Sunday, November 14, 2010

As The Bubble Bursts....

Nov 14 8:38pm Paris

Finally I can jab at my Blackberry and make this post happen. Not sure why I'm sitting up straight with this aching lower back pain I have... After ironing a few uniforms as I start my first day of work tomorrow...sigh.
Before the ironing my Jollof Rice craving was settled... More or less running from church and almost wishing the train could move any faster I arrive 5 floors up my apartment building and change to my raggedy clothes and in a frenzy my stew and what would be eventually jollof rice was well on its way. I had perviously raosted some "awo" aka Guinea fowl so protein solved too!

After much ado... Late Lunch/Dinner was served.

Anyway.... My bubble and euphoria of my Graduation on Friday has reduced dramatically size wise and should burst finally when my alarm goes off at 7:14am tomorrow morning! Yes the excitement of dressing up, looking like a million euros, collecting your certificate being cheered yes all that jazz would turn into "real life" tomorrow

The Morning of graduation started off with me thanking God and sending messages to my family thanking them for their support and also, calling my mum who was already losing it that I hadn't called her.... So I speak to her and my Dad... Prayers were said and all the mushy stuff included...
Then had to deal with some BBM messages... Then it was dress up time and my 1:30pm I was out of the door

Walking through Madeleine Metro station making my way through Rue Royale past all the Prada, Hermes, TODs, Gucci and all the designer royalty on Rue Fabroug Saint Honore my friend Michael and I confidently strode past whlist locating the building where my ceremony was going to take place...
Yes in my C/A, Celio and David Wej ensemble... I walked like I could buy the street if they vexed me... Yes I did... Some day I would..True Story but for now... I"ll just walk on by

Arriving the the grandeur trapped in concrete..aka the venue... All the asians where already there in their usual friend and I enter I and figure out how to make sure my friends who were coming could get in without
Me coming to get then since they were going to be late...
As my friend and I and in the foyer chilling and taking preliminary pictures, who does he spot... James Cameron! I didn't even know what he looked like but... All I needed to hear was that he directed Avatar and Titanic... *kaching!*
So trust me.. I knew his wife was my friends mum and I went the mum route and got to him... To cut a long story short.. During the ceremony he calls out to me and congratulates me and I ask for a picture and he says "why not! Sure!" Voila!!!! Picture below *SmileyFace* *yyyaayyy*

The ceremony was mercifully not dragged... To the point though with some "speeches" but still good... All my friends looked good..but if I must say.. Male wise... Yours Truly killed it!! Yes I gave them GQ baby! LOL!
On my way to pick my award.. I didn't know when I did a small victory dance... Yes ... It was my graduation I could dance if I wanted to!
Only for my friend to be squeezing face that why was "I showing myself" I replied "ah! You where shy of me??" "Eh.. Some people didn't like also, they were looking at you funny" he replied... Then I looked at him squarely and asked him in pidgin "Na them pay my skuu fees??, Dem gimme money chop? Dem pay ma haus rent?? Abegi! Make dem cack!!!!!" He smiled, shook his head and I made it clear that my Joy knows no bounds today hence this raining on my parade buisness wasn't just going to work!

At this point I think I can I truly say that really success has many friends and failure has none! My phone just kept on going off with alerts everywhere... Facebook, Twitter, BBM... Everything!!! I was so humbled! People I hadn't heard from in forever hollered at me and have already booked me for weddings.... But trust people Nigerians espcially... All ready asking for discount! *hiss*
And everyone was so proud of me saying that I took an unconventional step and I made it!
Sigh... I thanked as many I as I could and made a general shoutout to everyone.... Thanking them and reauesting that all this "support" be bankable in near future....

My Japanese friend Hitomi made 2nd Best student and Won Hoo made Best student and no one could contest!!! He's the baba of Food! Ahan! Kilode!!!

After much talk and picture taking, the ceremony is over and its time for champagne and hor d'ourves aka small chops... After 3 glasses of bubbly and my almost savage grabbing of the seared Tuna steaks and Pain des Epice I switch to juice... And start chatting with the endless graduates and people at the gallery...

After the cocktail... I meet up with my friend Chantily ..I'm the only one that ever talked and bonded with her in class so.. We love each other a bit ... My friend Chigba was with me and we all had some drink and by 7pm I was off to Hotel De Ville to meet up with Zoe for her Dinner paid for by her parents... *freefoodrocks!* *LoL!*

Dinner was at a Restaurant called Robert et Lousie in the Marias... Its an open fire grill restaurant. The restaurant was a like a live spectacle for good interpretation of the medieval times... Been open for almost 50yrs I think... Brick walls, benches and wooden chairs... A non fancy grill with staright up firewood and Huge Steaks grilled with Lard... No hanky panky stuff... Just real-in-your-face food

Dinner was great... Antonio and his mum present, with Zoe's younger brother, her godfather (I think) Leonardo and Antonio's friend from Portugal as well... Between all of us... We probably ate 20kilos of Beef!!!!!

