Friday, October 21, 2005

TGIFriday, hunting library books,loving your neighbour and spice-o-meters

It's Friday and I am looking forward to the weekend, to chilling, to catching up on my Nigerian newspapers, to my weekly visit to my local library to return my books from last week and to pick out new ones. I literally get a buzz whenever I find a hot-in-demand book on the shelves- Philip Roth's The Plot Against America was my last big coup and I'm aiming for On Beauty and Shalimar the Clown now. I'm also looking out for Moses Isegawa's Snakepit (I thoroughly enjoyed his Abyssinian Chronicles set in Uganda and Holland). I get a buzz because too often , the hot books are reserved long in advance.... Which reminds me...I must do a post soon on contemporary African (non-Nigerian) writing that has caught my attention. Doreen Baingana's Tropical Fish is one to look out for. On the non-fiction front, I want to read I Didn't Do It for YOu- How the World Used and Abused a Small African Country. It's apparently about Eritrea, a country I'd like to learn more about...

Coming to work this morning, I took a shortcut and was walking past a fence surrounding a public space (Yes I walk to work, aren't I lucky?) which an elderly white man was having problems trying to clamber over, as I was wondering whether or not to approach him to help- he was literally stuck on the fence (but I didn't want to alarm him- I've tried helping elderly women with their luggage up the stairs in train stations only to have them reel back, clutching their bags tighter), but then I saw a young black boy in school uniform springing to his help and got him over. Watching them clasping each other, this young boy in his pristine uniform, happily lending a helping hand to this none too clean bewildered looking elderly man had me thinking again-why can't we all just see each other as human? And lend a helping hand....and accept a helping hand and think the best of people. I know.....I know it's a rather simplistic view of the world but we can dream and it was a good start to my day.

Having to have a chicken vindaloo sandwich because the sandwich lady had run out of choice before getting to my floor wasn't so cool, in fact it was rather hot!! I begin to wonder if I've had my spice-o-meter toned down living so long here... I mean this vindaloo was nowhere near the red (in colour and in heat) hot stews of Iya Modinat in Idi Araba that I used to gulp down early in the morning over hot white rice with ewa and dodo and yet here I was panting over my PC like my English friend encountering Mallam Sani's yaji for the first time....pathetic!!!

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