Of Summer Rendezvous and Stolen Wine.

Mister Wang is on the balcony.

I’m not quite sure what he’s doing. I think he’s just taking in the view. Or maybe he’s having a phone call- I’m not quite sure.

I am in the kitchen section of the college HQ. There is a stash of wine bottles by my right.

I never really used to pay attention to the wine. In my head, it was in the same category with the like shoulder-high rack of wine bottles in one of the meeting rooms. The one with a table and an iMac and bookshelves and sofas.

I had that room to myself on a recent afternoon. Reclining in the extremely comfortable chair, reading about a newly-popular deep learning library called Keras on the iMac screen. Thinking about neural networks and activation functions and feeling like some grey-haired Stanford professor.

In my head, the assortment of wine bottles to my left were not for consumption by mere mortals like myself. The wine was arranged there for a different species- one I had never encountered before.

In my head, the bottles by my left were not wine, they were art. To be protected from contact with my inquisitive epidermis, lest those invaluable vessels dripping with rich history, instantly crumble into regrettable dust upon contact with my lowly Homo Sapien skin.

But the bottles of wine in the kitchen- the bottles of wine here by my right? These ones are different.

Like a few weeks ago I walked into the HQ kitchen and saw a half-full bottle. I paused mid-stride to make sense of what I was seeing.

Wait, this wine is for drinking? This wine is to be drunk? By human beings?



Okay. Okay. Okay I get it now. I get it now.

I think there had been some sort of a celebration at the HQ a number of hours before. Hence the wine.

Mister Wang is on the balcony.

I intend to transport one of the wine bottles into my backpack.

I do not know if that is stealing. I know chocolates and general snacks are accessible to all, but I just don’t know about the wine.

I don’t know if it’s expensive wine. To be honest I have no idea how to identify expensive wine, either by the bottle or by the taste. I think confirmation bias could make otherwise unremarkable wine taste expensive. To like me the uninitiated, it definitely would. It probably would have much less of an effect on expert tasters and stuff though.

I wonder if Mister Wang on the balcony can hear my thoughts.

I wonder if he has already perceived my intentions. He gave me a brief glance a few seconds ago.

I don’t know. He seems to be very engrossed in whatever he is doing.

I don’t know. Or maybe he is just being disingenuous.

The wine bottle is in my bag.

In my head I am coming up with explanations for my actions. I am advocating my innocence to the skeptical college-faculty superego in my brain. I can see myself in front of a disciplinary council, drawing on ethical frameworks and logical arguments to exonerate my very pitiable self from impending doom and desolation.

The school administration has been expelling people in recent times. I wonder if I could get expelled for stealing wine from the HQ. I don’t know.

But wait, I don’t even know if this is stealing. The wine is definitely accessible to general staff. I think. For students? I don’t know. For a student sneaking a bottle into his bag to drink back at the dorms with his girlfriend? I have no idea.

The wine bottle is in my bag.

My head keeps dancing about in a web of ethical conundrums as I head out to Market Street and begin to skateboard down to Powell.

A Kenyan classmate just helped me with a wine-opener. She says something about having some sort of share in the wine.

I’m not quite sure what she’s talking about. There’s only room for two this night.

I head down the stairs. About ninety percent of the class is home for summer break- and so the building in Nob Hill which functions as our dorms, is largely empty. The girlfriend and I have been making use of a number of different rooms in the building, in addition to our assigned rooms for the summer.

I call one the “flute room”, because during the session one of the occupants used to play the flute.

It was somewhat ticklish for me being in that room with the girlfriend, and thinking about the relatively innocent conversations I had had right there, with the occupants of the room a number of months before.

Hm, if only these people knew what we’re doing in their room now. What we’re doing with their beds.

Today it’s a different room. This one has a view of California street. Like my room.

I’m heading downstairs, wine-opener in hand.

The stolen wine should set a very stimulating mood for the night.

This night should be a very interesting one.

It’s a number of days later.

I am having a conversation with a resident assistant- a classmate from Malaysia. She is telling me about a strange discovery she made while locking up one of the rooms in the building for the summer.

