Check out My Top 5 Francophone Countries for the Holidays!

map_of_west_africa

It’s almost time for the Christmas Holidays. So, dollars is hard to come by, Nigeria is “in recession”. Not sure, if you can afford traveling to USA/UK/Canada etc. for the holidays?

Relax, you are covered. A beautiful fact is that you don’t need a visa to visit any of these countries. For those residing in Nigeria, you have no need for visa, just ensure that your yellow card is up to date and your passport is valid. For residents outside Nigeria, please check the embassy websites of these countries.

You can choose to drive or fly to your choice country. Personally, I would recommend driving to Togo & Benin especially if you are coming from Nigeria. Just enjoy the road trip. Downside – You will be pleasantly tired.

It’s also an opportunity for newbie french speakers to practice the french language and be immersed in the french culture at first hand. Don’t worry, If you are a Nigerian, you are very resilient to culture shock.

So why these 5?

These countries have different effects on me. Let’s go down memory lane.

  1. Togo – This country has a sleepy feel. Each time I arrive, it’s like I did some kinda time travel or rather left the bustle of Lagos to one of the quieter states like Edo State. I always lodge in any of the hotels close to the beach. I love the feel of sand under bare feet and picking shells (surprisingly clean).
  2. Cote d’Ivoire – The ambience is french! You feel the immersion. It’s total. The street smells… the hustle and bustle. Have you been to their market? Just make sure you have enough CFA with you so that you can buy authentic wrappers to your heart’s content.
  3. Benin- This country reminds me of Nigeria! Yes, it does. Benin Republic is next door neighbor with Nigeria. You can practically stroll through the borders and voila! you are in. I once had that sensation of one foot on Nigerian soil and the other foot on Benin Republic soil. You hear people speaking yoruba, pidgin english, egun, french, and sometimes ibo language. The border is so busy especially as the port is nearby. Moving inwards to the capital, greenery greets me on both sides of the road and road officials that mildly remind me of the LASTMA (Lagos Road Officials)
  4. Cameroon – I almost swoon (ok, I’m exaggerating) but seriously, I love love Cameroon. That blend of English & French speaking citizens. Have you eaten their fish? or sharwama? You are missing out! Cameroon shares river boundary with Cross River in Nigeria,(see, we are practically sisters) People everywhere! I took a bus ride from Douala to Yaounde and I was reminded of the long yellow buses that ply Lagos roads. (it’s official, I reside in Lagos, Nigeria, and you my friends can tell). It was a sweaty ride because the AC’s non functional and I was stashed between 2 market women (you can laugh, I have gotten over it).
  5. Guinea Conakry – Dusty quiet country. Why this town? I have spent over 3months at a stretch here. (I did stay during the Ebola outbreak). It gives off the ‘forgotten’ feel till you come to the capital and you are confronted by the small size of the roads and streets. I laugh at what they call traffic. They haven’t witnessed traffic in Lagos. a couple of my Guinean friends refer to Lagos as ‘Petit London’. Yea, they can’t get over the 3rd Mainland Bridge. Guinea Conakry is a country that makes you forget all your office issues, Lagos hassle. Their currency (GNF) is so low that with $1,000 you can live the life of an Emperor.

One of the main attraction to these countries is the food. I can’t get over the cheapness of food. For those that want to maintain their weight, they can always do that. These french countries have a huge appetite for all things salads/chicken/fish. And can they eat? Gosh! A 3-course meal for lunch and you can’t understand how they are able to still have space for dinner.

As for the chilling life, their towns come to life at night. So for the party folks and wine connoisseurs, you will enjoy this to the fullest.

For those with the eye of an entrepreneur, just have enough of money with you and a native guide, you will get very good prices for excellent fabrics, bags, shoes, whatever catches your business eye.

*Sorry, I don’t have pictures because my laptop crashed and I had no backup. Lesson learnt.

Ping back to Greetings!  and The Francophone Christmas    for a bit of more background information.

 

 

Rant or Post?

I can’t believe this! US folks taking to the street because they got a different Buhari? No wonder, Nigerians are seen as suffering and smile people.

What should Nigerians do? When you face Sagamu to link Ibadan, and avoid the usual Lagos-Ibadan expressway traffic, and all you see is bad bad road. You just find yourself praying with your heart in your throat. Do you know that coaster biscuit sold for N5 is now N10? and the biscuits has reduced from 6 to 4 inside a pack! Gala has tried in maintaining their N50 price but the sausage is almost extinct.

These oyibo people sef. They have good amenities, light is constant, road is fine, you can even lie on the road sef, food is cheap and they are here on TV disturbing my ears with … *not my president* *not my president*.. mschewwww

What’s my own sef? The only people that know me are my friends, family, loved ones, colleagues… so I cannot come and carry headache for nobody because my office people will soon join this argument of Hillary vs Trump.

