A Day in Tolerance

a day in tolerance

It is a sunny Friday; half the working population of The Netherlands has the day off. I board the train with ease. Potential Bestfriend is in the cabin. We nod and smile at each other. We ride the same train every morning. We have come a long way, from eye contact, to nods, and now toothed smiles.

The seats are arranged in clusters of four, two sets of seats facing each other. I choose a cluster diagonally opposite from Potential Bestfriend. I sit by the window so I can look at life along the way, and then I create an island. I toss my coat on the seats opposite me and drop my bag on the seat beside me. I litter my island with my iPad, BlackBerry, earphones, and two books. Sometime on this journey, each will receive my attention.

More people enter the cabin.

Mevrouw?” The man looks at my bag and then me, a universal sign language.

I scan the cabin. There are other seats available, I tell him with my eyes. He waits. I make a big production of putting my iPad, BlackBerry, earphones, and two books in my bag. I flash him an apologetic smile that means, the two seats opposite me are empty, can’t you sit there?  He meets my smile with his—if you want your personal space, go buy your own train.

I keep my cool. These are the people that the preacher talked about, turn the other cheek; turn the other cheek.

The ride from Den Haag to Leiden is twelve minutes. Regular Joe fusses and fumbles, and twists and bends to make himself and his enormous rucksack comfortable. His shoulder grazes mine. His elbow jabs me and His hips brush against mine.

These are the people that the preacher talked about, turn the other cheek; turn the other cheek.

He moves his enormous rucksack several times in an attempt to balance it. Heaven alone knows what’s in it. The rough edge bumps my leg and tugs at my pantyhose. I shift my leg. I open my mouth and then close it.

These are the people that the preacher talked about, turn the other cheek; turn the other cheek.

“Station Leiden,” the announcement comes through the loudspeakers.

The cabin fills up. Young Generation approaches my cluster. He looks at me and I nod. He folds my coat before he takes the window seat directly opposite me. He isolates himself from the world with his Beats by Dr Dre headphones.

Regular Joe digs around in his enormous rucksack. Like a magician on stage, voilà, he produces a banana. He eats it while my empty stomach convulses. The Conjuror aka Regular Joe dips his hands in his rucksack again. Out comes a boiled egg. He cracks the eggshell against the armrest and peels it. He leans over me, brushing against me, to reach the small dustbin under the window. I get ready to push him to outer space, but stop.

These are the people that the preacher talked about, turn the other cheek; turn the other cheek.

The combination of boiled egg and banana is too much for me. A fart escapes before I can hold it in and release it slowly so it will not smell. Regular Joe sniffs like an Alsatian guard dog and wrinkles his nose. I look at Young Generation and speak his language. I roll my eyes the way my son rolled his eyes at the Converse shop after he picked a red pair of All Stars and I suggested a neutral black. Young generation winks at me, and smiles knowingly at Regular Joe. Oh yes, this fart will not be attributed to me.

A belch, a wipe of his mouth with the back of his hands, and then the Conjuror dips his hands in his enormous rucksack yet again. Voilà, strawberry yogurt! He twists the cap open and sucks. It is an angry sound, payback sound. He kicks my left foot. His apology is unconvincing. The last time I slapped someone, my hand hurt for days. I am ready to take another chance.

These are the people that the preacher talked about, turn the other cheek; turn the other cheek.

Dames en heren, over enkele minuten: station Amsterdam-Schiphol.”

I sigh in relief. With a rucksack as big as Texas, Regular Joe must be heading for Outer Mongolia. But, he does not get off the train; rather he takes advantage of the empty seat in front of him and stretches his leg. Hands clasped on stomach, he dozes and snores softly.

These are the people that the preacher talked about, turn the other cheek; turn the other cheek.

We approach Amsterdam Zuid, a busy commercial hub. Most travellers exit here. Does Regular Joe have a job? Maybe at a smoothie factory—think banana, boiled egg, and strawberry yogurt. Before I finish debating whether to wake him up, he opens his eyes, looks at the display monitor, and turns to his left side, brushing my hips, again.

These are the people that the preacher talked about, turn the other cheek; turn the other cheek.

Young Generation waves goodbye.