The room was supposed to have already been cleared out, and so she was surprised to find an unempty bottle of wine in the wardrobe. Along with a blanket. And a number of other things which had very tenuous strings to their consequently ambiguous owners.

Hm. I wonder where the wine came from. I wonder how it got there. I wonder how it got opened, and I wonder what activities the beings who drank from the bottle intended to engage in.

Hm. I wonder.

This life is a mystery.

Image: Drinking (unjustifiably?) expensive wine at Shiro- an interesting Pan Asian restaurant in Lagos Nigeria.

Kissing Girls in UC Berkeley.

Oh my God, you’re an angel!!

We are at UC Berkeley. Africa hall. Or Africa section. Africa something.

I am expressing immense appreciation to a student.

She is tall, and she has some glittering party make-up on. I think she looks really interesting.

She just let us into a 21+ party.

None of us is up to twenty one.

Well apart from our American classmate who has a fake ID. He is 21+ according to his fake ID.

I did not know Americans also faked documents. I used to think stuff like that only happened in like Nigeria.

A few weeks after resumption, someone offered to help me and some other classmates out with fake IDs.

You know, for 21+ party access and stuff.

I politely declined.

Please, I just got to America. I just landed here a few weeks ago- this place where everything is supposed to be perfect and where life is supposed to be nothing short of heaven on earth. Please hold on to your offer, thank you. I did not fly here all the way from Nigeria to make fake IDs thanks.


We’re in.

We’re inside the party.

Come to think it, we came all the way from San Francisco without even being sure if we were going to get in.


Props to the infallible confidence of the American with the fake ID.



The party seems really fun. There’s cool music and party lights and people dancing everywhere, mm.

I walk around and talk to a number of people. There’s some guy who studies something interesting. Like Biomedical Engineering or something like that. We talk for a while.

I keep moving around and dancing.

At some point I ask the DJ for permission to play some music from Nigeria. It’s rap music and I enjoy rap, but it’s this party rap that has a vibe that I feel will provide some interesting contrast to the predominantly Western music that’s being played.

The student DJ agrees.

I look up Falz and Phyno’s recent collaborations on Spotify. Falz has been making some interesting waves recently. While in Nigeria, I was like the only one I knew, who knew him. Well, me and the person who introduced me to his music. Recently though, he has been experiencing some international recognition. His music is very good- I really enjoy it. And I feel happy for him.

Falz and Phyno’s “Karishika” begins to play. “Karishika” is a jovially superstitious song about agents from the underworld who disguise themselves as attractive women, with the aim of inspiring the ruin of men who are making notable headway in life.

It appeals to a pretty prevalent mindset in Nigeria that men are the primary beings with well-defined destiny and purpose in life, and that women generally exist to either support or preclude the realization of said destiny.

It’s definitely very patriarchal, the women in the society for some reason behave in ways that reinforce this perspective- making you actually begin to wonder if it’s some sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy thing. Or even more bewildering, if men in Nigeria are in actual fact the only humans with life purpose and women only exist as auxiliaries.

But it’s a great ass party song.

The people dancing also seem to think so. Everyone seems excited.

Haha great.

I’ve resigned from my acting DJ position.

Now I’ve found myself toying with the idea of just walking around and persuading girls to kiss me.

I think it’s an interesting idea.

There’s this Asian-looking girl. Her name is Melanie.

We’re talking and dancing. I make her aware of my current mission. She seems very excited by it, but for some reason is hesitant to actually kiss me.

We talk some more and dance some more. At some point we kiss.

Mwah. It’s a mwah kiss.

There’s this British-sounding girl.

She is very very fun to dance with. She has some serious moves.

We keep dancing.

I make her aware of my mission. She’s also excited by it, but she says she has a boyfriend.

I think she’s lying.

We keep dancing. I keep attempting to persuade her. In between dance moves and hearty laughter she keeps bringing up the issue of her boyfriend- a being whose existence I am very suspicious of.


I haven’t kissed any girls in a bit. My attention has been taken by all of the other rooms in the building.

I’m in the bathroom.

