Tag Archive | postaday

For Sure, I Will Read It…

If the truth be told, what I know for sure is that I would not be able to resist digging into the book about my life and I will probably run to the very last page to see how it ended before taking my time to go through it with a fine tooth comb to know if the author/s got it right to the letter, if they did a shoddy job or if they tweaked it a bit to make the naughty parts juicier.Naked Truth

I am not going to tell you righteous tales of being so good that I won’t read it.

That would be telling a lie and my guardian angel would probably cover her eye’s in embarrassed shame at such a blatant fat gaffe.

It has been written already, so I might as well indulge and remind myself of somethings and possibly prepare myself for the best years of my life which lies ahead.

It actually reminds me of Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past. About how he got to mend his grumpy ways after the early revelations.

Without doubts, I know some pages will make me cringe in, ‘how-could- I-do-that’ manner.

Some would make me cry, laugh, get angry, sigh ,moan, feel nostalgic and every possible emotion that will be caught in-between.

I guess I will order up a box of tissue in case I turn into a watering pot, some feel good Swiss chocolate and a nice tub of Haagen Daz ice-cream to help smooth my ruffled feathers back into place or calm raging nerves if need be.

What a lovely exposition that would be, if ever such an opportunity came. After all, ”to be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

The Daily Post prompt This Is Your Life.

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. 

Advertisements

Nothing to be Tricked about…

1446317223911

This prompt is a bit difficult to sink my teeth into, but I am going to try to teleport back to the States for the trick a treating.

Halloween is still novelty and at infantile stage here in the United Arab Emirates, even though I saw some costumes and scary masks displayed in the shops, I observed that it is mainly people of Western culture that ventured to those aisles.

With the insularity of inhabitants in this place, my presumption is that the parents will be filling their children’s candy bags themselves. I am doubtful that there will be much knocking on doors going on.

On the other hand, let me let you in on a secret, if the truth be told, we African Nations are not particularly fond of celebrating Halloween.

Ha! It almost seems as if we are inviting the trouble of the dead and buried by doing so 😉

Hei! Biko kwa! (I speak in my vernacular to help you understand the seriousness of the affair), why would we want to go invoking the spirit of the dead who should be resting very well in peace?

Mbanu!

May All the Saints please remain nicely hallowed in their allotted portions at the cemetery.

Nonetheless, since I like the kids in the neighbourhood, if I were in the States, I shall spare them some candies the following day when all the saints have gone back quietly to their various abodes 😉

Enjoy the short skit below.

Quick Glossary:

Ha! An exclamation in this case meaning ‘What!’

Hei! Another exclamation like ‘Oh dear’

Biko kwa: Please/I beg your pardon.

Mbanu. NO, indeed!

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt Trick or Trick

Let’s imagine it’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

Those Heebie-Jeebies…

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Don’t bother about trying to convince me with any pep talk. It simply won’t work! There are some experiences that I can live without henceforth.

There are some things that mere thoughts of them gives me sufficient heebie-jeebies and for all the curry in India or tea from China I will be glad not to encounter or repeat such experience.

I literally break out in hives at the sight of a snake and would gladly walk barefoot over hot coals than come close to one. I have been known to go to zoos and completely by-pass the reptile zone.

My kids even make fun of that fact. You will hear them whisper conspiratorially, ”if mummy sees that sign, she will start screaming” and my youngest champion will get all protective of me. He would say, ”mummy don’t look!” ”You will get frightened like a little girl.” 

”Well son, I shall not look, but if truth be told mummy is a little girl in a big body.” With a stiff upper lip, I go and settle myself on a bench while they go off to look at the vile creatures. Urrgh!

I am not a cat with nine lives and even if I have twenty lives as well as a parachute bigger than a house, I am never going to jump off a plane in the sky. There is no point killing myself with palpitations.

The adrenaline jolt that I get inside the pages of my books or watching National Geographic is sufficient, besides, my ifly simulated experience was all well and good. Several days after, I was cross-eyed and walked with a squint like a drunk sailor.

