A road trip back in time.

Ok… I started writing the blog. No fireworks, no pomp, no pageantry. Just silence. I was thinking that having overcome my many reservations and starting, I would feel the mental equivalent of a tsunami of fulfillment. Fast forward a couple of weeks later and I am almost as hesitant as I was the day that I finally opened my WordPress Account and wrote the introductory post.

A lot of ideas have come along- a whole lot of them indeed, but for some reason, I haven’t put the proverbial pen to paper, that is, until now.

I travelled this morning together with my dad to Calabar- the quiet city where I spent a sizeable chunk of my childhood. Now, this is significant on two fronts- the first is that shortly after I graduated high school, I went with my dad on a tour of sorts. We went to different cities in the country and while it was an opportunity to experience other cultures and new places, it was also the first time that I was engaging in any activity together with my father. At the time, it was the most time either of us had spent with each other and looking back, I think I remember the awkward and difficult conversations that we had- probing, testing, getting to know what was and wasn’t ok with the other and figuring out what was important to each of us. I remember those moments even more vividly than I remember the various different new sights, sounds, smells, tastes and fun-filled adventures we embarked upon- I actually pretty much had those adventures by myself, while my dad was otherwise engaged, but we usually talked about the day before turning in… that could pass for shared adventures right?

The second point of significance is obvious- I grew up here. All the childhood horseplay and gallivanting and the beautiful memories they stir up took place here. Alright, to be honest, there really wasn’t so much activity to remember. My childhood was as uneventful and regimented as any child born into a clergyman’s home could expect. My mother, was well, somewhere between guarded and paranoid and smothered us with what bothered on over-protectiveness. So when my father was away, as he often was (remind me to tell you some stories about this later) my mother, perhaps feeling particularly vulnerable would forbid us from going downstairs to play, lest some form of mischief would befall us. The streets outside our home were simply out of bounds, we only ever went outside the gate on the way to school or church. Only my elder sister could go to the market or even to the kiosk across the street from us to get supplies for us. We only occasionally accompanied her to fetch water from the places we had to buy from- we didn’t have pipe-borne water at home then. So our “adventures” were very few and far between, though we had many many more in our dreams and imaginations. It is easy then to understand why I would have very romanticized memories of this city.

Anyways, I was a little bit hesitant to embark on this trip (I should have been ecstatic, I know) partly because I was wondering how I would handle all the nostalgia the trip was bound to bring. Especially with this being a reunion road trip of sorts with my father- don’t worry he still lives with us, (or rather I should say I still live with them) and I actually get to see more of him nowadays than ever before, but it has been quite a while since we travelled together.

Well, strange as it may seem, the nostalgia that I was expecting is yet to set in and I can find no plausible explanation for that. It might be that I am still tired from the journey- roughly 6 hours, but I wasn’t driving so…

Don’t worry, I’ll soon find a better excuse for my current state of emotional paresis.


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