16.08.17 (Wednesday)

Life sometimes gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. Going to the airport this morning I made sure I had enough money to wrap three bags and more. On getting to the airport, there was a concierge company available (men who would help you carry your luggage to the collection center) at the departure terminal, for a fee of 30 dirhams. The man that approached us carried our luggage on the trolley and we all followed him. The company handling the concierge had a dedicated counter for collection of luggage and issuing of tickets. The man helped in measuring our luggage. I wrapped three bags at 30 dirhams each and finally got our tickets.

As I passed through the check point (where you drop all your hand luggage into the wide bowls to pass through the screening machine) the alarm went off, signaling that I had something on my body. I went back and removed my wristwatch. I passed through again and the same sound went off. I was told to go into a search room; I was not moved as I did not have any contraband on me. I remember when we were leaving Budapest a few days ago and we passed through a similar check point, the lady checking held on to my knapsack (as it came through the search machine). She asked if it was for me and I said yes. She said she wanted to search and I told her to please go ahead and search it very well. I had nothing to hide. The only thing she found was my children’s yogurt.

As we walked into the plane, Pemmy turned towards the front of the plane, she wanted to go to the first class section, I smiled and turned her little body towards the tail end of the plane. Our seats were just before the restroom, I hoped and prayed there won’t be any awful smell as people go in and out of the restroom. One good thing was the fact that we didn’t have anyone sitting at our back so we could push our chairs as far as the walls would allow us. Peace liked the fact that she could pop into restroom whenever she wanted to.

By this time, I was getting used to travelling with children on the plane. We got Pemmy and Nimmy busy with cartoons and they had their ear phones on most of the time.

I couldn’t help but notice the man sitting by Peace’s left-hand side. (My crew and I occupied the four seats in the middle column of the plane). Peace and the man seemed to be chatting a great deal. From what I could garner from the bits and pieces that dropped into my ears, he was asking a lot of questions about Nimmy and giving his own advice. I kept a straight face ahead as I didn’t want to be included in their gist. I couldn’t help noticing that the man was very charming. He stopped every hostess that passed beside him and engaged them in lengthy discussion. Then Peace told me he kept asking for bottles of wine from each of them. When he had collected up to five bottles, he brought out his paper bag and kept four. Well, I guess it would be his gift to his wife when he gets home.

When the plane landed in Lagos, as we disembarked from the plane, some airport assistants brought a wheelchair for an elderly man to sit. When the man (airport assistant) tried to open the wheelchair, one of the wheels came off (The wheelchair was not in a good condition). Hmm….welcome back home, I said to myself; for me that simple scenario summarized the problem with my country.

As we walked towards luggage collection section of the airport, I realized that a lot of things had improved in the airport system. The bottlenecks had reduced and the professional beggars where not given the opportunity to collect money. However, there was a long wait for our luggage. Everyone was visibly upset about having to wait that long.

Not until I wanted to get a trolley did I realize that my Nigerian currency was in my box. I mean I completely forgot about keeping some naira in my wallet. I walked up to the concierge company in the airport and spoke to one of their men, I told him I wanted their service but my money was in my box so I wouldn’t access my money until after collecting my box. He agreed to take a trolley and follow me.

Luckily, I sighted an old friend (I had seen him when he was entering the plane) Pastor Debo gave me money to pay for the service. God bless him.

We had a mini-bus take us home; on our way home, a danfo commercial bus hit our vehicle from behind. The vehicle we were in jacked and I felt the impact of the hit. I held on tightly to Nimmy who was sitting on my lap. The driver parked the car and stepped out to confront the danfo driver. Through it all I couldn’t but smile…..welcome back to Lagos Buky.

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