My first Flight
After years of rivaling the Israelites of old in the fine art that trekking is and being a brand ambassador for all forms of road transportation, I finally hit the skies and it wasn’t without event.
I totally can understand why sometimes when doing something for the first time, it is just easier to wing it and form rather than ask questions. Especially with Nigerians who instead of saying they don’t know will form and tell you rubbish and or make you feel stupid. You’ll see one well-dressed brodaaa, wearing a 26.7 button suit, looking like “ask me I have sense” only for them to direct you to take the first turn on your left, go straight, take another right and next thing you’ve seen welcome to hell fire.
When I got a job after NYSC and they were going to send me abroad for training, I was elated but also afraid. Brethren I never enter plane before. I had passed airports and knew that ok! Yes! This is where airplanes stay and operate but never did I expect that my first flight would be international. Wawu!
To make it even worse, my handlers in the company just assumed with my packaging that no na! this one has wizard face, he surely flies a lot. But little did they know. They didn’t know my story, that I was deeply rooted on solid ground and the only thing I had flown before was kite. Hence, I couldn’t ask some of the questions that plagued my heart about flying lest I be thought of as a “bombastic element” as my uncle calls people who ask nonsense questions.
The day of my first flight drew close and filled me with an equal mix of dread and excitement. I mean who wouldn’t be happy to go abroad. My mother rubbed me enough olive oil for me to grow olives while also casting, binding and tearing all the eyes of the evil one. Amem?
At the end of the prayers, my head was shining so much that I was scared they would turn me back at the airport for “over-shining of head” Listen to me never under rate village people o, they can do and undo. And lord knows that I had sworn that this abroad something must be a do for me abeg. The protocol guys showed me where I would check in and where I would be searched for drugs as Asian countries had a death penalty for drugs. Not one to receive a call to glory at such an early age, I did away with the panadol in my pocket because village people can change it to cocaine.
My bag was searched without incident and I grew so much in confidence that I began to think maybe I had been a traveler in my former life. This no be anything. I walked to check-in like iss nothing. Got my ticket like iss nothing. Walked to immigration like iss nothing. One woman looking at me and deeming me a doyen in airport activities walked up to me and asked for directions which I pointed out to her, young padawan that she was in this flying thing, remembering when I was like her, all green and confused. Ah! How time flies.
I scaled immigration with all their “fine boy gimme dollar” requests and walked up to the waiting lounge for departures. See the difference? Departure not park. Brethren! I must note here that I thought I had arrived a party. My God! Come and see people in their Christmas clothes. Looking around, I was convinced that midflight, snoop-dogg will announce “welcome to the soul plane”and a huge ass party will begin. I had already mapped out one or two babes that I would present myself to for grinding. Listen to me when you fail to plan you plan to fail. Amem?
Dragging me out of my thoughts was a P.A announcement. Why they always use that nasal voice to make announcements only Amadioha knows. I saw others who I knew where on my flight lining up and na me go carry last? I joined them abeg. I walked to the plane with so much swagger that nah! I even started doubting it was my first time. Near the entrance, I realized passengers were presenting their boarding passes to the hostesses who would direct you to your seat. I quickly retrieved mine. When the oyibo hostess looked at it and said “sdkfnlfkndfkldbnf Mr. Stephen enjoy your flight” I was almost going to respond eh! And reveal my first-timer nature but I held my self and didn’t embarrass myself before two fine angels, behind me, who came from heaven apparently for this flight. I got to my seat stowed my bad with my laptop and settled in. There’s an earphone to watch movies on the screen in front of you, as well as a small blanket if you get cold during the journey, sorry, flight. Look at this when-i-was-in-Egypt spirit trying to rear its head o.
For some reason, where I was seated there were only white people around me, all the blacks were heading towards the back. I started wondering am I sitting in the wrong place. To make matters worse, one oyibo came near me and was looking like guy stand up from there na. But me? After all that olive oil? I die here. It so happened he had the wrong seat and after a while the plane was eventually peppered with enough black people that I became comfortable. Up next, time to wear seat belt. I mean I had seen it in movies. Is it not to cross it round and clip it? but for some reason first I couldn’t find the clip side, then when I found it, I watched carefully, very carefully as others did theirs. I rounded mine on my waist and click! Their dads!! It entered! Then it was time for takeoff. I couldn’t shout.
