Connected Lagos organized a
road trip to Calabar in July, 2015. It was a totally amazing trip, we had so much fun and returned safely to Lagos.
But I figure that you are not reading this to hear something as boring as that, so what about I tell you my own version of the trip? Obviously, I can’t recollect the events that happened while I was asleep or almost frustrated during our 25-hour total road time but I do have some pretty good memories. *filing my gist blade*
Like every other fun trip, the day started with so much excitement but I had a different grand plan: last-minute packing, get to the airport early and sleep on the way to Obudu from Calabar. The problem was I did not factor how this would work out with the diverse Connected crowd that came for the trip. At 5.30 am, “Olori oko” Bade gave me a wake up call sounding all excited and wanting to know if I was almost heading out. I had barely even woken up. By the time I was heading out, I got Whatsapp chats from others that had already arrived at the airport. Oh boy, the panic became real … and I still had to make a stop at a woman house
I was almost missing my flight and this taxi driver was driving like a chauffeur. “Baba, motor yin o le sare ni?“, I bit my lips hard and blamed myself for choosing cost over quality. N500 extra would have saved me from the anxiety. As you can imagine, the Connected Whatsapp group was awash with messages like “I’m here, Yemi is here along with Segun. Fisayo and some others are yet to come #superexcited #obudu11”. Thanks Bade, that was quite sensitive of you *pun intended*. Anyway, I made it in the nick of time, became calm and the fun began with multiple selfies right after we boarded. The flight was pretty very comfortable and on time unlike my previous Arik Air experience. We took time to meet each other and pre-bond. Yes, we were the annoying noise-makers on the plane and were quite unapologetic.
“Oh my God, I left my phone on the plane”, Nike (bottom-right in the plane picture) exclaimed as were appreciating the beauty and serenity of Calabar. O boy, that place is totally serene and hin be like say dem sterilize the oxygen for there. We just had a long discussion of the pros and cons of working in Lagos and how the hustle didn’t quite translate into everyday cash on the streets. But we had a new worry. How could we start our trip with a missing phone? Moments later, Nike returned with Timothy (bottom-centre in plane picture) and told us that they couldn’t find the phone on the plane. It turned out to be a prank and all of us had fallen for it. I honestly doubt that the phone would have been found if it were in Lagos. This trip was now getting more interesting. Timothy doesn’t know it but I totally lost any confidence in his innocence after this. Nike … well … still framing my thoughts about her.
Since we were all hungry, we decided to grab takeaway breakfast from a fast food place, Crunchies. This was not the initial plan, we wanted to get down to real Calabar cuisine but after seeing the place our driver, Henry, took us to, wisdom prevailed. Henry told us our journey was for 7hrs and we protested saying that it was 5hrs based on online reviews. The guy did not even argue and agreed that he could make it in 5. We learned our first cultural experience that these guys would easily tell you what you want to hear if you want to be delusional. Our bumpy ride took 6.30hrs to get to Obudu and another hour to the ranch.
@1.30pm, we took a much needed break to use the convenience after I shamelessly screamed, “person wan piss!” Yemi (tallest guy in the pack), bought roasted corn that was so fresh and healthy. But it did much more, it made everybody awake and the gist started. I am generally not a fan of long road trips but this was well worth it. There was this introduction game that required us to say what we would do if we had a next life. You need to have heard responses: mama-alawo (female herbalist), adventurer, violinist, and others. My most shocking was Yemi who wants to be a comedian. This guy is currently doing very well in HR, has an MSc & MBA; but would rather be on stage making people laugh. This is still lost on me. We spoke about a range of things as we journeyed and it was so refreshing to see different perspectives to life … and to Dr Temi. Mehn, she can argue and stick with her position except you can logically prove your point. No wonder she did a wonderful job (with Nike) in planning and coordinating the trip.
“Bros, people still dey pass this road“, our driver asked an on-coming vehicle. What?! I could barely believe my ears. Henry did not know the way? We burst into laughter at the realization that our last 3 hours may have been in the wrong direction. That our driver sha. This was around 2.45pm and people were getting a little tired again. Mobola saved the day and provided great music for the remainder of the trip. You need to have heard people doing grave injustice to the songs as they sang-along intermittently. There was “altprano” and “tenbass”, mixed in a catastrophic blend of pure disharmony. Forgerrit! Artistes should be paid for the good work they do!!
I know some other things happened but I drifted into sleep till I heard Lara shriek, “look at those clouds sitting on the mountains!”