we first got there and arrived into the airport i remember the overall feeling
washing over me, "we made it" . that feeling quickly diminished when there
were about 6 men in suits without any introduction asking constantly for our
passports . they rushed us past the huge line of every passenger waiting in
intense heat, sweating and grumpy as they have to be there to go thru customs .
i wondered why we did not... it's because we were staying w/ the director general
of the state security service, basically equivalates to the head of the FBI in america,
remi's aunt was married to the man . i stayed w/ the head of the FBI in africa... wow .
that alone changed my whole experience and really made this something completely unique
to me, because no white 20 something year old is every going to stay w/ him again, just me ;)

after being shookin up i step outside and take it all in,
the scenery, the people, everything . remi and jimi look
at eachother and say "T.I.A." and smile, i ask what they mean
exactly like this scene, this was our phrase from here on out


we get to the house or "compound" at night . didn't know what that mean until i
learned that it is basically a house w/ other buildings related inside a protective barrier .
they had a house for a guard tower, a small house for the guards, a structure for
the generator, about 15 black peugeot sedans (everbody drives peugeots out there ??) and a
land rover and a bullet proof g-wagon . oh yeah and basically a small zoo in the backyard

that night we arrived we walked around the block w/ tope smoking weed .
i'm not a big weed smoker but it's so funny because growing up in california
it's just weed to me and i'm used to it . but i forget that we have the best weed
in the whole world . you can smoke 7 nigerian blunts and i swear it's like only equal to
one fourth a california one . we smoked so much weed first night but i was just fine

remi and i shared a room, the photo below was our bedroom view .
it's so weird staring at literally 15-20 black cars, all clean, some are
bulletproof, but also having like cows and turkeys walking between them :P

this is remi and jimi's aunt, she was amazing . without sounding
cliche everyone was very amazing and welcoming to me . there wasn't
anybody that had an attitude like, "fuck this white guy" which i expected
there to be one . they all loved me and i loved them back <3 this introduction morning
we all recieved a stack of cash, a fragrance, and a bottle of moet champagne !!

that was the man, Ita Ekpeyong . this is the only photo i have of him because
i wasn't allowed to take any photos of him . the way they explained it
to me was "in the US you can take photos of the army and police yes ?
yes but you can't take photos of the FBI and that's us" i always said "ok"
even though i'm pretty sure you can take photos of anything you want
in america except some select museums but i just respected their demands .
he intimidated us SO much due to his postition, because in Nigeria they take the word
"respect" to whole new levels . depending on how much someone is older than you you have
to do either a bow or a bend knee or even a push up, you have to know what
time it is in the day so you can either say, "good morning/afternoon/evening/goodnight" .
when he handed me a stack of cash i reached for it w/ my left hand and he raised
it out of the way . i thought he was playing keep away but i learned that reaching for something
w/ your left hand is seen as rude, as it's a dirty(?) hand . i was always messing up :/

^^ oh yeah and Ita HATED my worn leather red shoes . he said
he was going to feed them to the cows ;) so he gave me a pair
of his loafers from his collection, then he gave me 2, then 3...
then didn't want to exclude me so he gave remi and jimi pairs too !

this was the total trip vibe right here ^^ just hanging out
in the kitchen eating and talking . the first night we all hung
in there and watched the equivalent of a MTV top ten music
video countdown . we would just laugh and eat and dance
and i swear it was just the most amazing times in that kitchen

i was tripping out SO hard in tutti frutti ! (yes they have a
tutti frutti there) because look, not only is there a white person
there is at least 10 !! so typical we WOULD be at a fro-yo
place . they would tease me and say, "hey jesse did you have
fun visiting your family ? how are your sisters and brothers ??"
but remi told me they were actually all africans, i guess there are
a lot in tanzania and other nearby countries in africa

we ate drank and ate meat at this bar next to this place
where you can pay a couple dollars to play sports . remi and jimi
went to play soccer and i wanted to play basketball but i was kinda
nervous since i haven't played in a while and i was wearing dress shoes

i thought fuck it and went in . i introduced myself and the guys like,
"yo what's up man how you doing ?" i was shocked because he spoke just like me .
turns out he was born here but grew up in north hollywood ! he was my boy,
only other american i met the whole trip, photo below is him and his pretty GF

i'm looking at this photo, shooting threes and doing layups in red dress shoes
w/ no shirt on . man i wish i was doing that right now i was rlly in the moment :)

this pic is funny to me . we drove by a car abandoned on the side of the road .
we really didn't think much of it, but we drove back 6 hours later and it's still
there . in the US it's get's taken care of immediately . but here ? the cops will
just drive around it and not deal w/ it it's the weirdest thing . also look at the
road . notice there are no lines, no dotted lines to seperate the lanes and no solid
lines to seperate oncoming traffic ! a fucking scary free-for-all out here and i love it !! :P

this guy was directing traffic in a parking lot . can you imagine
someone in america telling you to go through a spot like this ?!?
no way . i know i keep comparing to america but i just love how renegade
and non official it is, everyone is just SURVIVING so hard out here it's like
living in new york . but i could not believe tope managed to do this, there
was barely two inches no exaggeration on each side to clear

here i am sleeping w/ my racks . i was acting like a giddy kid i just
couldn't blieve we were all given so much . more on that in later posts tho...

LEFT PICTURE: "acqua di gio" fragrance, but if you look closely it's
not, it's their "version of" but they are selling it like it is . LMAO
RIGHT PICTURE: this is a generator, they were everywhere . why ?
because in Nigeria the power will go off where you live at complete
random and very often . remi said as a child he could have no power
for days . i ask why and no one really had an answer and at this point
no one really cared anymore . even the house we stayed at, w/ a man
w/ great power, influence, and money, in his own home.... will have his
power cut off ;) but luckily they have a massive generator that goes on
immediately leaving everything the same but still . isn't that strange ??

i had a crush on this girl that worked at KFC . the three
of us felt like we had so much money we were living like
fucking rock stars it was amazing . especially Jimi, he didn't
give AF, for his distant cousin's birthday he gave her 50,000
nera which is equal to 300 US . anywho i was like, "hey jimi if
you take a picture of KFC girl i will give you 10,000 nera" . he's
like, "ok" . i dared him multiple times to take pictures of girls and
he would do it, his confidence is something i wish i had... ANYWAYS
he goes in there and asks to take a photo but the manager says no
so he comes back into tutti frutti (my white people hang out) and
shakes his head . 5 minutes later she comes right in and wants her photo,
i have no idea if she just left her job or took a break or what but it
was so cute . this girl owns my heart in africa i love her <3

the car broke down on the drive home, tope kept saying,
"are you serious !? i'm so sorry guys" . this must have been
the ONLY situation in my life where not only did we not mind
we kinda liked it . it was something to do and a new challenge


jimi would joke and say that when mickey mouse was
shipped here he was normal . but a couple weeks in nigeria
and he got this skinny, begging to be shipped back :) jimi had
this immature sense of humor that i find so appealing all his dumb
jokes had me laughing the whole damn time it was awesome

!! T.I.A. !!



these are the only two nigerian songs that i still listen to and like .
skelewu is a little better i still bump these when i'm alone at home :)





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