Those dare-devil roller coaster rides are experiences called ”ONCE is enough.” My last experience at Abu Dhabi Theme park, made me realize that one could have a cardiac arrest in one of those contraptions. I went on a crazy roller coaster ride and spoke in tongues all through the ride. I think my heart stopped beating and restarted after we came down. I had to go and Merry go round 1recuperate quietly with a large cup of ice-cream to soothe my frayed nerves.

The kind of horror movies that is peddled these days are not designed for the squeamish and they would frighten the whiskers off a cat’s face.

I find the amount of gore and unbelievable diabolical acts perpetrated so revolting, that sometimes it makes me ponder at the deranged state of some human mind. I won’t spend my time or money just to feel sick.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt Fright Night

What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?

I must have been born exclaiming!

1445442236939

I do exclaim quite a bit, even in real life! I think we Africans tend to like a bit of drama, with all the Ahs! Ohs! Hei! O’s, Ehh’s! Hmm’s! that dots our spoken words to emphasize the thoughts that goes with the words.

So genetically, I practice this as a true African to help you get the drift of my thoughts!

I very well can’t add all the hmm’s and hah’s to my writing or can I?

I think those punctuation marks were created for a purpose and I am not even sure that I am using enough of them!

Therefore, when I am making an expression that goes on and on and I am not sure how to do that, I use continuous spots or should I say dots! It represents a pause……., so that you can mull over that thought!

I love little bits of colours here and there ( sometimes, I think I am a magpie that is forever attracted to shiny stuff).

I love to smile too! Even on paper. 😊 Well, not on my thesis, I guess Master Prof. will not find that very impressive and will assume that it is a lame attempt at buttering up 😕

When I write, a lot of times, if I don’t have my headphones on, I say out my words as I type or write them, as though you are in here with me and I try to simulate your answer and how we would twist the topic to 7 Sundays.

My pencils do suffer anxiety attacks from not knowing which of them I will chew to bits the following day and my keyboard has suffered a nervous breakdown a time or two.

My family have grown used to the queer awesomeness of this Lady of the Manor and my husband’s roll of his eyeballs when my laughter gets raucous makes me share tidbits of juicy bits from this awesome community.

Sometimes, most times, I have to reduce my words when I am bursting with so much to say. I keep silent in my head to allow you get in a word sideways as well.

It is a shame that the banter we share has to zip through the cyberspace, bypassing some
word- nappers across all the oceans before making it safely to you and sometimes it takes forever to arrive.

No, I am not a mad-hatter, but I do have my writing and real side quirks which makes me who I am.

That’s some of my quirkiness (I hear that they grow as you get older). So let me know about yours.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt By The Dots

We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!

Brilliant Bulb…personal story

Ever so often a brilliant bulb comes on in my head with an idea hovering within.

I am not the dullest knife in the pack, so my genie lamp does come on frequently you know 😉

Hatching good ideas seems to be a pastime, but the big question is what do I do with all the hatched ideas that I incubate?

Sometimes, nothing at all! A lot of times I share them with others who go forth to continue with the hatching!

Nevertheless, I have recorded a few successes here and there, one of such is that I am here talking to you!

Another happened several years ago, when my dear husband was on assignment in Lagos.

I wasn’t prepared to return to the formal workforce again, because I wanted to have time for my young ones. I looked around, saw the need to provide quality culinary and baking services, so I jumped in with my two feet.

It was not an easy feat with the ups and downs of Lagos, but the three years spent doing that business, were exhilarating, financially rewarding and extremely tasking.

I started out with a team of six staff, consisting of a cook, a baker and his assistant, a driver and service girls.

We started à la carte meal supplies to corporate enterprises that required our freshly made finger foods and huge pots of jollof rice, stew, pounded yam and soup etc for their workshops, training’s, meetings.