There are condoms everywhere.

I do not understand.

The sexual culture in this country is so different.

Growing up in Nigeria, sex was pretty much a taboo topic. Something people only talked about in detail, in private. Not every time hush hush, but definitely not this.

Here, sex is everywhere.

There is a surprisingly expansive heap of condoms in front of the bathroom mirror. And dental dams.

The impression I get is, “We know you people are going to have sex. Just do it safely please.

I don’t even know what this dental dam thing is used for. At this very point in time, I do not even know what the name is. I pick up a few pieces of the coloured rectangular stretchy thingies, and begin to imagine what in the name of God they could possibly be used for.


I am in another room. It looks like some sort of a Computer research lab. There is a pretty large monitor in the middle of the room. There is a girl seated at the computer. There is a guy hunched over her, looking at something evidently very important on the screen. They look up at me as I walk in. They do not seem very friendly. I say hello and leave.

I am back at the dancefloor.

I’m with two female classmates.

Now I’m attempting to persuade them to cop a feel of my chest muscles.

I know one of them thinks I have a hot body. She wrote that to me at this school event where everyone had a large piece of paper that I think some of us taped to our backs, and then everyone else wrote pretty pleasant stuff on everyone else’s paper.

Now I’m trying to persuade her and her American bestfriend to take some action with regard to their evidenced thoughts.

They seem shy, but have the potential to be receptive. I keep exploring the possibility.

The party is pretty done.

I am in the kitchen.

Some guy is frying something. Tater tots or something like that.

It took me a while and some confusion-inspired concentration to realize that the name of whatever he is making is “Tato tots”. Like “tato” from potato.

Oho. Now I get it.

Unfamiliar accents further complicate the understanding of new expressions.

I have resumed my kissing mission.

There’s a girl beside me. We’re having a pretty alright chat, and I’m attempting to elicit multiple kisses from her over tato tots.

We are outside. We’re sitting on the floor- we’re all considerably tired and pretty drunk.

We need to get back to San Francisco. That is something we’re all subconsciously aware of, but for some reason no one seems to have the energy to translate into action.

We keep sitting on the floor and laughing. An immensely drunk Danish classmate somehow emerged from within the building with this very giant baguette. I wonder where in the name of God he found such a giant baguette. I thought I had seen all there was to see in that building.

An Argentine classmate takes up the responsibility of ordering us an Uber. This guy is our father this night- right now we’re all just a bunch of drunk college guys lying on the floor in UC Berkeley with absolutely no plan on how to get back to SF.

Image: A different party.

Party in Oakland/A Second-Hand Cuban Cigar.

Once I was seven years old, my

momma told me, go

make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely

We are in an Uber, on the Bay bridge back to San Francisco.

Lukas Graham’s “Seven Years” is playing on the speakers.

We are on our way back from a party in Oakland.

A Danish classmate somehow got us invites. I think he has some DJ friends there.

We are all ecstatic. The Danish guy is in the passenger’s seat. Jamming. We are all jamming.

I’m in the seat right behind him.

Oakland was fun. Oakland was very fun.

This is like, very bad rap!! Like, it is really bad hahaha!!

I am shouting to my American roommate, trying to be heard over the very loud music. Subconsciously I realize that I am beginning to perceive myself as having heard enough rap music in my life, to confidently call something being played aloud in a club “bad rap”.

My roommate is dancing. We are all dancing. There’s this face he makes when he dances that makes me think of his mother. I think it’s very cute.

I met her once. When we were all moving into the dorms at the beginning of the first semester. They’ve been inviting me over to their home in Southern California for the holidays. I’ve just not been comfortable enough in terms of either time or finances to accept their recurrent invites.

They even once offered to pay the flight tickets. I was touched. I just felt like I would be entirely dependent on them while I was there, and I didn’t really like the thought of that.

A Brazilian classmate was in our Oakland party group. I think he left recently. He seemed anxious about something, I don’t know what.

A classmate from eastern Europe says she’s going out for a cigarette.

