Posted in Gombe Tales

The First time I traveled to Gombe State.

I used to pride myself on being someone that liked to travel until the journey to Gombe State changed my life forever. There’s no way you’d spend two days on the road like I did and your life will remain the same. I’ve made this two-day trip two more times but the memory of the first trip is still very fresh.

Gombe State is located in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria and there’s nothing that could have prepared me, a girl that has only ever known the South and some parts of the West for this trip. My mental preparation for this journey began when I received my call-up letter and found out that I had been posted to the North. What do you do when you find out that you’ve been posted to Gombe State and there’s nothing you can do about it? You cry. I cried till the day I was to leave.

We hear a lot of stories about the North so you have an idea about why I was crying.

Gombe State? Where is Gombe?” I asked myself. I had to Google it because Gombe State is one of those states in Nigeria that we rarely hear about in the news. We began to make travel plans and we discovered that I had a long journey ahead of me, two days from Port Harcourt. To make matters worse, there was some sort of crisis with bandits in Jos, which is closer to Gombe. We considered flight but it was out of the question because the price was crazy expensive and we couldn’t afford it at the time. We made inquiries and we were told that the only option I had was passing through Kano.

Imagine this scenario: You’re supposed to take a straight route to see someone but there’s another person on that route that you’ve been avoiding. What do you do? You either decide not to go or pass through another route.

Detailed description with a pen and paper.
Don’t forget to hype my artistic skills in the comments section.

If we had done proper research, we would have known that there’s a park for direct vehicles to Gombe at Oil Mill in Port Harcourt but the thing with going to a strange place is that there’s usually nobody to ask. I didn’t even want to bother anyone so we went to Waterlines and we found “Cross Country” vehicles going to the North. Their transport services are quite affordable in my opinion. They’ve probably increased their prices from September last year till now but I remember that Port Harcourt to Abuja was 10k Naira then. Affordable. Again, if I had done proper research, I’d have known that there’s no way I would have arrived in Kano that same day, lodged in a hotel, and continued my journey the next day. You can guess where I spent the night but that was even the least of my problems.

Around 5 am when I left home – was still maintaining beauty.

I commenced my journey from Port Harcourt on the 31st of August and arrived at the NYSC camp in Gombe on the 2nd of September by 1 am.

We had not even left Port Harcourt when motion sickness kicked in. I’ve been battling motion sickness since I was little and I always prepare my stash of mint sweets, gum, and water. I also never eat before I travel. Never. That day, however, Lauren brought rice and chicken ‘cos somehow, she forgot and I set myself up by taking one bite of chicken (maybe it was two, I can’t remember). I had vomited three times in the vehicle before we got to Enugu. Mind you, Kano is 13 hours from Enugu so we hadn’t even gotten far. I remember thinking to myself “big girl like you still dey vomit for bus”. It was embarrassing but it’s one of those things. One of the passengers bought bitter kola for me and asked me to try it. I don’t know if I stopped vomiting because the bitter kola worked or because I had already emptied the contents of my stomach. I chewed bitter kola and drank water for the rest of the journey.

Did I mention that I was also on my period and I was battling serious cramps?

From Port Harcourt, you’ll pass through Imo, Abia, Enugu, Benue (Makurdi road), Kogi (Lokoja road), (all the other roads between them), before you get to Abuja. We got to Abuja around 12:55 am and the driver drove us to the park and said that he couldn’t continue the journey and we’ll have to sleep at the park. I started crying because I had been looking forward to a nice bath and some food. I went straight to the driver and asked him why we stopped. This was not the plan! We were supposed to arrive at Kano that day! He simply looked at me and told me that Kano was six hours away from Abuja. Six hours?! I started crying again. I had to use the toilet/bathroom reserved for drivers and I finally put bread and tea in my stomach. Thank God for people that make Mishai. I charged my phone a bit, let my parents know where I was, and slept in the vehicle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this story so far. I don’t want it to be too long so I’m dividing it into two parts. I’ll try to publish the second part ASAP.

Love,

‘Ruona ❤️

P.S:

I’ve added a new category to this blog, titled “Gombe Tales”. I can’t wait to share my experiences in Gombe with you!

Have you been on a long journey before? Please share your experience.

Have you heard about motion sickness? Do you have motion sickness? What works for you?

When should I publish part 2?

Please share your thoughts in the comments box below. You know how much I love reading from you. Thank you! 💜

Posted in Fiction, Random

The Gossip Queen (TGQ)

Indomie liked to gossip. She was a professional in talking about matters that didn’t concern her and before you ask, Indomie is not her real name. She was called indomie because she always had mouth-watering gist garnished with lies and exaggeration and most of her listeners always slurped the gist up like noodles.