In other news, Linda Ikeji Social! That babe brain be working overdrive. She sha wan collect media phenomenal for 2016. For those that have signed up, tell us your experience with the site. *Side eyes* at Adaezenwa

Back to my noisy colleagues and background noise on Trump/Hillary.

 

Sneak Peek

So Nigeria is in recession?? Should my thoughts go into recession?

The picture above is my daily set up. I discovered that I sometimes cheat on my 09-05 work. Yes, my side hustle crashes in and my ever flowing thoughts invade my office time.

No stories here but rather than continue to cry how hard the country has become, or the cost of rice in the market? we should begin to think outside the box on what we can offer the general public and how we intend to thrive  in this tough times that we live in.

Did you notice the wave of writing workshops? And increasing number of e-books published? Okadabooks is definitely giving publishers a run for their money and writers are adding value to their gift and passion.

Me?? I will be birthing ideas soonest. Afterall, man go still sleep, wake up, chop, work and play.

No time for pity parties. 

Inlaks Toastmasters

Inlaks Toastmasters

Hello You,

Yes you! you! and you!! Thank God it’s Friday.

‘Bilingual, aren’t you coming with us?’ Seyi queried. In my heart, I sighed. I really wanted to go home. My plans for the evening: buy 2 of those sweet popcorns they sell on the CMS entering 3rd Mainland Bridge. Those popcorns are simply to die for. Hopefully, beat the traffic, take a cool bath and snuggle in front of my laptop with popcorn, and coldstone ice cream. Get lost to the world for the next two hours with that film, The CEO.

But of course, Seyi had to ruin it. I had totally forgotten about Inlaks Toastmasters meet. The rest like they say, is history.

Why did I forfeit my Thursday evening for Inlaks Toastmasters(IT)? Let me tell you…

If you have had a really bad week, then be at IT. If you missed AY shows, Be at IT. If you think you stutter, Be at IT. ahh.. My grammar is cool, don’t be too sure. IT could expose that nonsense shebi… yes na.. abi na.. noo.. err.. yez pleeze.. pardin.., words we unconsciously call English language.

I laughed so hard, the first time I attended. I got to see adults crack jokes like Basketmouth, dramatize like RMD & Rita Dominic, sing like Korede Bello (they wish). It was outright funny. But I also learned how to break ice when meeting with people for the first time, (think Dale Carnegie). I learnt how to think on my feet and pay attention to Channels & CNN. I also learnt how to articulate and avoid ambiguity.

For those of you living and working in Lagos, take out the time and come see for yourself. The Inlaks Toastmasters is making me a better person socially and intellectually. What about you?

Folks outside Lagos, I didn’t desert you, just google up the toastmasters nearest to you in your state. Inlaks Toastmaster is just a chapter of Toastmasters International.

Let’s talk. Have you heard about Toastmasters? Are you a member of a chapter?

 

 

 

 

 

Sticking to the Plan

calendar

19 days into the new year. How has the journey being? And your plans? I made plans and actually started working towards them but gradually days started piling and I discovered that somewhere along the path, I had slacked off.

Let’s talk about plans. So much has been said about resolutions and what have you. A lot have made resolutions and yet refused to make because they think, what’s the use if you can’t stick to it after one week.

I believe that it is good to come into the year with expectations. I believe that it is good to have dreams. it would be fulfilling if every of our dreams came through or our plans succeed. Popular saying says, ‘heaven help those who help themselves’.

So do we can’t afford to fold our hands and expect everything good to drop into our hands. We have to make plans, stick to the plans and keep pushing forward.

In Nigeria, elections are looming ahead. Boko Haram making sad headlines. There is always something tragic in the news. Do we forget our hopes and plans? or do we firm up our minds and keep going yet staying alert as events unfold around us.

Today is the !9th of January, 2015. I intend to pick myself up from the rut, go back to my work station, pull out my plans portfolio and start working through from the smallest to the biggest step.

What about you?

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images culled from: www.gopixpic.com and alejandrohitti.com

2014 in review

Hello My Wonderful Commenters & Viewers,

I am thankful. I was amazed by the number of views this blog got in 2014! and from 56 countries with USA & Nigeria topping the list. This is a very big deal for me. Why? I am just two years in blogosphere (I coined that word). I totally love you my viewers.

A special shout out to my wonderful viewers.

Thank you my LinkedIn viewers. Thank you theasoebijunkie.wordpress.com. Thank you my Facebook viewers. Thank you Feyidiary.wordpress.com. Thank you my WordPress reader viewers.

Awww… @Livelytwist a heartfelt thank you for your encouraging comments.

I want to know my viewers. I really want to know you.

Please leave a comment so that I can appreciate you.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 960 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

your comments, opinions and views are greatly treasured.

xoxo!