It was a crazy time. We would sometimes start work at 4:00a.m. in order to get every thing ready and deliver to the customer by lunch time and race through the infernal Lagos traffic jam with a customer calling every five seconds to know if you are almost there.

Sometimes, it required prepping stuff the day before in the evenings in order to meet deadlines.

I would come home worn out but satisfied and we got lots of referrals from satisfied customers.

Within the space of a year, I outgrew the space that I had rented inside the shopping complex and I needed to secure bigger space.

With money in my pocket I went hunting for land to purchase. Purchasing a parcel of land, I built and equipped a bakery and modern kitchen from scratch coupled with a little office for myself and a staff cloak/relaxing room.

Several learning obtained from the experience:

  • Catering business is a grueling business but financially rewarding!
  • You work harder to ensure the success of your own business than any other employment.
  • Learning how to effectively manage a retinue of 10 full time staff and several ad-hoc staff (the staff number grew within a year) with all their quirkiness.
  • Customer is key to your business. Keep your customer happy and you grow your business.
  • I actually started putting a cookery book together but….
  • I became not only a Business Owner, but also a Manager/Supervisor, Procurer, Human resources Officer, Accountant, Marketing Executive and all the hats that needed to be worn.
  • I invested and gained a property from the process.
  • I provided employment opportunity for others.
  • It gave me extreme satisfaction to prove the naysayers wrong. At the initial onset, even my husband was not too keen on the idea, until he saw me buy my first bus cash-down. NOT ON CREDIT! To obtain loan in this part of the World is no piece of cake, especially when a business is viewed as a new venture.

When I started building the bakery/kitchen without any form of loan but the sweat from my brows, he was amazed at my tenacity and success.

Sadly, our nomadic lifestyle of moving from one Continent to the other made it unfeasible to effectively run this business from afar.

Another day, we could share more brilliant bulb ideas over a cup of coffee!

Now I am looking at other possible ventures, let me go and put on my thinking cap.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt Brainwave

What’s the best idea you’ve ever had? Regale us with every detail of the idea — the idea itself, where it came to you, and the problem it solved.

The Magic In Me…

Magic

Thanks but no thanks! I have absolutely no desire to be transformed into a mystical being.

Just a few days ago, you made me have Saintly aspirations, and I am still floating under the halo of such euphoric dream.

However, I believe in MAGIC!

I believe in the magic of a Supreme God! The Alpha and Omega.

I believe in the miracle of conception and babies!

I believe in the miracle of breathing free air that I contributed nothing to create!

I believe in miracles! They are all around us! They exist in our everyday lives when we choose to see them!

I believe in the magic of an enduring love that stands the test of time!

I believe in the power of hope! It enlarges your heart and expands your coast!

I believe in the magic of happiness, positive thinking and positive affirmations! It beautifies your life!

I believe in the power of faith and good works! It strengthens you!

I believe in kindness and caring! It has boundless rewards!

I believe in positive human values and good manners!

I believe in family: both the ones we are born into and the one we choose for ourselves!

I believe in the magic of gratitude; it increases you!

I believe in the magical strength of human resilience! Its your path to success!

I believe that dreams do come true when you believe in yourself and irrespective of your age!

I believe that life is beautiful even in its chaotic mundaneness.

I believe in the power of prayer!

I believe in myself and the magic in me 😉

NOW! That is magic!

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post Do you believe in magic?

You have been transformed into a mystical being who has the ability to do magic. Describe your new abilities in detail. How will you use your new skills?

A Day in the life of a Maid…..a true recount

Displaying 20150713_204822.jpg

When we came here for a look-see in December, to help facilitate our migrating decision-making process, we spent weeks in a glitzy, glam hotel having a tour of the lovely city.

Hotels spuriously dot Dubai’s landscape to meet the needs of a teeming tourism industry which keeps blooming by the day. From the 0 stars to 5 stars and the only 7 Star hotel in the World!

