28 JUNE 2017
I don’t write about the absurd and mundane things that happen during my day-to-day life that much anymore. I used to. But I used to have a group of online friends who engaged with me, and I with them at small online communities like Swinney.org and Citynoise.org. Significant time was spent online posting to these sites or chatting on efnet and icb. In my case, it was mostly immature drivel, but it wasn’t so bad being immature and drivelly.
The ways we use the Internet have changed, but more importantly, we all got older and mostly matured. A lot of us grew to abhor drivel. Some of us married. Some of us had kids. Some of us got divorced. We moved around and wound up in awkward time zones and at varying levels of social mobility. In a few real sad cases, death visited way too fucking early. It’s fun to reminisce, but that shit is over and done with. The community erosion occurs so slowly that it only becomes apparent once you start reminiscing. Will people a generation younger than me reminisce about the good old days of Facebook? I doubt it, but fuck, probably. With Slack, an attempt was made to resurrect ‘the good old days’, but that attempt has mostly, in my opinion, failed.
As I said in my first post, I’m pretty sure I am going through some sort of mid-life crisis. I think that’s why I rebooted the blog and started writing and making gifs again. There are a lot of things I want to say and saying them on this site is as good a place as any because while I want what I have to say to be out there, I want it to be found. Medium, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. just don’t resonate. The engagement that goes on nowadays feels, to me, bland and generic. There is a kind of energy missing from the Internet now. It may still be there. Isn’t it so that there are sounds that only the young can hear? Perhaps there are energies only the young can feel.
I started out by stating that I don’t write about the absurd and mundane things that happen during my day-to-day life that much anymore, but today I would like to do just that.
I’m trying to organize various documents needed to enroll my daughter into daycare. It’s not that hard except that most of the documents required by the daycare are in Korean…but whatever, I’ve gathered them together. This is Nigeria. This isn’t a nation of sticklers, so I am confident I won’t need the documents translated and notarized like I would in, for example, Canada or Korea. The only thing left to do was get passport photos of my daughter and her nanny.
During the first week or so of landing in Nigeria I’d had to obtain passport photos for my Nigerian Identity Card. For some reason the MoFA needed eight of them. My wife’s driver took me to a local photo place. Eight photos cost me N5,000; about ten bucks. It didn’t feel like I’d been ripped off, but I was. My wife had photos taken at the same shop later in the day, and she paid N6,000. She didn’t fee like she’d been ripped off, but she was. And now that I need passport photos for my daughter, I felt perfectly content being ripped off at that same photo shop again.
So I got my daughter and her nanny into the car, drove to the shopping complex, and stopped at the barrier and waited for a security guard with a mirror he’s supposed to use to look for bombs under my car to walk around my vehicle and give a nod to the second security guard who raises the barrier. The practice was at one time taken seriously, but with the lack of bombings has since become just another routine at most places. The establishment was gone. There was a large government-issued sticker on the door notifying the public of the businesses non-compliance of something or other. I wasn’t going to be ripped off there again. I picked up some onions from the fruit dudes in the parking lot and got my daughter some sugar from a fading grocer and headed back home. On the way back, my daughter’s nanny told me that there were men on the side of the street who did passport photos for only N200. “What?” I bellowed. I’m not the kind of guy who pulls over to the side of the street and exits the vehicle to have passport photos of my daughter and her nanny taken by some dude with a dated canon point and shoot and a red blanket hung from an unpainted concrete wall. She said there was one just ahead of us but it wasn’t there. I was sort of relieved, but also sort of annoyed. With lunchtime, naptime, and afternoon playtime approaching, the photos would have to wait so I drove home.
This morning, after my second cup of coffee and my daughter settled into some milk, toast, and iPad, it took only a few minutes on the web to find a place not to far away that did passport photos for N1,000. Six minutes away according to Google maps. When my daughter’s nanny arrived at ten, I loaded them up into the car once again and headed for the studio. On the way, the nanny spied a red carpet hanging between two trees. We were on a busy road but I slowed down and made a U-turn at the roundabout. I hadn’t seen the carpet, so I drove slowly until the nanny told me to stop. The shoulder of the road was packed with cars. There were no parking spots. No matter. This is Nigeria. I just joined the rest of the cars unable to find a parking spot on the shoulder and simply parked next to them in the right lane. Five minutes later I had passport photos of my daughter and her nanny of laughable quality, but good enough for the daycare.