The cabin is almost empty. In seven minutes, we will arrive at Duivendrecht. Flinging my bag on my shoulder, I consider kicking the rucksack, since Regular Joe is drooling in his sleep. I do not. Instead, I attempt to cross the Himalayas mountain range.

By an act of divine intervention, I find myself on the aisle. Potential Bestfriend smiles as we make our way to the doors. At Duivendrecht, she takes the escalator to the metro stop, while I take the steps to platform eight.

I reflect on the forty-two minute train ride. The selfishness of Regular Joe—how dare he sit next to me and what about the human heads buried in his enormous rucksack? The banana, boiled egg, and strawberry yogurt combo he designed to provoke a fart and embarrass me. His dozing drool, his irritating snore, and his constant attempt to tap current, the nincompoop, he stretched my tolerance level, but I prevailed.

As I congratulate myself, I see a hungry and tired young man who boarded a train seeking food, rest, and relief. I realize with horror, I am the person that the preacher talked about. Quick, turn the other cheek; turn the other cheek!

So, what’s your tolerance meter reading these days? Share, I promise not to judge…

photo

©Timi Yeseibo 2013

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Image credits: all people illustrations, animes, avatars, vectors by Microsoft

Background: lovely pink and gray card design by VisionMates in backgrounds/wallpaper http://www.vecteezy.com/backgrounds-wallpaper/47521-lovely-pink-and-gray-card-design

design: ©Timi Yeseibo 2013

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Effizzy

Effizzy 1

Since I returned to Nigeria, I seem to be bumping into people I know from the past everywhere I go. It is a delight to cross the initial hurdles, “You look familiar. Which school did you attend? Where do you or did you work?” and finally make the connection.

Somewhere in between catching up and exchanging telephone numbers, they inevitably say something like, “You have not changed a bit; you look just the same!” That remark makes me wonder if they are blind or trying to be kind. Now, I admit that I am colour-blind to the shades of grey that should be painted on the canvas of friendly conversation. Trying to be truthful, but frantically digging into my shallow well of diplomatic graces, I guardedly reply, “Well your face has not really changed either,” forcing my wandering eyes to focus on the face and not the torso that shows telltale signs of a lingering love affair with food.

It is a thrill to hear what they have been up to or what they are currently involved in. I listen in child-like awe as they highlight past achievements, summarize current assignments, and state their aspirations with convincing conviction. If I bump into two or more male acquaintances, I am amused because their antics remind me of a book title I’d seen years ago, My Mercedes is Bigger than Yours. Nevertheless, I marvel at just how well people are getting on with their lives.

My bubble burst when I recounted my various run-ins to friends who were not impressed. “Effizzy, it’s all effizzy,” they replied. Responding to my blank stare, they informed me that effizzy encompasses a wide range of attitudes, mannerisms, and lifestyles that make one appear to be The Jones that others are keeping up with. I disagreed and commented that people have carved niches for themselves in consulting and others have resigned from well-paying jobs to become entrepreneurs.

“Ha!” they scoffed. “I consult for several schools, is effizzy for I take my portfolio round schools and try to convince them to buy my goods.” “I resigned from my job to start my company and we are into telecommunications, oil prospecting, you name it, is effizzy for I almost got fired so I quickly resigned. My office is in my living room and I am trying to swindle any unsuspecting!” I wondered if they were not being too cynical, after all, what is wrong with working hard to score a good impression?

I did not give our effizzy discussion any more thought until recently. I had gone to the salon to have my hair done and a smartly dressed young man introduced himself as the resident trichologist and chief stylist. He reeled off other credentials that I cannot remember and wanted to fix my hair. I declined preferring instead to have my usual stylist.

He commented on my eyebrows, which I had carefully tweezed that morning and thought looked great. He insisted that a beautiful woman like me needed to complete my look by having nicely arched brows. He wondered quite loudly if I had ever had them professionally done. I began to feel small and unsophisticated in this posh salon before this proficient beauty expert. Inwardly praying that he would stop the verbal harassment, which portrayed me as unglamorous, my voice dwindled to a whisper as I maintained that I was happy with my looks.

A few moments later, a client walked in. Mr. Trichologist wowed her with his resume and he proceeded to fix her hair. I was startled from my silent introspection over the arch of my brows by a scream from across the room. The new client was upset with Mr. Trichologist because he had damaged her hair and weave. Mr. Trichologist remained unapologetic while insisting that he knew what he was doing.