Naturally, I got a bit friendly with a few of the staff, especially a young lady that tended to our room. I have no idea if I was drawn to her because she is of African descent, but I remember observing her very earnest yet polite demeanour as she rushed through her duties like a fire-ball in a haste to get her job done in record time.

The little tips that I gave her were highly appreciated and by the end of a few days, we became a little more friendly. I even suggested to her that I would like to share a day working with her for the heck of the experience to her alarmed and vehement refusal.

Out of piqued curiosity an interview ensued on one of the days that she was making up the room, little did I know that I would use the excerpts one day!

I will keep her name different and no mention is made of the hotels for privacy sake:

Me: “Lydia, where are you from?”

Lydia : “Somalia.”

Me: “How long have you been living here?”

Lydia : “Three years now.”

Me: “Wow!”  “That’s been a while!” “Do you live close by?”

Lydia: “Not at all.” “The outskirts, after Sharjah.” “It’s too expensive to live in the city.”

Me: “That’s far! (I exclaimed with the little idea that I had to the terrain). ”What time do you leave home?”

Lydia: ”Most times 5 or 5:30 in the morning!” ”I have to be at work by 7:30.”

Me: “And I see you here till late evening around 9.00pm or so when the bus is taking a bunch of you home.” “Doe’s the bus take you home?”

Lydia: “No it stops us at a metro station and we find our way from there.”

Me: “Oh good!” “So how do you like it living here?” “Was it easy to transition from your place?” “I thought it was a bit difficult to move here as a single woman, given the rules and regulations?” A battery of questions came from my end and all these while she busily went about her duties in the apartment, changing sheets, fluffing pillows etc.

Lydia: “It’s okay to live here even though it is more expensive than Somalia, but this place is better.” “An employment agency engages a lot of us.” “We cannot apply directly by ourselves and they are the ones that obtain the visa after medical tests and other requirements have been satisfied.” ”The agency gets a fraction of our income – they are actually our employers and they deploy us to work in places where they get contracts.”

Me: ”How did you get to know about the agency?” ”Are you happy with the work?”

Lydia: ”My cousin told me about them.” ”We were searching for a proper way to leave Somalia because of certain hardship due to conflicts.” I observed the flitting of emotions on her pretty face, but I didn’t interrupt as I was regaled with bits and pieces of what home meant to her.

Me: ”So what about the job?” ”Is it tedious?” ”Is it okay?” ”What has your experience been like?” I asked leading questions trying to probe a bit beyond the surface.

Lydia: ”Sometimes, I do about 35 check-outs in a day.” I got to understand that, that meant putting rooms in immaculate states when an occupant has checked out.

Some days can be very stressful especially when some occupants are difficult and don’t want you to disturb them until when they are ready.” ”Then they call and tell housekeeping that nobody has done up their rooms; meanwhile, they are the ones that put a do not disturb sign on the door.” ”What can you do?” ”You just have to manage.” She stated philosophically

Every job has it’s problems, but if I get money, I will open a hairdressing salon.” ”I know how to make hair very well.” Her face lit up at such an anticipated prospect.

This is actually my second place of work.” ”At the first hotel that I worked in, I was nearly assaulted by a client.” ”It was during a festive season and the hotel was fully booked at that time.” ‘I was assigned to work that floor for the week and this man kept making overtures but I ignored him.” ”On one of the days that I was cleaning up the toilet (and he is a very messy guest), he followed me into the bathroom, got aggressive and tried to force himself on me.” ”I barely managed to extricate myself without getting seriously hurt, but the Indian housekeeping manager informed me two days later that I was fired for upsetting a customer.”

I was lucky that the agency was understanding and they deployed me to this place.” ”This is a better hotel, she enunciated quietly in her sing-song drawling accent. ”The manager is a nice Egyptian Christian.”

I was very disquietened and left the interview at that with a bigger tip than usual.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt FAQ

Interview someone — a friend, another blogger, your mother, the mailman — and write a post based on their responses.