When you speak in the language I do not understand, you literally throw me into the valley of overwhelming thoughts.
I could bury my soul there for as long as you’d speak. I just could be lost. Have you forgotten that old story about the tortoise who claimed to be “everybody”? He succeeded because nobody understood its language (tricks).
So, I patiently listened to“imagined” interesting stories, gist and rumors in a six-hour long journey from Calabar to Obudu. Italy our driver, Christian, Christiana Ukung Alawa and my Boss, Agba Jalingo, were all gisting away in their Bette vernacular. Only yours sincerely and Iwara Iwara were left out but I could hear it in their tone. I felt like being a part of the conversation, but was totally out of point – I was lost.
I had wanted to tell them to speak in English, but remembered my Boss was there…… I was lost again.
We arrived safely but for some discoveries, my Boss suggested we visit his mum as courtesy would demand.That, we did. Their loyal hospitality got me confused.
I was not sure the meal was for the six of us until they brought six cups, six spoons and six trays. I asked myself “will they, for once, realize there’s one person who doesn’t know what delicacy this is? I was lost again and again.
It was groundnut soup (mixed with bitter leaf) and pounded yam. This ‘collabo’ passed through my throat like I have done it before. Late hours slipped in; it was time to head for our lodge.
The following morning, as my custom is, I visited the bathroom to wash my face. I could do this with a touch of my bathing soap, but hey! I was confused. What happened? I asked myself “this water is damn hard” I exclaimed.
I exhausted one baked bathing soap for my morning bath……. but that did not get me lost. I have promised to be accustomed with anything. The height of it all was at dusk, (when we visited the Obudu Stadium).
For once, my gadgets are always on stand-by during ceremonial activities, so I can have a replay when I return. But here, I forgot I went with them. You know why, there was a bomb. It landed on my hand.
The bomb came in such a sound “kugbudu, kingie kimen kimbe”. At the sound of the bomb, the whole crowd (women, men, boys, girls, ladies, guys, children, youth, adult, tall, short, rich and poor) shouted, screamed……. I looked around, searched within me and I was lost again and again and again.
I summoned courage to set up my gadgets. After the 30-minutes“kugbudu…..kimbe”, which I later found out means: “Obudu, your suffering has ended.”, a promise by Ayade from the PDP campaign rally podium in Obudu, I shut down and headed for my lodge.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t trace my direction anymore. I was pressed in the crowd and finally was lost again and again and again and again.
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