I'm typing this from the air... I've never been online on a plane before; to be honest, I never completely knew that you could even do this (the wonders of the white man's magic will never cease!)
I'm much more at ease now that I'm actually on my way. This morning I thought that my head was going to explode... The check-in process was pretty hellish, but I was able to re-distribute the weight of my baggage so that I ended up checking in 4 pieces with a total weight of around 280 lbs (I had to pay $420 in excess baggage charges) and carrying on 2. I got held up at security for a bit of a long time because I guess some of the stuff in my equipment bag (lenses, microphone mixer, boom mic, etc.) looked kinda suspicious. I guess it didn't help that I had bundled them up in bubble wrap and duct tape for safety's sake!
Anyway, I get to Port Harcourt, Nigeria at 3:55 pm tomorrow (or is that today? shit... I already got my time zones mixed up). Denis wants me to come to Calabar directly from the airport: since I'm already missing the morning casting call, he thinks it's best that I watch the tapes of the auditions tonight (tomorrow night?) so we can do callbacks tomorrow (or is that the day after.... ah, whatever!)
I can't do it, though. Apart from the fact that Port Harcourt is like 4 hours away from Calabar and it's not a road you wanna be driving at night (especially carrying the amount of booty I am), I have to go see my family first. I mean, it's already bad enough that I'm barely resting my head at home before I'm zipping off to be Mr. Movie Man... if I went straight to Calabar without going home first, I don't think my grandmother would forgive me.
See, now that I'm head ing back to Africa I need to remember how important respect and decorum are in our culture. I got a pretty hardcore reminder of that when I went to the Nigerian consulate the other day (ha! like how I tied it back into that story?) and the guy at the front desk was giving me grief because I didn't pay him what he felt was adequate (ie grovelling and calling him "sir"). Dude, you're a fucking receptionist. But alas, he was a receptionist who had the power to make me wait and wait and wait at his discretion before he let me in to see the lady who was going to hook my visa up.
When I finally got in to see said lady, I pissed her off almost immediately when she asked me for my passport and visa application form and I handed them to her with my left hand.
"WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR RIGHT HAND!!!" she bellowed.
"err.... I don't really use it much, because I dislocated it in the army and it has the tendency to...."
"So if your arm is dislocated, why do you have that big backpack hanging from it?"
"Well, uh... It's not affected by downward pressure. But if I extend it..."
"I am an Igbo woman! It's extremely disrespectful to give me something with the left hand!"
*she tosses the passport back at me; grovelling ensues*
Eventually, she got over it and decided to help me even though I'm an uncouth scallywag. Then I made the mistake of answering "Yeah" to one of her questions rather than "Yes, madam" or "Yes, Auntie."
Hooooo-boy, if looks could kill, the one she shot me would have me looking like al-Zarqawi.
"You didn't grow up at home, did you?" she asked.
"Yes, auntie... I did. But I've been away for a while." (this is me hoping she'll overlook my bad manners on account of my sojourn amongst American savages)
"You grew up in London?" she asks.
"No, auntie. I've visited England but I've never lived there."
"So why do you have a British accent?"
(Actually, I've been getting that a lot lately... Most recently from the Danish dude sitting next to me on the plane right now. Dunno what that's about... Maybe it's because I talk real "proper"-like)
"No, auntie... I didn't grow up in England."
"Yes, you did! You must have! Why do you talk like that?"
(By this point she's getting agitated, believing that in addition to having horrible manners I'm also a liar. I decided to defuse the situation and do what I gotta do to make her stamp my passport.)
"Well... Yes, I did spend a little time in London. A few years."
She smiles broadly. "Eh-henh! I thought so! You think I don't know what I'm talking about."
*passport gets stamped*
Anyway, it's good to have all of that trouble out of the way... The extra two days I got from missing my flight on Wednesday gave me the chance to take care of some business I didn't get around to before - opening a "business" account, getting to the comic store and picking up my pulls from the past two weeks... Plus, Thursday's payday so I got a nice cash injection that allowed me to cop a few extra things we need, including makeup (my girl Sha gave me some great tips... I just noticed that she commented on my last post, so if you're reading this, Sha, thanks a mil!)
Oh yeah... Speaking of which. To my fellas who mess with attractive, well-groomed women and who want to continue messing with attractive, well-groomed women: don't be complaining about how much she spends on makeup and getting her hair did. Because brother, that shit ain't cheap! I mean, I always knew that, but I musta spent $100 and walked out with only a handful of items! (And I have mighty small hands too!)
I just realized that I forgot my favorite cowboy hat behind! Damn.... I guess the spirit of John Wayne isn't gonna be following me to Africa. It's all for the best, I suppose: he hated negroes.