#Keepmoving

Hello Folks,

So many people have wished you ”Happy New Year”, ”Happy 2015”. As the euphoria wanes, where do you find yourself? Are you planning to retrogress? stay on the same spot? or keep moving?

question smiley Oil prices are down, cost of things are going up, Boko Haram still operating, Elections looming. What do you really want to do? How best can you improve and forge on?

I am still cleaning out. I am just discovering that what I am doing currently and what I am supposed to do are two parallel things. So, here I am thinking on how to align my plans to meet my desired goals. I am strategizing on how to follow through on these plans of mine. Don’t be surprised if you notice a change in blog’s content or a new face to this blog. It’s all part of moving forward.

I expect to meet with obstacles, I expect to sometimes get carried away, I expect to sometimes feel down, I expect to sometimes feel like I am stuck in a rut. You, my dear friends will feel same but I believe that we should just keep moving knowing that each step brings us nearer to our goal and just remember that challenge is only a bus stop in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.

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Tired!!!

That’s exactly how I feel. When I read about how other bloggers juggle matters of life and their blog??? I am totally lost.

Please tell me, how do you do it? Since I came back to Lagos, it’s been absolutely crazy. Somehow I manage to get through the day and hit the sack, then my eyes blink open by 4:00am. Weekend? that’s a foreign word. Please allow me to google it.

Right now, I am trying not to use up my leave days so that I can rejuvenate during the festive periods.

Great news, stories, posts but even my fingers feel to heavy to type. I had issues with my external memory stick and yes, I lost the pictures taken in Guinea Conakry *sad face*.
Because of irregular posting, my ratings dropped on linkedin. *smh*.

The year is winding down. Yes, I am looking forward to travelling to hopefully ebola free zones.

Yes, I just ranted and no, it wasn’t a tantrum.

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***Ibadan is the capital of Oyo, a state in Nigeria***

***smh – shaking my head***

Ebolaspeak!

#combat ebola
#combat ebola
Prevention is better than sorry...
Prevention is better than sorry…

Okay people, I just couldn’t resist and yes I love Nigeria. While the world has been going ga-ga, and panic everywhere, Nigeria inclusive; Our dear omo naijas have shown themselves.

Of course personal hygiene cannot be over-emphasized; use of liquid handwash, soap, hand sanitizer cannot be over emphasized. All you sex and kissing lovers, Be Guided Ooooo!!!

Una wey too dey shake hands ati hug body plus touch touch head, nose, hand every every, Hian! Be Guided !!!

Still in state of alertness, let’s share some laughs and release the usual Monday tension

Gear up!
Gear Up!
Our women conference dress code
Our women conference dress code
Naija omo ibo no dey carry last ...
Naija omo ibo no dey carry last …
#trending fashion ... #best selfie
#trending fashion … #best selfie
I must love ooo
I must love ooo
You no go chop??
You no go chop??

 

*I culled these pictures from the world wide web.

Thank you for sharing:

— gstatic.com, news2.onlinenigeria.com, nigeriashowbiz.com, fbcdn-sphotos.com, 2.bp.bogspot.com, sharegist.com, jadeafrican.com etc —

Please drop your swag links/comments/jokes pictures and let’s laugh them off

 

Ebola 3

Dear Villebilingue,

#ebola … #guinea … #sierra leone #liberia … #Nigeria #Patrick Sawyer …

Just had to start with the hash tags and trending countries. Of all places, Nigeria! To think that my colleagues seemingly escaped from Ebola! and Ebola 2 only to meet it here in our Naija.

“Baby, I am worried”, said Zina as she snuggled closer to her boyfriend, Tade. She had to be worried. With all the talks of Ebola and that guy that died at the Obalende Hospital. The idea of squeezing into a public bus and stuck in traffic with sweaty strangers made her skin crawl.

“Yes dear, why the wrinkles”? Asked Tade. He was thinking of the twelve days to payday alert and hoping she had no monetary demands.

Zina responded bluntly, “we need a car, I can’t stand the idea of contracting this Ebola virus or you too! I’m tired of going into a panic each time people come near us especially in public.”
She wasn’t through with the rants. “You know how nigerians can be? Very soon, fake bleach and hand sanitizers will be everywhere. And they will be insulting you anyhow if you don’t shake their hands or eat with them!”

Poor Tade was left wondering about the relationship between car and her rants.
“Look baby, no more public bus and smelly taxi or okada again o! We cannot be sitting like sardine inside hot bus ooo… I cannot carry hankerchief to cover face if somebody sneeze”. “Now you know why we need a car.” She finished smugly.

So VB, Ebola is here in Nigeria and as usual Creative Nigerians will not be left behind. See below:

From a particular fm radio station in Naija:

I just heard that-

​Bitter-Kola has been internationally verified to cure Ebola. Anyone who suspects they are in danger of catching it is advised to consume it. It is like food and there is no overdose.Simply peel and chew!May God protect us all, amen!

And these pictures :-

image

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For more info on ebola, my swag friends do remember that google.com is your friend.

Any more ebolacious comment or joke??