Well that was rather unfortunate but these things can happen anywhere in the world. I may as well write what happened!
It was about 2.30am and I saw somebody leave my room in the dark. Being half asleep I thought ‘that’s weird, what’s Ojo doing?’ My immediate impulse was to look for my phone next to me for a torch but it wasn’t there. As I lay there with the door left open, I thought it weird so I got up. I turned my light on and my two bags weren’t there. As I started waking up it dawned on me might have happened – and then I found my small bag contents all over the spare bedroom floor. Books, passport, empty wallet, printed tickets, clothes, strewn all over the place. Then I looked out the window and there was the contents of my large bag all over the table and patio outside. I woke Ojo up, asking why all my stuff was everywhere, and we went outside to see all the mess from my main bag. He saw that part of the metal grid on the window had been razored open and they had snuck in. Ojo and Tobi were both sleeping in the parlour, so the spare room was empty, and I was well asleep as they walked through and entered my room. He must have been in my room and in the house for ages cos my phone was right next to me in bed and my wallet was in my jeans behind the bed, and then with taking the bags and ransacking them, he’d had a proper look. I lost probably half of the stuff I brought with me, including bizarrely my cold weather clothes.
Ojo stayed up all night, really upset that this had happened, and a neighbour found a trace of footsteps to a house nearby. We don’t know who it could be, we only know the patterns of certain footsteps. We gave the Police a statement yesterday morning and now it’s a waiting game. The things they took are material possessions and can be easily replaced, but it’s still a shock as it’s the first time it’s happened to me. But I’m still alive aren’t I! It doesn’t tarnish the trip and I still love Nigeria very much. As Dell commented on my Facebook post, ‘the way of the traveller’. I think everybody who has been away for a prolonged time has had to deal with it.
Everyone local has said the island as a whole has never had anything like this happen before. We’re none the wiser to a culprit and we are trying not to assume anything. The area we live on the island is called ‘Powerline’ because of a the huge electricity cables running overhead, and as we boarded a boat on our way off the island earlier today, at the jetty 10 mins from the house, a lad shouted “hey it’s Oyinbo from Powerline”, and Ojo said “it could be anyone – they all know where we live”.
I was upset yesterday but the remedial qualities of playing the drums helped a lot and rehearsal was another absolute stormer. That band is fantastic. What I will also say is that the reaction from my friends has been nothing short of stunning and I love you all very much.
Today, after I spent some time on Ojo’s laptop trying for insurance claims and all that hoopla, we set off for Computer Village so I could get a new (old) phone. We took an Okada for the 30 minute journey, the longest journey on one so far as usually they are only 5 to 10 minute little runs. Booming up the main roads we got covered in muck but they’re great fun to ride. Daryn nailed it the other day when he said those drivers live in a 4D world with having to navigate terrible roads, weave through traffic and pick up passengers. We drove past the huge offices of a Newspaper here called ‘The Guardian’ and their slogan is ‘Conscience: Nurtured by Truth’. I can imagine Chris Morris reading that line. ‘Slamming the wasps from the pure apple of truth’.
We got caught in the first proper daytime rain I’d seen so far. Lagos has certain areas of certain market and Computer Village is stall after stall after stall of phones, laptops, electrical equipment, wires and obviously, non stop people. It was another intoxicating experience haggling our way round Samsungs and HTCs and hundreds of replica phones, like the ‘Samsung Galexy 6’. We picked a real one up and everything is back to normal. Well, normal for Lagos anyway. I spent 5 minutes trying to change the Azerbaijan keyboard. The blanket of the burglary incident had threatened to consume us but today was a really good day. Onwards and upwards. I’m going to Fela’s Shrine on Saturday so there is no cause for complaint here.