As I gazed at her over-processed, nearly burnt tresses, two words floated from my subconscious: articulate incompetent, oh I mean, effizzy!

Timi Yeseibo © 2009

image design: ©Timi Yeseibo 2013

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

WordPress 102… No Pressure

woman biting nails with anxiety

It’s the night before the public launch of my blog. Bright lights cause me to blink. Hear me talking; you’d think I’m a superstar. I am, at least my mum thinks so. I’m sure your mum thinks you’re a superstar too. I’m standing in front of the mirror chanting, “No pressure Timi, no pressure. You are a high achiever who leverages her skills to increase the company’s bottom line. You can do this girl!” Okay, I’m not standing in front of my mirror literally. It just felt good to write it.

Pep talks, I seem to be giving myself a lot these days. To grow is to expand and if all we do is what we know, we’d never grow. Challenges stretch us to use what we have, discover what we didn’t know we had, and invent what we don’t have. A challenge can be our invitation card to opportunity. Livelytwist is where I discover if the sky has limits and what lies beyond it.

I don’t know anyone who has never been insecure. Does that make us weak or does that make us human? I think about an incident many years ago in primary school. I was one of the honour students. My class was to stage a play and our teacher was casting for parts. She called me upstage to take the leading lady’s role.

I trembled as I made my way to the front of the class, hitting my thigh against a desk on the way. I collected the script from her and faced the class. Twenty-four pairs of eyes looked on. I focused on the first line of the script. I swallowed. Twenty-four pairs of eyes looked on. It didn’t help that the leading man who stood across from me, was a chubby boy that I had a childish crush on.

When twenty-four lips parted in laughter, I managed to maintain a semblance of dignity. My teacher walked up to me.

“Come on Timi, read it.”

I found my voice at last.

“I can’t.”

I cannot adequately describe the disappointment in her eyes. It was worse than the laughter that crisscrossed the room, which rose to a crescendo and then fell to a hush before rising again to an invisible conductor’s baton. Was she disappointed because she had misjudged the capabilities of her top student? She tried to mask the annoyance and impatience in her voice when she asked me to return to my seat, but I heard it. I felt it. Shame trailed me as I limped to my seat. Once there, I did not cry. I don’t know why I did not cry. I was supposed to cry.

Fast forward thirty years later, and I can talk in front of almost any crowd. I cannot remember when last my mouth locked like the jaws of a spanner.

That’s what I’m thinking of as questions scream in my head—will people read my blog? Will they like it? Can I sustain it? What if I can’t write a post week after week? However, knowing that I’ve overcome past challenges silences the questions. I know that fast forward a few months, I’ll still be writing and you’ll still be reading.

No pressure Timi, no pressure.

© Timi Yeseibo 2013

Photo credit: Fear-filled woman biting her nails with anxiety by Microsoft

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

WordPress 101

wordpress 101 (2)

So, I listened. Isn’t that what democracy is all about—a blog of the people, by the people, and for the people? I googled, how to start a blog. WordPress. It seemed easy enough.

First, I had to choose a name for my blog. You know how when you want to set up an email account, you choose a username, then a few seconds later you’re told it’s already taken? Well that’s what happened to me for forty-five minutes. What can I say? I am a late bloomer. I mean, like everyone was on Facebook before me. My sister convinced me to join. For a long time I had only two friends, my sister and my other sister. What did it matter, I was on Facebook. Phew! I ticked it off my list of things to do in 2008.

Thursday night, I burnt the midnight oil. The result? My sister said, “Don’t worry, it’s content that counts; I’ve seen worse. Huh? As if she doesn’t know me. Come Friday, I slugged away again—nothing but the best for you my readers.

I typed the name of my blog in a fancy font. I am a graphic designer wannabe. When my mum stopped my art classes and encouraged me to study something serious, I followed in my dad’s footsteps. I studied economics and worked in a bank. I liked the upfront salary payment in January, but when they told me to bring  N600 million deposit… well let’s just say I wished I had continued with my art classes!

