiled to himself.

His plane as he loved to call it seemed to act as if in turbulence when there was actually nothing to cause that. He could always figure out what was wrong with a plane before it even went in and the fact that he couldn't pinpoint this fault worried him. It was as if the plane was mocking his 28 years in the skies commercially. After this return he would insist the airline look into it. It would hurt his pride a bit not being able to tell the boys at the shop what exactly was wrong with the plane as they had come to expect. Maybe level ground was calling to him, a life outside flying. He refused to think that horror any further.

It was Allison's first time in Business class and she wasn't enjoying it. Apart from the eerie feeling she had of pending doom she hated the busy air everyone in the class was putting on. Reading papers. Writing on pads and sipping bubbly.  In coach where she usually traveled people would lean over in the cramped space to say hello and ask where you were headed and for what. She had always felt it was intrusive but right now she wished for it sitting in this large seat with plenty of leg space and feeling very alone and weary. She thought regretfully of her first love and boyfriend, 11 years gone and wondered where he was and what he was up to. Maybe she could try to find him. Married with six kids, her mind mocked her.  It didn't matter she would find him she had to find him to remember a time when everything was right with the world. The gloom in her thickened. Something was not right with her world even if she was flying business class.

Ethan Spacey had been Captain Tristan's co-pilot on lots of flights for many years. He had been in love with the man longer. Today he was almost in panic. A feeling had come over him that this was the last opportunity he would have to tell Tristan how he felt. He kept taking fugitive looks at the man wondering if this was a good time to say it. He had seen the man with women enough times to know he most likely wasn't gay but today Ethan couldn't sit still, his heartbeat was crazy, his eyes glazed in feelings he thought would make him fly head first through the reinforced airplane windshield. He forced himself to count to 100 trying to still his heart. The captain was flying the plane as excellently as always but Ethan could tell he was deep in thought. 'Maybe I should wait till we land.....yes that's probably a better idea'. But his mind went on telling him he would not have another time to speak his love to the impressive man that sat confidently next to him effortlessly doing what was needed but deep in thought.

Manny was getting bored with chasing passengers out the toilets, it seemed everyone got on a plane these days to have sex in the toilets. Maybe he hadn't got the memo for sex in the air day, this was the fifth set he was chasing out on a less than 4 hour flight and he was becoming pissed. He should have been happy today but he wasn't and he couldn't say why. He had been allowed a two day lay over at their destination and his girl was planning a two day no outdoors do not disturb holiday. He had been looking forward to it for days but now today was here and a profound sadness and emptiness had come over him. Things would get better when this flight was over he thought as he stared stonily at a man who no doubt was trying to join someone in the toilet with his flight attendant smile in place.

Danny and his friends stood on the hill wondering if they would survive the slope on their bicycles. They didn't think they would ride down the slopes without incident but none of them thought that was any reason to cancel this event. It was Danny who first saw the plane and screamed "wow!" It was more of an impressed exclamation than that of worry. All 6 boys had never seen an airplane descend so fast or with its nose pointed almost directly to the ground. By the time their 10-12 year old minds realised the plane was crashing it had only 3 seconds of air-time left.

Of the 260 souls aboard WyhiteAir flight 776 only two arrived the ground not screaming. Captain Tristan as he fought to control his plane and his co-pilot who choose that moment to try and reach over and hug him. He felt a sadness that overwhelmed him, young Ethan had offered to join him when his scheduled co-pilot called in sick and he remembered all the times the young man had filled in, worked over-time with him trying to learn from him always attentive, anticipating and helping to make his flights smooth. All these years and he had never even acknowledged the boy. He turned to look at the young man holding unto his arm in fear and say thank you but word that came out strangely was "Dinah" and then it was over.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Let There Be Readers

The act of reading has totally and completed disappeared and this is rather funny because its in a era when we have the highest number of writers. One would think even the writers themselves are not reading.