I think she’s very pretty. I had a huge crush on her at the beginning of the first semester. But at some point she started dating some guy. Some Danish guy. Another classmate. She seems to really like him.

I have mixed feelings about him- the Danish guy. He’s smart. He’s very smart- remarkably smart. His performance in classes are like magic to me. I don’t understand it at all.

He’s also very rude. And insensitive. That is annoying, that is persistently annoying. But he’s fun. He’s very fun.

The Danish guys are very fun. They are this cool Danish duo who are always going out and doing cool stuff.

The pretty European once mentioned something to me about cigarettes, and how they can be a considerably reliable facilitator for conversation.

Would you like to head out for a cigarette?” is a pretty effective way to draw a person out of a crowd and go have a more private conversation.

I recently tried cigarettes for the first time. I never even thought about it in Nigeria. My parents thought very negatively of it, and I had a number of very interesting hobbies so my life was lacking neither excitement nor novelty.

In the past few months they’ve been very accessible though. A considerable number of people around me here smoke cigarettes. And so that continuous accessibility has outweighed my inattention.

I was unimpressed by the cigarette. I don’t understand why people like them. They smell and taste annoying. I am completely confused by how popular they are.

I recently tried this fat Cuban cigarette thing though. Ahhhh. That one was different. That one was very different.

It was at this interesting building on a street off Powell- I think it’s the street with the Walgreens. Or the one after that.

It’s the street with this jewelry shop where I collected the number of the sales attendant. After spending about twenty minutes asking pretty detailed questions about diamonds whose prices involved very bewildering numbers.

I acquired a considerable amount of knowledge about diamonds that day. Learnt about the head. Learnt about how the colour and the presence of impurities could influence the price of the jewel. Some impurities actually make the diamond more valuable- depending on the specifics.

Mm. Interesting.

Learnt about the prestige. I think it was prestige. Prestige, premier- something like that.

“You want my number?”

She looked up at me, looking somewhat bashful. She briefly glanced around- almost like she was looking for some sort of approval from the second attendant.

“Hm, well I don’t have a boyfriend, so okay.”

Paper. Number. Pocket.

She was very friendly. And sexy. She was very sexy.

I never called her. I’m a first year college student living in a dorm room with my American roommate. I don’t think going out on dates with a woman who sells diamonds for a living is what I should be doing right now. I have classes and assignments and my general life to figure out.

Aha, the Cuban cigar.

We had just finished this Student Support Network meeting with the college psychologist. Cool guy, the psychologist. I was nominated by a member of the college staff who seems to really like me, for some reason.

I was on my way out of the interesting room in which we had the meeting. Impressive wooden floors, ornate wooden bookshelves and general furniture- just fascinating. The room felt like something out of a period piece about a renowned monarch.

I was on my way out of the room. And then I saw this other room by the right. There was a large table at the centre. There were chairs around it. It looked like a group of affluent and accomplished men in dazzling suits had recently gathered there to discuss men-stuff and politics and opportunities for the realization of even more accomplishments and affluence.

I walked into the room and took my time to soak in the very esteemed ambience.

And then I saw the Cuban cigar on the table. I think it was a Cuban cigar. It was brown and fat, like the type in movies. It had to be a Cuban cigar- that’s what they call the brown and fat ones isn’t it.

Before I knew it, I was on the balcony- looking over the tops of the buildings outside, and generally just enjoying that San Francisco skyline in between puffs of the brown fat cigar.

I don’t know what the general opinion is on smoking second-hand cigars, but that was just one faint tiny bell ringing at the back of my mind.

I took my time to draw some very slowly-savoured breaths through the cigar- getting a thorough taste of the resplendent affluence and accomplishment and life-establishment that the men in that room had very perceptibly diffused into the space.

It had neither a disturbing smell nor taste. And it felt very round and firm between my fingers. Brown and stolid and fat.

A few minutes later, I returned the cigar to the table- I had taken just a few puffs- and headed out.

On my way back up Powell, I became aware of this strange feeling in my head. My head felt clear. It was strange. The marked mental clarity I felt after smoking the cigar, made me wonder if there was some sort of fog in my head before.