Where was I? Right, the fonts. I chose this cool font and saw the preview. Brilliant I thought. Then I saw the message that lets you know if it’s too good to be true, it probably is:

“This font is part of a custom design. Upgrade now for $30 and make your blog look and feel the way you want.” (My paraphrase)

I’ll be passing my offering plate y’all. Thirty dollars; did I wake up to write this post because of $30? Yes and no. Listen, when I began, I was told it was free. These hidden charges, they come and bite you when you least expect it. The true cost of buying that cheap product is the amount you will spend on maintenance later. Keep reading because the offering plate will get to you. After all, WordPress developers have to eat.

I’m still busy slugging away at the computer and reading WordPress tutorials. I can’t complain. In my résumé, I say I’m a life-long learner who enjoys surmounting challenges. I can see how all this will look when I rewrite my résumé:

A high achiever who leverages her skills to increase the company’s bottom line

2013 – set up WordPress blog independently

Abi, you wan try?

Okay, you’ve been reading and wondering when you’ll get to the funny part, smiling a little as you read along, but frowning and quickly skipping past the offering bit. You were scrolling down the news feed on Facebook and your face lit up when you saw my post. Like seriously, you don’t expect me to be funny all the time? Is my name Ali Baba? Please put your offering in the offering plate jo!

I won’t bother you with the $99 for further customization or the $18 yearly fee to secure my domain name. Forget that I even mentioned the $30. This is all I ask, put your energy where your mouth was when you nudged me to start this blog. Copy your wonderful comments from Facebook and paste them here. Then ask your mother, father, sister, brother, and dog to leave a comment. And oh, all of you should follow the blog. Amen.

You know, I may not have taken the plunge if you didn’t push. I thank you for your support and encouragement.

©Timi Yeseibo 2013

Photo credit: Man wearing glasses with confused look on his face by Microsoft

Word cloud: Tagxedo

Image design: © Timi Yeseibo 2013

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

On Getting Older

I am getting older and I do not mind. I have embraced my age. I do not want to be a tottering teenager again, watching my father scrutinize my list of provisions and wondering what his response “okay, I’ve seen it,” means.

I am pragmatic. A few years ago, I folded my wedding gown and put it in my bottom box. It seems like a small thing now, but it was not at the time. My dream of slimming down enough to wear my wedding dress after life and children, died that day—I embraced the truth about getting older and weight. I have a sister who can probably still fit into her wedding dress; she distorts my theory. Are we not sisters, from the same mother, no less? Why did she have to have all the slim genes? I digress; this is about getting older! All my highs and lows have made me the woman I am and am becoming. Yes, I embrace my age. It is the greying that I have not fully understood.

When a few years ago I asked my hairdresser for a shampoo to tackle the dandruff that caused the persistent itching in the middle of my hair, she told me that dandruff was not the culprit. “You have so much grey hair there; that’s what causes the itching.” Information overload (amebo); who asked her?

Nevertheless, when I got home, I parted my crown of glory in the middle. And there, standing tall like irokos, streaks of lightning amid my black sky. I pulled a handful, twirling them around my fingers. When and how did they get there? Thankfully, they did not march forward from their hideaway; however, their strategy to gain new territory caught me unawares. Stealthy warriors, overnight, they appeared at the hairline around my temples. Aha, my hairdresser styled my hair with side parting and we won that war. The last time I was in the salon, we struggled to decide which “side” to part the hair. “We will soon have to resort to centre-parting,” she said after grave contemplation.

When the first few grey strands appeared on my eyebrows, my tweezers came to the rescue. And so it was that I was plucking a strand or two from my eyebrows the Saturday before Easter, when I saw it. Grey hair had sprung up in places I did not know they would or could grow—in crevices that my mother did not tell me about! But this? Haba! How far? A grey eyelash? You’ve got to be kidding!

I moved my mirror to catch the natural light from the sun. There it was—not ashamed of standing out in the row of black and as long as its fellow lashes. Is this what it means to get older? Accepting with equanimity the things you can’t control? I went to the shops to find a solution.  I smiled when I saw jet-black mascara. Who knew that black had different shades? I am older, and I will change the things I can, one grey eyelash at a time!

shades of black

©Timi Yeseibo 2013

images ©Timi Yeseibo 2013; photography: Sam Bird & Timi Yeseibo

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Body Magic

BM getty images1

I mounted the scale and fought depression when I read the display. I had not eaten all day, how could I have gained a kilo instead of losing one? I looked at my body in the full-length mirror. I love me, I thought as I sucked in my stomach and lifted my chest. I love me not. I sighed as I exhaled and let everything hang loose. I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember; perhaps it is because I am judging my body by the unrealistic pictures in the magazines.