Good times....

I couldn't make it to party extra as I was like an crocodile who had used up all his lactic energy and was now big and near lifeless after such a long day.... I think the Adrenalin had finished in my body!

On my way home as I took my whole day in... The emotions finally came through... I really considered the sacrifices made by my family, the opportunity I had to do this, the inspiration everyone told me I had been.... I had to hold back the tears... And everything I said about not being selfish.. I started reconsidering... I wish my at least one person was here.... I won't lie was jealous of Antonio ...LOL he had his mum...

Getting home... My plan was to type a few words but watching a show was an easier chore...but 5mins into the show... It all became blurry and it wasn't the computer shutting down....

As I finish this post I'm on the semi-bumpy ride to Work.... At 9am this bubble would finally burst....

Hello Reality?

Merci Segnieur Vous etês Tres Encroyablè!!!

A Bientot!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Graduation.... Call me Chef Fregz

Its 5:40am in the morning and I'm sleepless in Paris… sigh

Today is graduation… the climax and bestowment of a piece of paper that seals the deal to the sweat and hard work I have put in, in the last 9 months… wow how time flies…
After updating my BBM status to the above title…I intentionally fell asleep after that because I knew such an update would get me many open chats….and was to tired to answer.. I mean it was 12 midnight.
Waking up this morning to the responses was bliss…the word “congratulations” really does feel rewarding and fulfilling…

Yesterday the 11th, making sure I rose as my alarm went of said my prayers and started getting ready for my appointment at the restaurant I would be working in for 11pm I needed to get my contract signed but guess who was running late? Sigh… I get there just on time and prayed in tongues for the best of my French to come out of my mouth so I don’t look to stupid in front of the chef….anyways I as I arrive through the doors from rainy exterior, I mention I have a meeting with the chef and I was led downstairs where the kitchen was and to my semi-discouragement all the workers there where all illegal immigrants from Martique, Madagascar, and some real “dudus” from some French speaking African nation, they made up a good 95% of the cooking staff whilst the only French workers were the head chef and like 2 others…. And in my mind I'm like “sigh….so I'm the Nigerian who will look like me too I don’t have papers in their eyes abi? LOL!!!” but it just had a weird feeling to me… but what had a stranger feeling and shock to me was the head Chef…. The average Chef in the world has some serious meat on his bones or at least a pot belly to show for all his endless sampling of food and so on, but in France generally I have come to deal with the fact that men come in tooth pick sizes! And you wonder where all the croissants and butter filled food they eat goes to! But the head Chef gave a new meaning to “skinny” gosh!!! He even looked anorexic!!!! All his facial bones where sticking out, his waist was visible through his apron! It was not a very good sight….had to keep a straight face and pay attention to all he was trying to say to me…
we get the Contract signed, he gave me a tour of the restaurant, and he even spoke some level of English! But I'm only counting on that for emergencies because I really want to improve my French!! And I wanna keep hearing it till it just makes sense! So I start work 9am and finish and 5pm on Monday…. I'm just keeping an open mind…

After Market, I head to Chatelet to “fix-up-look-sharp” for graduation hadn’t been to that area in a while and I needed something “inexpensive” but sharp for today… so after much roaming I pick up a few things including a white and purple shirt and some socks and ties. C&A never fails me! LOL! Thanks to RIM and their BBM witchcraft, I called on my best friend Tayo Ola to help decide what to buy, so I made my combos and sent the pictures via BBM and he sent me a suggestion that was an excat consideration of mine! So….we agreed on the look and the deal was sealed…. Pictures soon so you would see the final product!

At this point…I couldn’t tell what was going to burst first, my bladder or my stomach. I had made the effort/mistake of having a sandwhich and one litre of water in this cold weather so…a few hours later my body reacted and it wasn’t good… I did all the dances possible to stop me from being a one year old who couldn't control his bladder actions… coupled with the hunger… I was on the verge of fainting!
Sadly MacDonald’s was my only hope… more sadly in the light of feeling healthy, I had a Coke zero and a lame salad that looked good on display but crap in reality… but I ate and relished it as the hunger was almost eating my insides! Afterward si even got some small size chunky fries…. Yes I was that hungry! And proceeded to cut my hair…
If you read my last post about cutting my hair, you already know that I always have stories to tell well…
Making my way through the metro and walking briskly enough to ignore all these hair hustlers, I make it to my zones where my Nigerian guys are at and do it with a sense of familiarity now… but my regular guy isn’t around so another guy who is “Bini” (benin) is in charge of my hair today…. Then he starts to talk!!!!!! Chai!!!!!! With his undeniable benin accent (I could even hear it when he spoke French!) he started asking me (with a dead attempt of “phonetics” ) some questions and trying to strike up that barber-barbee convo!