The pretty European classmate is taking a sip from a transparent bottle. The liquid inside is bright blue.

There is a very jovial African-American guy seriously hyping the contents of the bottle. He says it’s Ecstasy.

He is talking very excitedly. He is either normally a very excitable guy, or he’s just excited about talking with the pretty European. I don’t know. Or maybe I’m just jealous.

I just took a sip from the bottle. In my mind I’m thinking about how much Ecstasy tastes like Gatorade.

I keep watching the African-American Ecstasy hype man. Chattering on about his very dubious-tasting drug.

At some point the Danish guy who got the club invites says we should better get going.

“So we don’t get mugged!”

He sounds like he’s talking from recent experience. Maybe they got mugged in Hawaii.

The two Danish guys recently flew to Hawaii. A considerable number of classmates were dumbfounded, myself included.

A number of months ago, I arrived the USA from Nigeria. My first time travelling outside the country. I am still here, trying to understand and make sense of this new degree of freedom- this new axis of movement. And these guys are flying to Hawaii on a moment’s notice.

Wow. Like wow.

Soon we’ll be thirty years old, our

songs have been sold, we’ve

travelled around the world and we’re still roaming

We are in an Uber, on the Bay bridge back to San Francisco.

Lukas Graham’s “Seven Years” is playing on the speakers.

Image: Cool nextdoor neighbours at the dorms.

Stadtbad Neukölln.

Life is extremely stressful right now.

Life is extremely stressful.

I spent last night communicating via email with the customer service of some telecommunications company in the USA. They have been meticulously effectuating  monthly debits to my Bank of America account.

I have not used their phone in months. But in spite of that, I keep getting their pestilential debits.

There is barely any money in my account. I had to borrow fifty euros from my Argentine flatmate a few weeks ago to get some groceries, while I awaited the arrival of some funds from the HQ in the USA.

Things are tight. Things are pretty tight.

And yet in spite of that, these telecoms people are making unfailing deductions from my already gaunt bank account.

Usually I’m calm and polite when communicating with Customer Service representatives.

I have never used exclamation marks. Or umbrage-inspired pervasive capitalization.

That was until last night.



Life is extremely stressful right now.

Berlin is annoying me. This neighbourhood is so quiet. After a year, I had gotten used to the bustle of Nob Hill. The periodic ringing of the cable cars, and the occasional skateboarder power-sliding down California street. Now the quiet of North-Eastern Kreuzberg feels more like deafness than tranquility.

Some of the roads are also not the best for skateboarding. A guy called out to me at Kottbuser Tor, and expressed his displeasure at this same situation. 

“You’re holding your skateboard in your hand all the time because you can’t really ride it here, its so frustrating”

I definitely saw what he was saying.

A number of major roads are pretty good though- smooth enough. Smooth enough.

I am still trying to get used to this place.

I need to go swimming.

I recently learnt that “swimming pool” in German is “Stadtbad”. I learnt that from looking for proximate swimming pools online.

I found one that seems cool. It’s at Neukölln. Stadtbad Neukölln.

I pick up my swimming trunks which I bought from a roadside trader while in university in Nigeria. I fetch the idle swimming goggles I stole from the poolside at a YMCA in San Francisco.

Time to get to the Stadtbad.

I head out the door while I engage in a cognitive struggle with the worries and pains and anxieties of the romantic relationship I am in, with the perplexities of my current situation and uncertainties of my future in the backdrop.

I am skateboarding down Karl-Marx Straße. I think this is where Google Maps says I need to turn left. I walk up to a woman seated on a chair in a space by the road that looks like an open air cafe with patio umbrellas. I explain that I am trying to get to Stadtbad Neukölln. With a smile, she points me in the right direction. I give her my appreciation.



I am at the pool. It’s an interesting place. Very large hall. The turnstiles at the entrance to the pool almost make me feel like I am at a subway station.

Grey concrete walls. Neoclassical architecture. Extremely interesting environment.

My Chinese GoPro clone is at the end of the hall. I think I’ll do some normal swimming before bringing the camera into the pool.

I swim.

