cold city, warm heart


I am back in New York and it's freezing. Literally. Back a week and haven't stopped asking myself why I left the tropics for this.

I could have blogged while away, but I decided to take a break. In fact, I didn't write much of anything at all the whole time including the book or my journal. I bought this amazing Flip video camera though, and felt so hip because I've always been one of the slowest tech adopters I know. You just whip it out, turn it on, and you can record up to two hours. So I took a bunch of silly vids and not nearly as many photos. The power thing was definitely a pain in the butt. I don't have nearly as much patience for NEPA as I did when I was younger.

I had a really great trip. Went to Calabar Carnival, although we sat in the wrong section and folks were doing a lot less dancing and a lot more walking by us; went to a cocktail party thrown by Governor Godswill Akpabio, AKS in full effect; visited Le Meridien (try the grilled fish and chips), EEMJM (terrible name for a hotel), and Green Olives; inhaled one too many secondhand cigarettes at Lounge Uno (can someone say smoking ban?); and generally enjoyed myself despite my aunt's attempts to thwart my fun and keep me caged behind the gate away from kidnappers. I will get to all of this (I think), but first let me touch on my fainting spell at JFK on my way out of town.

I caught a stomach bug shortly before departure that had me laid out right up until the moment I was supposed to board the plane. I didn't eat much that day and things turned a little woozy and black waiting in the security bag check line. I have fainted a handful of times in my life and they all involved too much physical exertion and too little food. I always feel it coming on, the overheating, clammy palms, the sensation of television fuzz in my brain.

My greatest fear, of course, was that they wouldn't let me on the plane. I actually didn't care if I had to be wheeled on in a gurney, there was no way I was staying in NYC for the holidays. So I tried to fake like I was all good, but I ultimately lost consciousness. And when I came to, I heard from several passengers that I was toppling and weaving for several minutes, though I managed to stay on my feet. The airport security, flight attendants etc couldn't have cared less, in spite of H1N1 scares and eco-terrorism.

If it wasn't for a few kind folks, also on the flight to Lagos, who advised me to sit down and helped push my bags along while I munched saltine crackers, I would not have made it at all.

Just one note of digression before I end this: Don't move to New York. It's a cold city (literally and figuratively, in many ways). There is so much cooking in Nigeria right now, and other global hotspots, that it's a shame so many people come struggle hand over fist in the Big Apple. It really isn't worth it. New York is a place to visit, to meet people, make connections, and present yourself. It isn't a sustainable place to live, and it will not nurture you.

So glad I took some time away to realize that.

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