Before I left NY in September after being locked down and arriving in that city on February 28th from London for the UNCSW, I asked Coco to go AC shopping for my bedroom in Enugu. My next flight was for mid-March back to London and then Lagos and Enugu. I was preparing to do all these when I heard the news on the travel ban in and out of NY. I felt it was going to be for a short period so,I kept making my AC plans. I kept asking him for prices. and in the process, Enugu also went on lockdown shortly after he left school for home. Daniella kept asking me if it was hot in Enugu as we were both to travel home together in few months, and I said yes, but I explained to her that she has AC in her room and mine will be removed and a new one installed, she demanded she would keep her stuff in her room and sleep in mine. Upon our return and the mandatory 7 days quarantine in a beautiful hotel in Lagos, I sent my son again for the AC. He sent me prices but then advised that I got home first. We finally did and I sent him again to Spar to make a choice and let me know the price so I make a transfer to him to buy.
We agreed that he would show me short videos and then pay. He advised I paid for one with an in-built inverter. Well, I take his advice, especially in such matters. I saw the videos, we agreed on one, and he said he would rather buy with my debit card. He then suggested to me for the 3rd time to permit him to get someone to fix mine. Fix what? I did not want to hear that. Fix an AC that has never truly functioned since I installed it. An AC that each time I saw it, I got upset. I had been traumatized by all the covid stuff and wanted to enjoy myself. Having that AC in my room was one way of making me upset! I raised my voice, and he calmed me down and urged me to listen. Well, I listened. He calmly asked that I permit him to try, and if he failed, he would go get me my choice. He brought in a young man from Spar and I was most uncomfortable because I had suitcases littered all over the room from our trip. I had cash for families from their folks in the US. I had my stuff and this calm-looking young man in my room just put me off. Within minutes of the Spar man climbing the wall and dismantling from both sides, my son handed me a piece of paper… a list of items he would purchase and his labor cost. A little below 50k and I looked at my son eyeball to eyeball and told him that if this failed I must get a refund. He hailed me “Oba Atokpeeee, Ome na dollar.” Those are what he comes up with when I pull back from spending money. And once he hails me and at times prostrated, my debit card enters his hands. They call it mumu button! I made a transfer and sat waiting for them to fail so I remove the NewClime AC that made me sad and replace it. I yearned for something modern and new, a breath of fresh air for a newly refurbished bedroom. Then, two days after, he asked me to follow him up to my room after he spent time in there helping the boy who was working on it. I grudgingly followed him, reminding him that I believed we wasted money. The room I walked into was cold, what??? Then I told him that it’s happened before and didn’t last long. He assured me that this time he was involved it would. I gave the young man who fixed it a tip and switched off the AC. My dear reader, it’s 9 months exactly and I am right in my bedroom and to survive here, I use two quilts and have to dress up like it was out there. I saved money, I got value and my son won’t let me ‘hear word’ because of this singular act.
So I have contracted him to make a choice of a new AC for the main sitting room, ensure its delivery and installation. I am yet to hand over my debit card to him because I am just delaying and waiting for what I don’t even know, but I sure will. In this life…ok, I don’t want to draw any lessons from this story. It is up to you to do so if you find any and please share any lessons you find. What did I do with the cash I earmarked for the AC for my room? What did I do with it??? Let me focus on convincing Daniella so I switch off the AC. She was born in a cold environment and lived her first 6 months in daily and non-stop air-conditioned spaces and she’s spent more time out in such cold places. Biko, with me, the reverse is the case. I see my woolen socks by my bedside and I travel with them even in the summertime.
Let me negotiate with her, once I tell her to contribute cash for the electricity bill from her savings in her drawer, she will authorize me to switch it off. She’s kept the savings for herself and you don’t mention that…