At university, I used to wear a pair of shorts underneath my clothes, to create the illusion of wider hips and a backside worth looking at. My roommates would often threaten to hide them as payback for something I had or had not done. The threat ensured compliance because I could not afford to be seen without my backside. How things have changed. I have not only been freed from the incessant torture of washing those shorts every night in preparation for the next day, but also from the square foam pads I slipped underneath my bra straps before I wore any top including my t-shirts.

Aha, now that I am close to the big four-zero, it is as if my metabolism has ground to a halt. Even a cup of water adds a half kilo to my weight! How did I get here?

Last Christmas, I decided to make up for all the Naija Christmases I missed while living abroad. I stuffed myself as if jollof rice was going out of style. I watched my weight rising on the scale but was confident that by the end of January, I would be back to my old self after a strict exercise and diet regime.

But nothing could shift the bulge I had acquired on my stomach, backside, and hips—I ran on the treadmill, I lifted weights, I speed walked, I started eating twice a day. The fat just raised one eyebrow, barely opened an eyelid, and then went back to sleep! I began a series of non-religious fasts. After the first few times, my body betrayed me. I ran into the kitchen and ate everything in sight, all this before 11 a.m. on an appointed fast day.

It was at this critical point that I heard about the Body Magic—lose two to three dress sizes in ten minutes. Hmmm, and Michelle Obama is my mother’s younger sister! But I was desperate; my clothes were shrinking, so I requested one from my friend. Let’s call her B.

She arrived at my house with her bag of magic. I could not wait to shrink like Alice in Wonderland. After measuring, she determined my size and selected a garment from her bag. It looked too small. B laughed and assured me that it would fit with some help.

I turned the garment upside down and put in my legs then the struggle commenced. We pulled and dragged and pulled and dragged. As the garment inched higher up on my body, my flesh trembled and wobbled as though experiencing a minor earthquake. Then it flapped like a small flag in a gentle breeze. B instructed me to do a curious dance—stand on one tiptoe and then the other in quick succession to redistribute the fat allowing the garment to slide further upwards. I warily complied.

By now, I was sweating as if I was a Christmas goat being led to the slaughter even though two 1.5 HP air conditioners were on full blast. My sweat glands went into overdrive because I was sure that despite the deodorant I used, I reeked of perspiration. Embarrassed, I mumbled a self-conscious apology to B. Sweat, what sweat? B claimed she smelt nothing. I suppose this was a small price to pay in her line of business.

It was over ten minutes and we had not been able to squeeze past my hips and backside. Accomplishing that feat would be akin to reaching the peak of Mt. Everest. I needed a break. From the corner of my eye, I saw B flop into an armchair and massage her wrists. Who said making money was easy.

We resumed a short while later. Pull, drag up, tuck in, dance, and pull again. B continued to help and encourage me.

“Come on, almost there! There you go, good! Now move your body to redistribute the fat. Yes, yes, yes, one, two, three, go…pullllllll!”

At last, we crossed the final frontier. The stubborn mass of fat that had defied every diet and exercise routine known to me bowed to the power of Body Magic.
The most difficult part was over. I pulled the top with ease and slipped my arms through the straps. To hook the clips, B had me lie down. She yanked the left side then the right while instructing me to suck in my stomach, “Suck in some more, alright, that’s better.”

Hook, hook, hook, deftly she clasped the hooks. Putting on the Body Magic involved more skills than I had first thought, a coach and trainee relationship was evolving.

When she finished, I stood and felt as tight as a wound up doll. However, my posture was immediately improved because I was forced to stand straight. I had an hourglass figure with a lifted derriere. I quickly donned on my tight Ankara skirt. It glided past my hips. The most noticeable improvement was my stomach. However, I had not dropped two to three dress sizes.

What was I expecting? Magic? Yes! Wasn’t that why they called it the Body Magic? B read the disappointment on my face and started explaining, but all I could think about was an elephant trying to squeeze into a corset meant for a hippo. I lay down like a zombie and sucked in my stomach while B unhooked me. The rest was easy. As I pulled off the Body Magic, my fatty portions popped free with pops of relief.

