Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I'm back at work at the Ministry but frustrated by a thousand things: Mama the cleaner (and drinks supplier for our floor) is still on leave so our office is accumulating: chicken bones encircle the bin (I find them too hideous to contemplate picking up). The civil servant has his daily picnics in the office with his chums; they sit in bovine silence and watch tv (I force them to watch it with the sound down - I have a low tolerance for noise), or else they endulge in that favoured Nigerian male pastime - political gossip, otherwise they speak in hushed tones - indicating more dubious activities; the phones are not working, the connection is too slow to browse the Internet. Meanwhile, contractors who were supposed to have finished everything before Christmas are not answering their phones. One takes two steps backwards to every one step forward.

Meanwhile, my body is reacclimatising. The atmosphere in Abuja is laden with dust - Aso Rock has become a phantom giant elephant shrouded in haze. My stomach is making complaints - some West African bacteria have found a new home again - causing me to feel numb and dizzy in the head. I down litres of water to flush them away.

The inspiration of London is still inside me - each day I spend one hour writing and one hour reading - how productive I will be this year if I can keep it up.

I leave you this night with this gnomic thought - inscribed onto the windshield of an okada driver near Park and Shop today: "What is the world?"


Kemi,  1:51 am  

What is the world?
A donut.

Grace,  3:10 pm  

Favored Nigerian male pastime? That's so funny- I thought I was the only one who gripes about that.

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