06 – What did YOU expect? :op [probably explicit]

At 22:32pm what else should I be doing other than downing gin & tonics like they’re going out of fashion, whilst listening to my home-made “best of” NOFX compilation? Well, for starters I probably should be sleeping, considering I have to get up at the inhumanely crack of dawn of 6:30am, to catch a flight to the featureless Nigerian “city” of Kaduna, to conduct a “site inspection”. Already had a primary site inspection today (which I also filmed for good measure – our client tends to continuously stretch the truth with the all-familiar words “it’ll be ready in a couple of weeks”, so it’s good to have the extent of the lie on tape) of the next Lagos site that’ll eat up the better part of my freedom for the next 18 or so months - unless, of course, I get my foot in on the Italian market.

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08 – A Day in the Life of a Chump [somewhat explicit]

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


If I were working in an office, as opposed to crawling under false computer floors and running hundreds of cables that interconnect one of Nigeria’s premier mobile phone networks, then I’d be having a coffee break right now. Well I’ve decided to take one, regardless of the fact that there is no tea or coffee in my vicinity. Instead, I have a bottle of lukewarm water and a laptop with MS Word. Oh, and let’s not forget Tool playing in the background. I’m alone in this particular switch room today so I have the privilege of blasting out any fucking music I like.

He had a lot to say, he had a lot of nothing to say, we’ll miss him – sings Maynard.

We’ll miss him? Well… He should be so lucky. As for myself, I doubt many people are genuinely missing me. I don’t even think my son misses me. He barely gets to see me. Last time I asked to speak to him I heard him say in the background, “No, I don’t want to speak to him!” I strongly doubt K*** misses me, despite her many words of forced encouragement. She says she thinks of me, loves me and misses me, but never offers any real assurance as to the validity of those words. In the end, that’s all they are; just words. I haven’t heard from her for a few days, but I guess she’s probably recovering from a self-imposed guilt-trip due to possible activities during last weekend. The silent periods usually follow on after the weekend. But K*** being K***, she’s usually shrugged them off within a few days, as if nothing has happened and life is as normal as it ever was. But then, I’m a chump, so I go along with it.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I'm so happy, I'm so happy, I'm so happy and pretty and gaaaaaay!

Amazing what an internet connection can do to a mind addicted to modernity.

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07 – Bombs, Invasions and Happiness [probably explicit to Americans]

That almighty quest… happiness. How do you know what the essence of this enigma is, if the beings that brought you into existence never actually displayed one ounce of it? How does a young developing mind calculate the necessary stepping-stones towards that blissful existence known as happiness? Does anybody really possess the wisdom to clearly define its meaning? How can we base our lives on the failings of our predecessors? How can we even think we know what we want from life? Ever?

*     *     *

Returning from our three-day “team building” outing, which took place at some agricultural research center on the outskirts of Ibadan, we had our bus searched for bombs, as we turned into Walter Carrington Crescent – the home of our office and numerous foreign embassies. Apparently there had been a bomb scare at the US embassy the day before, and every vehicle coming in was scanned and occupants questioned. Now, I can fully understand why US embassies are prime targets for terrorism – as there are millions of people across the world who think Bush and his cronies are the biggest terrorists of them all – but I sure do hope that this particular one doesn’t get blown up. You see, my office is next door and I live only a block away.

This brings me back to my last entry, to the part where we were all contemplating becoming rich in Iraq, just before I lost my train of thought and went on an “intermission”. What I wanted to say was this; last year I jokingly predicted something that I now believe to be true – Nigeria will become the next Iraq.

‘They have lots of oil and lots of Muslims… that’s all the criteria Bush needs for an invasion’ I said, as we swigged on our bottles of “Star” beer, still mind-boggled over what our yearly salaries would be, based on the monthly contract rates we could get in Iraq.

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05 - Drinking Imported Beer on a Modular Sofa Lounge [explicit]

June 07, 2005

So… back again. In fact, I’ve been back for over three weeks. And although this is now my third visit to Nigeria, I don’t think it warrants the creation of a new “volume” folder – it’s not like the last “volume” was overflowing with entries.

I guess now that I’ve (finally) been provided with a decent apartment, and now that M***** has left and I’ve technically inherited his driver, I don’t really have a lot to bitch about. This time I also successfully dragged a lot of music equipment with me so I have no qualms on that front. I even have a PS2 set up with a dozen games to choose from… a laptop with full admin rights, so I can install any fucking program that takes my fancy. A big fat fridge with a decent sized freezer compartment, along with all the cooking facilities I need, so I can make myself hot snack any time I fucking want. A hundred channeled cable television; albeit a crappy South African version showing mainly B-grade movies and a lot of sport and news that I can’t really stand. A toilet… a shower… a bed. A long row of windows exposing the incredibly polluted stretch of water between Lagos Island and Victoria Island. A cheap plastic/magnetic chess set that has never been used. Two cheap computer speakers blaring out rare Nirvana tracks from a high-end mp3 player. A constant scrolling of CNN headlines at the bottom of my TV screen.

Bush, Blair, African aid appeal, Pyongyang, 6-Party talks, Eurozone interest rates, Carlos Mesa Bolivian Pres. Resigns, Chinese Oil producer CNOOC… Nepalese violence… U.S. & Iraqi forces detain 23 suspected insurgents… Protests in Egypt… North Korea’s nuclear program… Two non-Israeli workers killed… it just keeps coming… it just keeps coming…. Enough!

“Something in her eyes… must be the smoke from my lungs,” sings Kurt.

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A poem/prose with a Singlish slant

Wait one more day, patiently.

Make an appointment at KCD.