These days I am back to the good old-fashioned way—a consistent exercise programme, a healthy diet with lots of water, and no yo-yo dieting. I climbed the scales today—I love me, I love me not. Scenes from the Body Magic ordeal crawled across my mind and I laughed. What won’t I attempt to acquire the perfect figure? On second thoughts, I love me— bulging stomach, fatty hips, rounded buttocks, and all! I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

© Timi Yeseibo 2013

Photo credit: ©Cornstock Images/Getty Images

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Through the Eyes of a Child


Ferdinand Reus / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Children are the future because they not only propagate generational lines but also improve on our legacy. Their simplistic view of the world combined with their unending well of curiosity, results in an incessant battery of questions.

During my children’s first visit to Nigeria, they oohed, aahed, and ouched because  everything was new. Growing up in Nigeria had given me some immunity to the culture shock they experienced. Yet, they challenged me to pause and look where I had previously thrown a careless glance because my eyes were glazed over with a heavy coating of the familiar.

Innocent and inquisitive, they kept asking questions. Even though I fielded their questions with the expertise of a savvy politician, I pondered these same questions long after I tucked them in bed and kissed them goodnight.

They asked about the madman who ate and slept naked under an abandoned trailer parked on a busy street. They asked, eyes round with amazement, about the paraplegic who was the unofficial traffic warden. He controlled traffic from his foot chair—so called by my children because he “sat” on what looked like a footstool with wheels underneath that gave him bullet-speed mobility. It was very useful as it enabled him to quickly collect the largesse from patrons without being crushed under the giant wheels of jeeps.

It seems as if everything is different and yet everything is the same. Our progress resembles a swinging pendulum—back and forth but still on the clock. So yes, this future generation asks simple questions about our beloved Nigeria.

“Are we in a war?” my eldest one asked.

“No, of course not, does it look like we are?” I queried, wondering if he was confusing Nigeria with another country he’d seen on TV.

“Then why are there policemen armed with assault rifles everywhere? Why do they hold up their guns and stop cars?” He demonstrated with his hands.

“Why indeed?” I replied playing for time, as I crafted my reply.

“Are there many bad people in Nigeria?” my youngest interrupted my train of thought.

“No not really, like anywhere else in the world, we have good people and bad people,” Annoyance swirled in my stomach and I inwardly blamed those foreign TV shows that depict Nigerians as a bunch of rogues.

“Then why are there so many prisons walls?”

“Where are the prison walls?” I asked because her serious tone belied any evidence of a joke.

“See that one over there, and another one over here,” she responded matter-of-factly, as she pointed to nearly every house on the street.

I said nothing but nodded in understanding.

I explained that crime and instability informed the manning of checkpoints, and necessitated the conspicuous display of guns by policemen. It also meant that people had to protect themselves hence the fences. I tried to remember a time when checkpoints were not a feature on our roads and high fences topped with barbed wire were not the norm. It was quite a long stroll down memory lane. I also tried to imagine a time when their presence would be unnecessary, it was rather hard to do.

Looking through their eyes, I perceived their reality. With my added insight, I saw a nation at war with different uniformed guerrillas fighting for supremacy while the rest of us walled ourselves in, in prisons of inertia letting the bad guys roam free.

Day after day, the questions continued but a simple incident caused me to laugh with hope.

“Look mummy!” my youngest one excitedly cried, waking me up from afternoon traffic siesta.

“Look at what?” I asked groggily forcing myself awake, and willing my eyes to focus.

“Look, over there!” She hit the window emphatically and pointed.

I followed her slim fingers and captivated gaze. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, certainly nothing to get excited about on this run of the mill day.

“I don’t see anything,” I yawned.

“There, there, over there … a banana hat!”

“A what?”

“A banana hat. It’s so cute and clever mummy!”

Finally, I saw it, through her eyes. A street hawker was carrying bananas on a tray on his head—a bonafide banana hat in green-yellow glory! He strode towards us at the prospect of a quick sale; a rather common sight I had become accustomed to.

It is my hope that this generation that sees what we do not see, will achieve what we have so far been unable to accomplish. A banana hat indeed, it was a very welcome respite from simple questions.

© Timi Yeseibo 2009

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/people/72092071@N00″>Ferdinand Reus</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-SA</a>

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.