WE ARE MOVING

MOVING

Home.

This is where we are moving to.

Nmauche.com is part of the new that is welcome here.

What should you expect to read, see, and discover?

A journey to find home.

Get ready to deconstruct home to its barest elements.

There will be pictures and live-in features in Abidjan, Lagos, Paris, and Philadelphia.

Literature will still have its place, but accentuated this time with a Behind the Pen addition.

So, come along with me on this discovery journey as we uncover home at the new site, nmauche.com.

Please subscribe 🙂

 

 

 

LOVE IT TO THE LAST SCOOP


Hans and Reneee!!!

Eat Drink Lagos has tagged this patisserie the happiest place in Lagos and I totally agree.

You don’t have to wait for TGIF. This can be your MMM (Mondays Motivate Me) spot.

H & R’s Instagram posts motivate me each day.

From the infamous red chair, which you have to take a picture in to the soothing breeze from the waterfront at the Radisson Blu Hotel, the stage is set for your happiness.

Next comes the ecceltic flavors. Zobo (Hibiscus leaves); Mangolumo; Agbalumo (White Star Cherry), and many more.

I envision a day when the line at H & R will force the door open and curve around the sidewalk just like Amorino.

Until then, both the Ozumba and The Palms locations open at 10am during the week.

Why don’t you make yourself happy this Monday?

THE JOB THAT NEVER CAME WAS ALWAYS THERE

  

Job hunting in Nigeria is a struggle.

From countless scams to impossible to interpret interviewers. The hurdles in this journey only multiply. Thus, when I moved back to Lagos from Philadelphia, I thought I had the secret to securing the job I wanted.
Volunteer.

That was how I got my last job. A volunteer stint with the Central Parkway Library turned into  the perfect job in one of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s 54 branches.

It was armed with this “secret” that I waltzed into hotel after hotel in Lagos.

My core was in hospitality. I had worked for 4 years in different positions at a 4-star hotel (The fifth star was withheld because alcohol was not offered on the restaurant menu as it was a Dry County). This was a 100-year old historic property that had recently been renovated and I was among the new crop of employees promoting the transformed image.

Still, I kept close tabs on the hospitality industry  in Nigeria.

I vividly recall when Intercontinental Hotel opened its doors for business. I itched to see this edifice, which I heard dwarfed other hotels in the Victoria Island area. Thus, in January 2015, my volunteer/job search began with the top hotels on the Island axis of Lagos.

I stalked Sales & Marketing Managers, answered irrelevant questions such as my indigenous local government area, and frowned at security guards who were plain rude.

Visiting each hotel revealed how reality measured up to the dream image I had construed.

Now, I know which hotels have the best views, are in secure locations, provide networking opportunities, offer top notch customer service, and more.

I ended up working for none of them.

An internship within the hotels department of a Nigerian owned travel agency provided me that rare opportunity to work with ALL of them.

Sometimes, that job you have been struggling to get in a company may be a microcosm. Why settle for one, if you can get ten?

Think about the bigger picture and do not limit your job search.

It will be worth your while.

 

I AM A DANFO DRIVER

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Hate or love them, the yellow buses above run the show in Lagos, Nigeria.

Think yellow bus, think Danfo for that is what they are called.

Their drivers can be seen sipping on sachets of Chelsea dry gin, the most readily available whiskey from as early as 5am.

Most often, there would be a conductor. A funkily dressed or undressed young man who will call out at the top of his lungs the names of the bus stops in a repetitive rhythm.

Fadeyi, Palmgrove, Onipanu

Onipanu, Fadeyi, Palmgrove.

If you are not sure which is your bus stop, ask your co-passengers. They will most likely be nicer and more patient than the conductor or driver.

Movement.

I once heard a conductor say the above each time the driver was done picking up passengers at a bus stop.

Every conductor constructs his own language punctated with vernacular to communicate with his driver.

What are the do’s and dont’s of riding a Danfo?

Please share your experiences and let’s danfo-ducate our Lagos visitors.

NEW IS WELCOME HERE

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I got a new laptop today.

The truth is it was not love at first sight.

Too big. Can’t afford it. It’s not Dell. Those were my initial thoughts and then I slept on it.

My former Dell Latitude 6400 something laptop is literally a hammer work. Remember when Prince pieced it back together in Yamoussoukro?

Thank you Prince! Now I am willing to let it go, and embrace the new.

New can be a struggle. New can be exciting.

This blog is about to be given a new face and name, so watch out.

I am going to be writing in a new direction and taking you on a bed by bed tour of my home.

Writing is not new to me, but writing without a salaried job is.

As I said earlier, lots of new is happening and for the first time, I am enthusiastically saying, Welcome!

THE GOLDFISH, THE CAT, AND THE BABY

  
I love vacations.

Sandy beaches, flexible scheduling, alarm-less sleeping, and time with friends.
Sometimes, I get assigned work while on vacation.

Please take care of my goldfish. Here is their fish food and snacks. Those were Brittney’s instructions before she went home for Spring Break.

Each day, I dilligently fed them, until the last day of the break.

Upturned bellies and grayish bodies were what I saw in the aquarium.

All 6 fish had died. I panicked. They all had names and purchase dates.

These were not how vacations were to end.

 I explained tearfully to Brittney the next day.

When Jen asked if I would love to spend the December break in their cozy log home, I said yes.

Whiskers and his co-cats was the trade-off. Cats don’t need much care. Let them in the house for warmth, let them out to do their business.

The day Whiskers pooped in the house, I kicked him out for the day. Serves him right I thought. Until the raccoon showed up.

His silhouette glowed through the sliding doors as he raided the wooden kitty box. I slept in fear that night.

This was the last day of the break and Whiskers was yet to be found. Maybe the raccoon got him, I fretted as I combed the nearby woods.

Later, he showed up at the door looking haggard, but still alive.

I gave up on pet sitting during vacations, until now.

This time it is a human, a baby.

The baby will be with you for 6 days. Watch her and sleep with her.

Vacation and work do not mix well together. 

Experience has taught me better.

MEASURING PAIN NOT TIME

  
I cried non-stop yesterday for two hours.

My finger doubled its size under the fierce grip of a three tier ring twisted in style. In less than an hour, my blood circulation was cut off.

The physical pain was intense, the mental strain from the possibility of losing the finger as it turned blue combined with the horror of watching as a cutting saw was used to sever the band.

Still, I have felt more pain back in time.

On that field in Nsit Atai. Running the 100m race was a welcome escape from the mindless routine in the camp.

I remember stretching before the heats, I remember not eating. I remember feeling cramps in my thighs, I remember not stopping until the finishing line.

Rolling on the grass, the moans began, then the tears. My legs throbbed even when I willed them to stop. My heart stopped as I imagined the worst. If I am being carried out on a stretcher, I may not walk again. I cried for two days.

The most pain felt holds several anniversaries to its name.

“If you die, I will die”. Is there someone you would speak these words for? A pledge of togetherness, an oath of love, sealed with the inseparable bond.

Yet, death severs all ties. When this happened, I was left with the memories that floated by. My eyes were cloudy and sore from the tears that flowed for two months.

How does one numb the pain? Tell me where to buy a pain eraser and I will share it to the world.

Unending fuel queues, stigmatized children. Homeless laborers, victims of prejudice.

Your pain is in my heart. In all its degrees.

It may take an hour or two days, it may take three months or four years.

Even if the waters remain stagnant, time will take it away. This pain.