You see, gossiping comes naturally to people. You cannot deny that at one point in your life, you’ve not said something about someone in their absence because if you look at it, gossip is a casual conversation about other people that will most often involve details that are not true. You’ve probably heard some people justify gossip by saying “there’s nothing I’m saying here that I can’t say to his/her face” and in some cases, it may be true because not all gossip causes harm and if you didn’t know, there’s good and bad gossip. There’s good gossip in the sense that you can talk about someone in the person’s absence and say you’re proud of that person and I’m quite sure that you know that bad gossip comes from a place of hate, jealousy, idleness, or an inability to keep a secret.

Our gossip queen indomie dabbled in all forms of gossip as her mood decided and you can’t exactly blame her because she has always been one to talk a lot and it’s very easy when storytelling comes naturally to you. In other words, she just couldn’t keep her mouth closed and there were always people to listen and encourage her gossip ministry.

Before I continue with this story, you should know that Indomie did not have such a great childhood. She was an only child and she was well catered for but her parents were often busy with work and so, they rarely had her time. Indomie found comfort in school quite young and she made friends easily because they were always drawn to her stories. On days when she had nothing to tell, she ended up making up stories to capture the attention of her audience. Indomie also found out that people liked to listen to personal stories and before long, she started to lie. She’d tell her friends about her new Barbie and Ken doll that used to wake up, talk to her and walk about in her room. She was inspired by Toy Story and she told her friends that Barbie and Ken only spoke to her. Don’t ask me why her friends believed her. You can’t deny that you believed strange things when you were younger too.

As Indomie got older, she started telling people’s stories too. She fed on the satisfaction of always having the attention of her audience. After all, her parents didn’t have her time but her friends were interested in her. They knew she was lying most of the time but who doesn’t like to hear the scoop on the latest relationships or what happens when nobody is watching? The real question should be “how did she know these things?” She was brilliant no doubt and not all her facts were correct but as long as she had a source, her stories were in abundance. Sometimes, I wondered how people confided in Indomie because she’d always spill but even I can not deny that she was quite easy to talk to. The wise ones knew that if they wanted a rumor to spread like wildfire, all they needed to do was tell her and it was a done deal.

One thing you might have observed about gossip is that it’s often done in close circles. You see, gossiping promotes trust in a way because if I’m gossiping with you, I trust that you won’t spill, and even if you have a cause to talk about whatever we may have discussed, I trust that people will not be able to link it back to me. Indomie had a gossip circle – her group of friends. As much as they traded gossip stories, they also shared their secrets and they felt confident that there was an unspoken code of trust. They would gossip about other people but they would not gossip about each other. Gossiping together was entertaining and most times, they did it because they were bored or idle but as you may have guessed, they were not true to one another because as soon as one person left the group, she became the subject of discussion. It was terrible.

Grace, a member of the circle confided in Indomie that she was pregnant for James. She trusted that Indomie would keep this information to herself and not spread it because they were friends. Two days later, Serena had come to ask her about it and Janet had called her careless. How did they know? She only told Indomie!! At the end of the week, everybody had heard about her pregnancy and even had twisted versions of the story. To make things worse, James broke up with her.

There was no way Grace was going to forgive Indomie. Indomie was the only person she had told. She thought she had confided in her friend. She should have known better. Grace vowed that Indomie would go down with her and that was when she started her rumors. She would hurt Indomie with her words too. She went to the circle and told them every dirty secret she had on Indomie and willed them to do whatever they wanted with the information. Indomie started receiving remarks on her deepest darkest secrets and it was just too much for her. Before long, the gossip queen became the subject of gossip. Grace did not hide the fact that she was responsible and even when Indomie tried to retaliate, she discovered that Grace had done irreparable damage to her reputation.

Indomie wanted the humiliation to stop. She wanted to go to school and walk freely without receiving stares of disgust. She tried to talk to Grace, to tell her to take back the words she said but there was nothing that could be done. Her dirty linen was out for the public to see. She was no longer a part of the circle, nobody wanted anything to do with her, nobody wanted to hear her stories and her parents were still not available. Indomie could not take it, she wasn’t strong enough. She decided to end it all.

On her bed, overdosed on pills, Indomie was found dead. Grace would not stop screaming when she heard. All she wanted to do was make Indomie feel the way she felt. She didn’t want her to die. Grace hasn’t forgiven herself and as much as she wants to convince herself that Indomie made her do what she did, she knows she went too far.

They were friends. Indomie made the mistake of spilling her secret. Should Grace have spilled hers too?

Tell me.

Love,

Ruona. ❤️

P.S:

How are you doing today?

This is purely a work of fiction, and it was not written in reference to anyone, living or dead.

What did you think of Indomie and Grace?

Why do you think people gossip?

What gossip experiences have you had?

Can we ever stop gossips? How do we prevent it?

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section. You know how much I love reading from and replying them 💜.