Barber: so are you have been living in france for a loon tym?

Me: no, na school I dey

Barber: so you have your parent living with you here right?

Me: no na, I tok say I dey school!

Barber: ehen so… ah so your parent are the wan sponsoring you here right?

Me: *inmy mind* ah!!! This one thinks he has seen “boti” kid! Hahahaaaa I laugh at you!!! Did they write dollars on my head!!! *hiss*….. “no oh…I was working before I came we shared it…”

Barber: ah… releey.. ah… you know  it’s not easy… to be staying in this Europe

Me: *my mind* yeah tell me something I don’t know!

**pls try and imagine the barbers questions with the most despicable attempt at phonee/yankee accent

Anyways…. He went on and on with all the questions that were aimed at finding out how rich I was..but put him straight and informed him I even grew up in Benin…and all this misbehavior his doing…he should stop it… at the end of the day… he did hook me up with an amazing hair cut… so I gladly handed him my 10 Euros and walked out feeling like I was GQ cover ready!

Sadly again… as I approached the house… there was a rumble in my tummy once more… but after all that food in Normandy I promised myself I was gonna go a strict diet and exercise…. So I picked up some courgette and leeks from the supermarket and recreated my friend Inigo’s Courgette cream soup… but my mine was the skinny version… and roasted some “awo” aka guinea fowl… with pepper and had that for dinner whilst on Skype with Omowale…

So basically yesterday was good even with the cold and the drippy rain, constant hunger and the risk of wetting myself….

Today has to be even more fun… my graduation ceremony, dinner at Zoe’s ….hmmmm….

I'm forever indebted to God…. Jesus my life is yours… continually use me for your glory…. Help me honour You more…

To all my family members… I knew if you could make it you would… I'm not going to be selfish and sulk that no ne came for my grad… if you didn’t make your sacrifices there would be any graduation sef!!!! May God increase everyone of you! Your children will not lack any good thing!

I will make you all proud… by God grace… it’s a promise!! You have sown on good ground… your seeds will bring forth fruit!

I hope today won’t be too emotional too… my small group of friends… we would really miss each other…

I'm gonna try and really take today in… because my bubble would be burst when that alarm goes off 
tomorrow morning meaning I have WORK!

A Bientot!!!

Normandy.....La Fin

Nov 10 2010
Today is the final day we are on the way back to Paris...typing this as I take the scenery in as we ride past, I have Oleku by IcePrince and Byrmo pumping in my ears as I do this...after all the drama that transpired last night, the kissing and making up this morning...the reality is really setting in... We are all saying goodbyes slowly...

At this point I'm not sad or depressed like that but at the same time its kinda hard to see this amazing 5days of feasting and laughter just end like that and its back to the reality of Paris, work, stinky metros, my five floors of stairs I need to climb everyday ....*sigh*

Moreover there's the issue of really running again! I'm strongly convinced beyond reasonable and unreasonable doubt that I have put on maybe 10billion kilograms! I mean I didn't hold back.... Fatty Bacon, Salami, Baugettes, Creamy desserts, Endless sugar filled treats, Apple Crumble, wine... Yes the whole nine yards! Sigh! My stomach I'm sure would remind you of the recently beached whale at the beach in Lagos or a sun bathing Walrus...sigh

But it was all worth it... This trip dug deep into my pocket also..but I live once, so...oh well, I was inspired, my passion for cooking and food was fuelled, got to know people better, grow as a person... So at the end of the day its a small price I have paid... And thankfully God has already provided!

But I would love to re-live this experience again.... Looking at cows grazing on picturesque fields, calm horses chewing every last strand of grass from the earth, drinking fresh milk from cows!, seeing the dramtic backdrop of the autumn spiked vegetation, plucking apples from the trees....hmmm
My friends and I have planned to do this in another 2 years... Re-union things, And I want some of my Nigerian friends to do this as well and even my family...just anyone one would be as exposed as me and open-minded to do this

We almost in Paris now... *sigh* but as I think and allow my mind replay everything, I just stand in awe of my Lord God Almighty.... Sometimes I just feel this is too much... I'm not faithful but he blesses me...Thank You me to honour You more

If your are reading this and you wonder why I ALWAYS thank God... Please search for him through Jesus..The Truth The Way and the Life... Who has made all this possible for me...He can do the same for you and more importantly save your soul...

This post is dedicated also to my Aunty Yemi Shonubi... I see I have not done you justice by mentioning you.... You were the one that God used to spark this dream into the reality it is today....God bless you aunty! Thanks for the "Monday deadline" and the encouragement to research schools online.. You are the best aunty! Your children's dreams would see the light of day!

To my family and everyone that is pushing me...I love and thank you!

A Bientot!

P:S The post for the previous days are still in the works... So...pardon my apparent not so smart move! Post soon!