christmas in calabar


christmas in calabar, nigeria, african literature
I finally booked my ticket to Nigeria yesterday for holiday vacation. The agent informed me that, even though I booked a two week ticket, I can stay up to six months. The universe is apparently on the side of my defection from NYC. LOL! I bought the ticket not without much gnashing of teeth over the astronomical prices around the holidays. I think that the supply/demand curve should take into account people's emotional needs, ie, the curve inverts when people's demand is also matched by a profound benefit to their emotional/spiritual/relational wellbeing. I'm dubbing it the "W" factor. I am not sure who in the Obama administration can make it happen, but I'll look into it. :)

My cousin is in town visiting from Akwa Ibom/Uyo, a rare treat, so I am doubly excited as he's already catching me up on what's been going on. I have to spend some qt in Lagos, Uyo, and mostly Calabar where my grandmother lives and the legendary Christmas Carnival will be happening. I will likely be sitting in the kitchen watching her cook most of the time (I'm simple that way), but it brings me so much joy. I was hoping to take a videocamera with me to document her a little bit while I'm there, but I don't know that I can afford one at this point. She will probably hate it too, though like all documentary subjects, she will eventually forget the camera's there.

I also need to make some theater/film contacts in preparation for my Fulbright application next fall. And I need to do some research at the National Archives (can NG please get up to speed on the whole digital archives thing? their web search function is malfunctioning). I also wanted to visit Abuja, but it seems a distant dream given my two week time frame!

It has been six years since I last went home and in that time I have grown dreadlocks halfway down my back. I am not entirely sure how my hair will be received. Last time I had a short afro and my aunt dispatched me to the salon for extensions ("You can't wear your hair that way here!").

I hope I don't get too many "Ras Empress!" shouts. I get so tired hearing that in NYC.

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  1. Well, I will first tell you sanga sung ohh...
    Then I will also say this: eme di ohh!
    Six years girl!!! You need a Calabar retouch!
    Here are some quick tips:
    First when you arrive, ask for a chilled glass of palmwine. That will detoxify the Western acids broiling in your bowels.
    Second, head down to Atimbo and be treated to a delightful meal of Bushmeat and Ukang (plantain porridge), perhaps you can cut some slack to 404 vs Palmmy.
    Next, make sure you arrive at the Esuk and get fresh fish, the ones still hoping from the fishermans' terror. Your grandmum will know what to do with the rest.
    After you have done all these, then you are ready for what Calabar has to offer you. So much to see for December your eyes will plead.
    Unfortunately I wont be there because of a wedding in Lagos.
    And ohh...lest I forget; next time buy your ticket in June or earlier. You will pay 40% less :)


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