As a first timer, when the plane is lifting and shaking one kind, it takes serious grace not to shout. I focused my thoughts elsewhere and held on to the seats with enough poise no to betray how I was dying inside. I even plastered a smile on my face like “wow! So nice” meanwhile my spirit man was already pricing coffin. When the plane settled in the air, everyone turned on the screen in front of them. I turned mine on, it was a touch screen. Easy ba? no wahala. It came on and showed me ICE (information communication and entertainment) oya entertain me. I pressed the big E but nothing happened. My seat partner a French lady pressed hers and it opened. I pressed mine again nothing. She, seeing me in distress pressed the E, same way I pressed it, using the same finger and it opened. I turned, smiled at her that kind smile when you have fucked up, and told her thank you to which she replied “oui monsieur” I’m like is it not oui that wee kee you, mtchheww! I was so pained eh. Oya screen has changed abi is to press and select film.
I said the Lord’s Prayer as I stretched my finger towards “con air” whose trailer was on the screen. I couldn’t even attempt scrolling through the other movies. Pressing never work na scrolling wan work? As I stretched my finger to press, the entire plane held its breath
I opened my eyes and the movie had started playing. Praise master Jesus! Glorify him! Praise his name! give him a thunderous cha cha cha igbo Kwenu. Before long, I fell asleep. Hours later someone tapped me and brethren it was a dream.
I’m joking. It wasn’t a dream. I was still inside the plane. Which kind nonsense dream. If it was, I would kill the person that woke me up. If na winsh dey pursue me nobody go wake me o now international flight you want to wake your father!
Awake, it was time for food. I remembered seeing the menu and I wasn’t understanding it. no eba and soup and everything had one funny prefix or suffix. Which one is brown rice pilaf abeg. Why give a humble rice big big name to corrupt it. rice now have first name and last name. They wheeled the food platform to me. Tea or coffee? The air hostess asked. Why I replied coffee I don’t know. She said something that sounded like black or white? Brethren I picked black for the culture. Cream or no cream she asked. Please no cream before you put Vaseline inside abeg. Sugar or no sugar she asked. For some queer reason I replied no sugar and even she looked at me like guy you strong o.
Brethren, what I put into my mouth was international agbo. A.k.a native medicine with international exposure. I wanted to die. My French friend asked me nice right? And I even did ooh and aah! To add effect. They started serving food. I looked at the menu like lord open the eyes of my understanding please.
They got to my seat an my partner picked something like “skfsnfdlkfndslfn with vegetables” to which the hostess replied excellent choice. She then turned to me like sir what will you be haaving? Are you asking? My friend knack me excellent choice too abeg don’t dull. They serve the food also with cakes chocolate etc but me when hunger wan kill I tore the food open and looked inside but I wasn’t getting it. There was rice inside o but with what was the problem. There were a lot of grassy looking things with one green sauce, raw tomato and many other things a son of man had not seen before.
Blood of lasisi wazz going on?
I didn’t know where to begin. I jejely poured juice and feigned deep interest in the movie, waiting for my friend to start and show me how to be a herbivore. She started eating and there was pure satisfaction on her face. Ok na! I grabbed a mouthful of grass and instantly I could feel goat horns protruding from my head. I could even feel a bleat “mmmeeeee”struggling to escape from my throat. But instead food go waste make belle tear. I shoveled more grass in and helped it along with juice.
Madam French turned to me like “excellent oui” and I wanted to swear for her and her herdsmen generation. What nonsense.
In no time I heard a familiar rumble coming from my stomach. It had not been tailored to understand food with suffix and was protesting. It rumbled so loudly, other passengers must have thought it was turbulence. The plane landed and no time, I located the nearest airport toilet. I made it rain and raised the rest room’s temperature above S.T.P. After 10 minutes, I felt free. But I couldn’t flush the toilet. There were no levers or buttons. Even though I felt guilty I closed the lid and heard a familiar whoosh! With no time to wonder who how or where cos I had an interconnecting flight, I raised off to the other flight. I settled myself in, slept, only to be woken by a familiar voice
“Sir Do you want sflkdvndskfksden with Juice or sdWEQWEIE2 with water?”
I looked at the hostess like you people again. You want to ruin this career that is just starting so that CNN can carry “man terrorizes plane with fumes from behind” no! It will not work. Please give me water. Just water! Not black not white no cream no sugar abeg
Thanks and God bless