Monday 31 August 2015

The Good Old Days...

Hi everyone! Wie geht's? So, a brief sortie from my German bunker to talk about today's topic.

I have a rare day off on this wonderfully sunny Monday, so I decided (as you do), to waste some time on Facebook. And luckily too, because I saw that I had been tagged in a conversation about our old secondary school days. And my God, was it a (bad)trip down memory lane! 

Ok, for those who may not know, I went to a Unity school in Nigeria. They are the equivalent of the British Grammar school, or the French's Grandes écoles, but at secondary level. You usually have to take an entrance and score above certain cut-off marks in order to make the list. You were then "randomly" allocated a place in one of the Unity schools anywhere in the country. These schools were heavily subsidised, with respect to the quality of education they provided, because the idea was to train a selection of "gifted" children, while at the same time strengthening each child's Nigerian identity (they were established after the horrible civil war of the 60's). All the ethnic groups were mixed, and as you could be sent anywhere in the country, many of the students were boarders, as many lived far away (mine was about 6hours away for instance). We had three terms, with holidays and mid-term breaks, as well as monthly visiting days, but you effectively spent a huge chunk of your life at school (from about 11-17). So with that quick explanation out of the way, today's Facebook conversation was about SOME of the scary things that happened to us. I'm just going to put up a few snapshots of the comments, keep in mind that they were actually a lot of replies and almost everyone experienced something strange. Anyways, here goes...

"Great" memories of exciting times indeed. Can you imagine this stuff happening anywhere else? A rampaging (or several) paedophile(s), snakes, owls, Bush babies (Galapos), not to mention the evil senior/older students and teachers in a school of about 2000young girls (no parents!!!). I still wonder how we survived, and who chose the idiots that were our caretakers?! Still I guess that's why we are all so independent, adventurous and fearless today. I mean when you experience all these things as a kid, it becomes hard for anything else on earth to faze you. So guys, especially the Nigerians in the house, any "strange" or usual boarding house/school experiences you care to share with us? Please go ahead!

Thursday 6 August 2015

Clara's Travel Tales: Why I am always Poor! :(

We got paid about a week ago, and doing my budget/finances today made me realise I'm already quite broke even though it's barely the end of the first week. Yet I am not a big spender, as is obvious from my bank statements, where the biggest expenditure by far is from travelling.

I mean I'm off to Prague again in one week, and then two weeks after that, off to Köln for a few days, so that I can polish my German skills right before my exam. And of course I haven't seen a few dear friends (Engefreunde as the MIL told me yesterday), in a long time and I miss them all very much. I would like to see everyone, but realistically know it's impossible because my middle name is Ajala, and sadly not Bill Gates.

So, I decided to do a list based on how long it's been since I saw each loved one, and even with all that careful prioritisation, I still ended up with this urgent "to-travel" list! It's beginning to look like Budapest(Hungary) and Belgrade(Serbia) in September, as I want to go before it gets colder so that I can enjoy myself and possibly go to the beach (haven't caught even a glimpse of the sea this year). I'm also hoping it'll motivate me to work hard over the next few weeks as I prepare for my German exams. What this means is that I'll be travelling on the day after I get back from Germany, right after the exam, in fact I think I'm going to have to go to the exam-centre with my luggage!

Paris and Sweden also need to be planned at some point, and naturally Prague remains the regular "home away from home" for now. England will be for Christmas, and Nigeria hopefully early next year, and then of course the US ati be be lo, after that...let's just hope I don't bankrupt myself soon :( 

So, are you about the ajala life? If not, what is your particular brand of "money-waster" or "hobby"? Please share and help make a girl feel better about her vices!

P.S. I'm supposed to be doing a practice essay for my exam, but then procrastination (abi na inspiration sef) struck, and I decided to do a quick blogpost instead. Shakes head in German...

P.P.S. Since I haven't done much travelling this month (apart from Prague), and being really busy at the moment with revision (only 19days left!!!), I have decided to make this my 15-for-15 entry for August. Stay tuned for September's exciting posts...will be visiting Köln/Louvain-la-Neuve/Budapest/Belgrade, all in 12days!