The Story Of How I Japa’ed “Sorta”

*Dum Dum*

“Thank You for boarding flight 1234 leaving for Abuja from Lagos…*insert gibberish*”

 

Some 48 hours before embarking on this trip, I was smearing an apricot flavoured jam on a piece of sliced bread when I got a text from my boss which read:

“You’re off to Abuja this week.”

Without a second to spare, the travel blogger in me came out with a French accent, a black and white striped shirt, and a bonnet. Suddenly, all my gesticulations were

French-esque.

I put my fingers to my mouth and muttered;

“Oui, Oui”

Anyway, I took a moment to thank God for my growth and my little wins. Called my boss to get the details of the trip and started prepping my accent with an H. I lost my appetite for jam and bread not too long after, Lasagna on my mind, please.

It’s 40 minutes to my departure time and this oga Bolt has forcefully driven me to the car park after airport security almost caught us sleeping.

“Oga your money na 1,200”

*the rest of this conversation is censored because I’ve become tone-deaf from these guys billing me*

I don’t understand why these drivers keep billing me. I understand you just Vin Dieseled us back there but, ever heard of packaging? They see me as a walking naira sign instead of bubble wrap and styrofoam.

My colleague and I carefully boarded the escalators, trying our hardest not to look ridiculous as we went through them. It led us to the boarding area where we got our bags inspected and waited out what was left of the remaining time.

flight ticket

INTERMISSION

I’m scrolling through my phone at videos that may or may not make it to the final Instagram reel when the Pa system comes on and I kid you not, all I heard were those first two beeps, then the flight number and destination; after that a guest appearance from Busta Rhymes. My colleague snatched the words from my mind when he asked:

“How far, did you hear anything?”

The surrounding grasses whizzed through the air as the plane shot down the tarmac and at 145 mph its tires bid the ground adieu.

Grading the overall experience of flying for the first time, I’ll say it’s pretty basic. It’s just a means of transportation. (I was lowkey happy but don’t tell anyone I said that) What soured the experience for me was how the altitude kept messing with my ears.

“Cab!”

“Drop!”

“Taxi!”

My first video as a travel blogger tagged YAYCATION was live and doing numbers. Messages were flying in from everywhere and landing in my notifications. (every pun intended)

“Ah! You done finally Japa!”

“Bro, your skin is already looking fresh.”

And the critically acclaimed “Cut soap for me na”

All for Abuja that is just next door?

I spent the entire ride from the airport to the hotel replying to messages from my new fans and well-wishers and admiring the green beauty that is Abuja.

As the cabby drove off the highway to more residential terrain I found myself denouncing Lagos and everything it stood for. My first time in Abuja and it turned out to be a sight for sore eyes.

The tall trees overlooking the long stretches of the road made me want to get in a car GTA style and just drive. The aggressively gentle breeze was everything to write home about.

Packing a small suitcase meant getting my things from the car into the hotel wasn’t difficult at all. I swiped up my key card from the reception and got acclimated to my room. I can most definitely get used to this *chuckle chuckle*

Let me casually say this, I’m not ready for Canada. A little air conditioning and all the Bonsoir was out the window. Not me squirming under the duvet like a fish out of water. After figuring out the mechanics of the remote, I had a rejuvenating night’s rest.

Contracts signed deals settled and fees agreed… who am I kidding, I had just woken up and the dried saliva at the corner of my mouth told me everything I needed to know.

In next to no time I’m in a cab speeding to my next appointment-an interview for the magazine. Three hours later I’m catching the 6:15 pm flight to Lagos whispering to myself how much I miss Lagos and my cat. I guess you can take the boy out of the street but you can’t take the street out of the boy.

Don’t you think it’s weird that first class is just a seat close to the cockpit? You lock eyes with everyone as they go to their seats. I think the whole concept of it is flawed. I haven’t been on an international flight yet so I can’t jump to conclusions.

Congratulations to those that flew in first class; as a reward you get to ride back to the airport with the cast of economy. Yaaay!

Abuja was fun. I would have loved to soak in the guise of sorta japaing for a bit longer but one can only package for as long as the tape allows. As for my travel fans, I scheduled a return flight reel to be posted two days after I initially arrived. They guzzled it up immensely.

*your reel just exceeded 500 views*

I certainly can get used to this.

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