I am of the old world. Of books and distant lands travelled at the turn of a page. Of distant cultures, strange but alluring, different but acceptable because someone there reached across time and space and explained it to you on the pages of a book.When history was written through people's eyes words and perception not through calculated efforts to distort and profit.

Oh don't get me wrong as the world has always had good and bad so even then there were those who would put in a fictional piece into history but because people read and wrote not all such fiction would escape detection. Alas now for even a 10page pamphlet we wait for others to read and give us the one line summary. And whatever they say and whatever their understanding of the writing is, it becomes ours.

And thus we have become a people easy to manage, easy to manipulate, easy to control. Just one little act of laziness.....the disdain for reading books....and here we are. Notice I said 'reading books' not just books. We are in an era of owning stuff. Far more than what we need far beyond what we have use for and books are not left out. People own shelves and shelves of books in their great number in their original jackets with pages never flipped as part of the theme of their abodes.

Writing used to be so much more than what it is today. It took a lot of reading to write. Random ideas are good and are the basic ingredients for a story but writing involves loads of reading. What else is there to write about? New ideas? I like to think every topic has been covered all you can write now is your view of it or your own twist.

I feel books are a gateway to freedom....of the mind first which is the most important. A book may stir your mind to the one side but plenty random books will help you see the east, west, north and south and allow you to form your own opinion of the whole.

Have you read the Chaucer's  Canterbury Tales? May I entice you? It's a book full of tales from a group of Pilgrims. It is actually a story telling contest as they journey to and from Canterbury. A most unlikely group group if ever.....a Knight, a Cook, a Miller, a Nun's Priest, a Yeoman, a Bath's wife, a Sergeant of arms and sundry. It is a story written in old English......very old English.

Its over a 100 hundred years so you can get the e-versions for free. To get a feel of the book if you don't feel like reading the whole book just yet try The Miller's Tale. Always loved that one.

No matter how advanced and sophisticated the world gets I dare say books, real books will always be part of us. Let's get back to reading books.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Alone And It's Demons

When you live alone for a long time even your thoughts adjust to 'alone' and your dreams follow suit. Alone becomes who you are in the way you think, talk and react to things. I live alone. Let me tell you about the day I didn't sleep alone.

Let me tell you a bit about me. I am part insomniac part sleep paralytic (if there is such a word for people who suffer from sleep paralysis). I live alone so I am used to sleeping alone but you see, I am a great believer in those that walk in the shadows, that ply the paths that lead sideways, that pinch you halfway here and halfway in the dream. That quickly fan away those dreams they refuse to let you remember.

And so peacefully I went to bed that night.

And opened my eyes in fear, I had this overwhelming feeling that someone was in bed with me. I tried to calm down afraid to turn and check. Stop being a fool I scolded myself you live alone you locked the door after your bath there was no one in the house so you are alone. Ghosts and demons might exist but the Powers that be wouldn't allow them to go sleeping in people's beds to frighten them to death when they are awake. You are alone. You are not dreaming so you are alone. But something told me I wasn't alone I could sense a being with me in bed but I was too afraid to turn around and check. What if there was actually someone there? That was something I didn't think my mind would live through.

But I had to check I had to know I couldn't just lie here trying to 'unbelieve' that fact that I totally believed someone was lying in my bed behind me. Slowly almost running out of my skin in panic I turned. And it was. Someone was lying there in my bed under the blankets. I started screaming. My mind refused to comprehend what I had just seen, it wanted out and so I screamed madly loudly, loud enough to stop my thoughts, to drone any that tried to form. Because I knew to think this was to lose sanity. To accept that someone, something was in my bed was to cross over to the other side so I continued to scream.

As if that was not enough 'it' touched me it tried to hold me down and I think I actually heard it speaking. I continued screaming blocking my mind from thinking, from hearing, from accepting.

It was a loud banging on my door and someone screaming my name that drew me back from the darkness and emptiness my mind was slipping into. I recognised my neighbour's voice shouting Hetty! Hetty!! What's wrong?! And I heard the words 'it' spoke then 'She is having a bad dream' and realised my eyes were tightly closed I screwed them open to see my cousin kneeling over me pinning me down and I could hear my neighbour insisting the door be opened and asking who was speaking.