Points and Signals, for thee.

Or will we be 'lim-ing' kopi?

No I can't claim transport fee,

SBS bus travel is not free.

Give not just the site tee,

practical knowledge, one should see.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Must see!

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rest in piece

you pushed me down too far

this time you'll see me in the hole

i'm such a falling star

you're the one who stole my soul

you never knew, so let me see you

let me see the terror

of which you were unaware

you were myself, so let me kill you

let me see the holes

in which i slowly stare

soul grinder, i was the monster who betrayed you

pushed it in the hole, and you were the one i knew

death finger, i was the psycho who murdered you

pulled the trigger fast, i was the hate that slowly grew

i knew the presence of the hollow

the sword i swallow

the ones who were at your side

they are the sorrow i hide

so let us run away

to a better place to rest in peace

let them all go away

let the demons all be released

let me rest in peace, let me rest in peace

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04 – The Song Remains The Same [explicit]

Ok… so it’s here. The laptop, the drink, the music, the TV on mute… perfect conditions for an outburst. Or a neurotic rant at the very least. Even the bronchial phlegm that’s been plaguing me for weeks seems to be coming to an end. The gin’s going down like it’s going out of fashion. The diarrhoea has been replaced by your averagely solid faeces (although I must admit that the thirty second shit is much more desirable than a five minute one in this fast paced and ever changing world). My personal popularity has reached a level where I can go out to most bars without being hassled, harassed or bothered by leeches & mozzies. I finally, after waiting for five months, move in to a grand apartment of my own; instilling the much needed sense of independency and comfort that I’ve been longing for ever since I set foot in this godforsaken place.

Everything returns to a semi normal state, and then….

Time to go back home sonny!  

Yeah, that’s right… time to pack up and go home. Well… only temporarily.

Some slime ball Nigerian fucker stole my passport, which has caused great difficulties to extend my visa. The who, what, where and when remains a mystery, but what is clear is that I’ve been horrendously inconvenienced by this act of cheap thievery. The end conclusion by management, HR and security, was that I’d be best off going home with my replacement passport and applying for a new visa.

Not that I’m crying or anything. I am ALWAYS looking forward to the chance to go home. My only dilemma is that this may fuck up my chances of going home at my preferred nominated time of late-July; the time of my son’s birthday. If I go home now they may not grant me leave when I most want it. I even promised Max I’d be home for his birthday over the phone yesterday. I’m becoming more like my old man every fucking day…

*     *     *

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03 – Dear Max

Dear Max,

As I sit here looking at my desktop wallpaper, consisting of a stretched photo of you lying on my boogie board at Torquay beach, I can’t help but feel like I’ve failed you. Everything I promised myself I would not become, I have. I wanted to be a better father than the father I had. I wanted to be there for you, for every moment of your life. I wanted you to have your real father around, and not some substitute. I didn’t want you to have a father that left the country all the time for business purposes, only to return with some expensive toy in vain attempts to win back your love. I didn’t want to end up like all my colleagues – divorced, alcoholic and then remarried to some young girl they met on their travels.

Now as I stare into an almost empty bottle of Wild Turkey, listening to The Prodigy’s “Breathe”, violently coughing up phlegm for the third week in a row; I realise I am all of these things. Instead of playing with you in the park, I am shooting pool and destroying my liver one beer at a time in some whore bar in Lagos. Instead of taking you to the zoo, I am taking my mind to the brink of insanity. Instead of tucking you into bed at night and reading you children’s books, I crawl into bed alone in a small room staring at a ceiling fan. Instead of making you breakfast in the morning (three Weetbix with warm milk and a teaspoon of sugar), I get up and relieve my bowels of yet another bout of diarrhoea.

I don’t really know what to tell you, or how to justify my poor choices in life, but I do know that I miss you terribly. I thought that going back to work would benefit you somehow, in the long run. But now I’m not so sure… I don’t think that no matter how large that bank account has grown to by the time you turn eighteen; it will ever be enough money to replace a father who was never there. I know it wouldn’t have been for me.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

If only he was old enough to read this...

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02 – Where For Art Thou Purpose? [explicit]

So many weeks have gone by without a single entry. It’s not that these weeks have been entirely uneventful; it’s just that I seem to have lost my will to write. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have been writing, but what I’ve written has been filed into my “forbidden” folder – to be released later in life. The everyday bullshit just isn’t pouring out like it used to. I feel no need to express it.

Yesterday I went and inspected the apartments that I will be moving in to soon. I can’t wait to get out of the shit-hole I’m currently in. I can’t wait to have my own kitchen! My own laundry… a lounge room… a pool… even a gym! I think I may even extend my contract once I’ve settled in. There was no way in hell I would have stayed beyond my written contract in my current abode, but once you have all your creature comforts then who cares where you are? So it took six weeks for me to get what was promised to me at the beginning of this trip, but better late than never right?

Aaaaargh! It’s boring times like these I get really upset about my music equipment being stuck back home under my bed. I could have recorded a whole album by now. Instead I waste hours and hours on stupid computer games and cable TV (having already read all the books I took with me). If only I had an internet connection from home… I could be chatting with friends and family, sometimes even catching glimpses of my son over the webcam. It’s pretty fucking lonely sitting here like this, nights on end. Usually I’d be out drinking but I’m on anti-biotics, recovering from a nasty bout of laryngitis, so I’ve had to take it easy on the piss lately.

Animal Planet is beaming at me on mute in the background. Earlier it was the “Spiders from Mars” documentary, now it’s “The Immortal Salamander”. Both narrated by David Attenborough.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The swear word segment did sound pretty funny, when read by that nerdy monotonic computer voice.

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