An altogether forgettable weekend – and at my age they all are – is bookended by a pit stop at Union Square for lunch with a friend of a friend. A random conversation a couple of weeks ago about (yet another) mutual friend and my lack of proactivity had ended up in a challenge of sorts being issued in my direction. Three phone calls later – with a few text messages thrown in – I end up making my way up the stairs towards the safe bet that is Nandos for a quick bite and chat. I arrive early – knowing Union Square, getting a table can be a hassle on sunny Sunday afternoons – the added advantage being that I get to see her first, and the satisfaction that she fits the image I have of her in my head. We order simple food – lime and herb flavoured chicken with a mixed leaf salad for me and a ratatouille for her and bottomless drinks and make small talk over the course of an hour and a half. All told it is a pleasant afternoon, and but for the fact that I have dodgy genes, and family history I would already be inventing scenarios involving white picket fences and 2.1 kids in my head. 🙂 Given the choice, I would most certainly like an encore by all accounts.
My friend O arrives at my house a few minutes after I get home. His wife has visitors from church – all women- and he takes the opportunity to make himself scare. Being just around the corner from him, I end up being the default host. We settle in to catch up, and the subject of Nigeria inevitably comes up. The shambolic showing at the Olympics gets our juices agitated especially, and we end up throwing in the mis-use of federal character and the educationally less developed state criterion to water down academy entry requirements in Nigeria. The one thing that this guarantees is that it leaves us unduly agitated and down right depressed at the cesspool that is Nigeria.
All too soon, between grocery shopping, church and marathon football manager saves, the weekend runs away and it is 8.30pm on a Sunday night – inevitably bringing the spectre of Monday morning front and centre to my mind. It’s the second week since the paths of Ms Bitchy Boss from my Nigerian assignment and mine have crossed again, almost five years apart. It turns out that I am not the only one with whom she has history. It has been a quiet return so far, deep down in my mind, her return is just another more incentive to take that PhD search a tad bit more seriously.