In the moment I opened my eyes and saw my cousin I remembered I had been asleep when she came over and how I opened the door told her to check the fridge if she was hungry and returned to bed. I also realised I actually heard what she was saying when she first touched me....open your eyes you are dreaming. My neighbour said she heard the scream and almost died in fear that the person was actually dying before she realised where the sound was coming from and recognised my voice.

After everyone had gone back to bed I Iayed on the sofa crying. I had never been so frightened in my life and I knew if I had gone on screaming like that I would have died. My heart would have stopped if my mind had not stopped first to save me the trauma of the thought that those that move in the shadows that walk sideways could move into the light if they so willed so brazenly.

I have had people stay over in my place after then but sharing the bed with them has never been an option I have looked into at all. I might meet new demons on new paths but the path where old demons I met shall find me absent.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Discarding Traditional Methods That Work

I like to think the traditional orthopaedic method of using a chicken by proxy to heal broken bones of humans is (was) practiced everywhere in Nigeria. And that of drawing illness out of an ill person into a chicken then putting drops of the ill person's blood, nail cuttings and hair on the chicken before killing the chicken to save person's life.

Yesterday someone said something  that reminded me I had actually witnessed someone's broken leg healed by the chicken proxy method. I had also had a relative that was referred from an orthopaedic hospital to a traditional bone healing 'doctor' where he wore that squarish stick frame on his leg and drank herbs till he got healed. I also remembered a young goat that was treated very nicely back in the village when I was there on holiday because as I was told the oldest man in the house had been dying and he had gotten the goat's years (life) transferred to him. Whatever happened to the goat would happen to him when the goat died he toowould die.

Don't scream witchcraft at me just yet. Africa is a land full of people ready to discard all that which is theirs, passed along generation to generation even when the new ways are not as effective as the old. We know plenty of science and mind over matter but will rather continue to practice it at night and on our enemies even to our detriment instead of looking to how it will work in sunlight, benefit all and bring progress.

I make bold to say the traditional methods of curing broken bones were very effective and are still more effective than modern orthopaedic methods. How the essence of the human got transferred to the chicken or vice versa is something I might never know but it was/is done by those who know. The other method of using sticks to hold broken bones in place as they heal can be likened to the new methods but are still much more effective in time it takes to heal. One would think that since the sticks used are particular they may have curative pharmaceutical value in its natural form before the processing preservatives and colouring stages reduce its value to mere tablets.

But alas we live in modern times with modern gods and Africa did not help her cause with the shrouding of every act in mystery and restricting its knowledge to few. The chicken proxy method is now considered witchcraft because we are now Christians, Muslims even Atheists but remember to save some possessed persons from demonic possession didn't Jesus remove the demons and transfer them into pigs? The pigs took their problems and they became whole isn't that the essence? The human is saved?

There are so many traditions that this generation ought to have kept and gone about studying its science instead of allowing it to die and embracing new methods which are less effective. So many...too many really. To even believe witchcraft exists is now old fashioned..Is it the name that no longer appeals or do we truly believe there is no mind over matter?

Which other traditional healing methods do you remember?  Are they still in use back home where you are from? We are a generation torn between two worlds and the new world is winning but not for superiority most times.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

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The CASHless Society Before The Cashless Society

If you don't have an underground storage of cash where you fetch from, you would have noticed that Nigeria is slowly but surely becoming a cash-less society. This brand of cash-less is not necessarily that being touted by the CBN, no, this is the absence of 'loose' money in circulation because all we have we need and are using up immediately we get, and slowly moving towards 'he who does not work does not eat'. Even our politicians though still highly overpaid are not having it as easy as they used to.

