From Texas to Washington DC

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

I was away to Texas to visit with friends and family. I also struck friendship with the type of people one wish was part of ones family — friends who made ones visit joyful and momentous. My time in the Lone Star State was also occasioned by visits to museum, eateries in my old neighborhood, and by small and big get-togethers, and live music show. One of the finest Soukous music stars, Dany Engobo, came to town.

The initiated knows Soukous music; for the uninitiated however, well, let me just say that some revelers have been known to go into a trance. In earlier times, Africans called Soukous the Rumba, or Congo music. The French calls it secouer, that is, to shake! The dancers reminded me of private-dancers; and the atmosphere reminded me of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s Kalakuta Republic.

The Soukous is not for the faint-hearted.The women shake and shake and shake. They shake all their shakeables. They gyrate. They dance the fire dance. They dance the sinful dance. They dance and move and glide and float so much so a man may have stiff and warm movements behind his zipper and not know it.

Go with your wife or go with your lover if you intend to partake in a Soukous jamboree; otherwise, you may be tempted to leave her for one of the shakers. Long steamy moments lasting several nights and several days are not uncommon for some men after a secouer.

An Encounter at Continental Airlines…

As wonderful as my stay in Texas was, a seven or so minute encounter with a female employee at the Continental Airlines’ baggage/check-in station left a sour taste in my mouth. In several airlines in several cities, I have never encountered such sauciness. Amongst other insolences, there was no “hello…welcome…thank you” or other such courteousness. She couldn’t wait to dismiss me, and couldn’t wait to slap me with a twenty-five dollar excess luggage fee.

During the encounter, I came close to saying to her what Donald Trump said of Rosie O’Donnell: “a slob…she’s crude, she’s tough, she’s arrogant, she’s pushy, and she’s disgusting. In certain ways she’s a degenerate.” She really was! One would think she was mad at the world, or that she hated her life and her job.

There were other things I also wanted to say to her, but I was afraid. I was afraid that the security guys will haul me away or ban me from ever flying Continental, or that I could be placed on the no-fly-list. I didn’t want any wahala — and I certainly didn’t want to be noticed by the Homeland Security folks — so I kept my mouth shut, swallowed my pride.

But here is the saving grace: the flight attendants were super and the service was superb. They made the flight much more wonderful.

Ground Transportation at Reagan International…

About eighty percent of the shuttle bus and cab drivers I saw/met were Nigerians. Their looks, accents, manners, and names gave them away. Others were either Ethiopians or Somalis or from other parts of East Africa.

Now, what is it with Nigerian men and cab driving? Some will deny being Nigerians. Such denials generally make me engage in catch-me-if-you-can game. There was this fellow who told me he was from Accra, Ghana. When I asked him what section of Accra, he mumbled and stammered, and then confessed to being a Nigerian. He then went on to tell me how, after almost a decade after earning his masters degree, he couldn’t find commensurate employment. His grand plan, which has been in effect since leaving college, was to “save enough money and then return to Nigeria.”

Speaking of Nigerian men and cab-driving, what is it about Nursing (and nursing related fields) and Nigerian women? Cab-driving or Nursing or CNA…a job is a job is a job…Just wondering, just wondering; no judgment call on my part.

A Day After Returning Home…

Upon returning to my shanty apartment, I was greeted by several realizations:

  • President Obasanjo sacked, or attempted to sack Vice-President Atiku
  • Atiku is in exile or on extended stay (a few miles from my place of residence).
  • Saddam Hussein was hanged, and in death became a martyr
  • I’ll be unable to keep my New Year resolution to lose 40-65 pounds
  • Most women will not hang around a struggling man no matter how great the guy

By the way; does anyone know how much Nigeria has spent on Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson and the Sullivan enterprise? Whenever I think of Andrew Young and his ilk, the image of someone undeservedly milking a cow comes to mind. Well, that’s just me…

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1 comment

Chi January 12, 2007 - 8:40 pm


Those are my exact feelings on Andrew Young. Such disappointment!


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