Oddbod & The City: City Breaks
It may surprise you to know that I am not one for breaking the rules. I say surprise because everything about me may give the impression that I am a bit of a Junta, and rulebreaking would be part of my genetic makeup.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not this way due to some superior moral compass. No, no, no. I learnt very young and the hard way that if I even thought about it, I would be caught.
I would need an iron-clad alibi at secondary school because, even if I was not a part of a caper, my name was called first. This is why I never leave my house without a driver’s licence (there was a year of no driving while waiting on my papers), because the Lord knows the police and LASTMA (Lagos State Traffic Management Authority) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to pull me over anytime I get behind the wheel.
Colour me not shook when out of hundreds of thousands of names, NHS Test and Trace team randomly picked me for a surprise visit during my quarantine. They did not catch me slipping, though; in my dressing gown and slippers in the middle of a twohour chicken-in-a-bag commitment, they found me exactly where I was supposed to be.
I later got asked to participate in a survey by the UK GOV Office for National Statistics. They asked many questions, so many questions. About how I felt about the handling of coronavirus information by the government and the rules in place. Did I trust the information? How easy was it to understand what tests and documentation I needed to travel, et cetera, et cetera? I remember arrogantly saying it was all straightforward if a little tedious on the website. I did manage to show some sympathy for non-English speaking applicants.
With the borders opening up and my new YOLO attitude, I decided that a girl had to make a quick trip to visit friends in Como in Italy over the half-term break. This was mainly so my little madam would not die of boredom and basically make that my problem.
Booking Easy Jet tickets and my train through Switzerland was easy enough. My darling Christina on the other side was admittedly doing all the heavy lifting and translating things and sending links. I even managed to struggle through the passenger locator form. I was not 100% sure if I needed a fit-to-fly, so I got one anyway because I don’t like to speak English.
We made it to Como without a hitch… OK, fine. I got off at the wrong train station, but luckily Christina knew how to find us! Great food (my girl Christina can throw down), plenty of wine, amazing views, beautiful churches, and my fireplace obsession. This trip was a whistlestop tour of a vacation’s true necessities. We made it off the mountain into Milan for a spot of shopping, more food, of course, and the most fantastic cappuccino with white chocolate. I basically put my lactose intolerance to the test, and I have NO REGRETS.
Back to the airport time to head home, I am there in good time and the next thing I am hearing is that my madam has to take a PCR test. Brexit tins! My blood pressure went through the roof. Now we are running through the airport to get a quick test done; Christina is on the line confirming that this is indeed a requirement contrary to other information I used. The queue is about two hours long, and I am sweating like I stole something. But, we make our flight by the skin of our teeth.
I humbly apologise to the UK Government Office of Statistics and also change my answer. It is very easy to fall foul of the rules—it is currently all confusion and prayers.
Odunayo Ogunbiyi is an ex pharmacist with a passion for food and pampering. Writing about her exploits wherever in the world she may find herself is just her way of staying sane in this zany world.