There used to be a lot of 'loose' money running around. It came and it moved around. It could not be traced to any earnings and it was spent as loosely as it came. It was actually a good time when someone would give you #5k for airtime and #20k for taxi fare. It was a time when people without swag allowed their cash to do the talking. When money talked and bullshit worked.

Something has happened to change things. Money is no longer loose but becoming hard earned. Very well earned. I am no economist I don't know which policies are causing 'loose' money to become scarce but I can see it, I feel it. It pinches true but it is also a very good thing, it brings sanity. And hopefully we will return to the kind of society we had when I was a kid. Where kids didn't use their parents wealth to determine their friends and the wealthy were not more respected than the good or those older. When people did not have cause to blame others for their situations...well except those lazy cousins that know all the witches back home by name.

A time looks to be coming truely when he who does not work will not eat and I see artisans taking the day that time. Has there ever been a time when people did not sew because of austerity?  What about hair grooming? Car repairs? Buying food items? Clothes? Working in Manufacturing is fine but you can still be affected by lay-offs due perhaps to machines replacing you. These group has no fixed income like salaried workers, the harder the work, the longer hours they put in, the more income they will generate.

Do not run off to learn a trade just yet we are more concerned about the sanity a 'cashless' society will bring and if basic social amenities add to this every one who works will be content. The anger of having non and wondering what the hell Mr B has done to have all that cash at his disposal will be gone.

Have you noticed though? Loose cash isn't flying around like it used to and those who are not too busy complaining are learning to cut their cloth according to their available material :-D 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

To Save My Life........I Cried

I like to think I am carefree bothering on unconcerned about most things. If it is, then it is but if it isn't then what can I do about it...not very much I tell myself. I like to think I am strong. I am the type to roll my eyes as I listen to the many tales of 'my boyfriend' from friends while I hug them in sympathy. But I learnt the hard way, I found out strength is good but sometimes there isn't much it will do for you. Time has passed now so I am actually beginning to believe in strength again.

But there was a time I found out that hurt does not ask your strength, your affiliations or even if you are ready for it.  Sometimes oddly enough the route through which hurt travels to reach you might not even know it was such an effective courier. I am not a crier, unless you count those mushy movies that get you feeling so sorry for someone you start crying. Outside that I don't cry much or even at all. But I learnt there are tears that make your heart feel better and there are those tears that fall that your heart may not burst with the pain of grief it cannot bear. Those are the tears I want to talk about.....the type that saved my life.

One day I cried to save my life. 

I don't think there is anything I have ever being fully focused on or fully committed to. I am one of those big starters that get half way up the mountain and start wondering what am I doing there. Is this really what I want? And after then I just trudge along to the end to fulfill righteousness. He didn't wait for me to get to the stage of questioning why. He would have, but fate had it with me acting strong and wanted to teach me a good lesson. There are certain things you stumble upon that you know it wasn't just plain old coincidence but a script you had been drafted into unknowingly and unwillingly and terribly unprepared for. 

 I sat down trying to think, my heart was beating hard then it seemed to swell and then the pain took over. I was trying to think but my head had blanked out and I couldn't, all I felt was this horrible physical pain in my chest that seemed to increase with every attempt at thought and spread way down into my back. From a long way off I heard screaming, in a voice so full of pain and distress, forlon, lost. It was the sound of anguish. I didn't realise that sound was by me, around me. I didn't realise that sound was coming from me. I just had this feeling that if I couldn't cry.....actually tear.....I would die from the pain in my chest. I kept on screaming and screaming in pain, refusing to think, refusing any playbacks till the tears started to fall. It was as if the gods of tears had decided my pain had earned me the right to cry properly. As if they had decided that i now understood how loud grief could be, loud enough to shatter the very fabric of life. And so they allowed my tears to fall. After an hour of curling up in sobs that drew strength from my very soul, I reached the point of realisation of what pain really feels like. I understood what people mean when they say tears wash out pain from the soul. 

I dragged myself to bed and woke up in the middle of the night confused, wondering who I was and where I was and then it occured to me.

I am human and had just learnt another human emotion.