Some weird German guy looks like he’s trying to impress me with his butterfly stroke. He swims over and begins to chat me up, with a sheepish grin on his face. Oh yeah he was definitely trying to impress me with his butterfly.

It was impressive though, it was. It looked really powerful and elegant.

I need to learn that stroke. I have been meaning to learn it for a while. I respond very dismissively to the weird German guy.

I keep swimming.

I’ve brought the “GoPro” into the pool. I am taking underwater pictures and making videos. I am enjoying myself.




I am at the bathroom. Taking a shower. Weird German guy materializes from God-knows-where. Tries fondling my nipples.

I get pissed. I get very pissed, and I express that to him.

I don’t know what’s up with these weird homosexual German guys who keep bothering my life.

I do not know what their problem is.



All in all, it was a good day. It was a very good day at Stadtbad Neukölln.




Now Playing: Di’Ja- Awww.

Kaleidoscope. 1.

I am hungry.

I am very hungry.

I have been here for practically the whole day, making use of the WiFi network of the restaurant next door.

I am not under the delusion that the owner of the restaurant is unaware of this. I think he’s somehow alright with it. He seems like a pretty cool guy. From England. We’ve had brief chats during times when I legitimately patronized his restaurant. Now I’m not buying anything, I’m just sitting next door and using his WiFi.

I am hungry. I am very hungry.

Earlier in the afternoon a Cape Verdean woman invited me up to her apartment. She was smiling at me very widely- I wasn’t quite sure why. We got into her apartment and she began to show me around. Introduced me to her daughter. Took me out to the balcony. All the while grinning at me very widely. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening.

There was some cheese and like bread on the table. I began to help myself to that. I was hungry and I had come across some food. I began to consume it voraciously. That was the one thing that made sense throughout my brief visit to that apartment.


It is evening.

I am hungry.

I am very hungry.

I drift towards a group of Cape Verdeans having a small birthday celebration across the street.

The birthday cake is magnetizing me from across the road. I can taste it already. I can feel the icing melting in my mouth.

“Hello. Is this a birthday party? Do you mind if I join?”

I say something like that. Probably with a lot of gesticulations because I am new in Cape Verde, and my Portuguese Creole vocabulary is expectedly diminutive.

He walks over to the celebrant and consults her. She looks at me and takes some time to mull it over.

He walks back over.

“She says you can’t. It’s a small celebration. And it’s private.”

“Alright. Thank you. Thank you very much.”

No birthday cake for me.

“Oh wow you’re from France? That is so cool!”

I am in a conversation with an interesting French woman at a house party in San Francisco.

It is Halloween.

A Spanish classmate found out about the house party.

”House Party at the Negev”.

Somehow. I have no idea how. I have no idea how that guy finds out about the very cool events and places he has taken me to. He is such a cool guy. And he’s very tall. Taller than me. There’s an interesting feeling I get when hanging out with people taller than me. I feel like a child. And I feel even more playful that I normally would feel when I am in a good mood. It’s usually a very exciting and freeing feeling.

We’re dressed as Pulp Fiction. My Spanish classmate and I. He is the white guy, and I’m Samuel L. Jackson. I have no idea who the white guy is. I haven’t even really watched Pulp Fiction. My best friend strongly recommended the movie back in university in Nigeria. I tried watching it, but I kept losing concentration, I’m not sure why.

At the parade at the Castro I told someone I was the black guy in Men In Black. Then I remembered it was supposed to be Pulp Fiction.

What the hell – Pulp Fiction, Men in Black, there’s a white guy and there’s a black guy- they’re both in suits and they look cool. That’s who we are.

This house party was supposed to be 21+ but somehow we got in, courtesy of cool Spanish classmate.

This is so exciting.

I go get some glowsticks.

I am hungry.

I am very hungry.

There is a group of Cape Verdeans having a small celebration by the side of the road. I think it is a birthday party, but I am not sure.

I walk towards them.

I approach the member of the group closest to me, and what comes out of my mouth is:

“Hello, I am a student from the USA, and I’m currently in Cape Verde on a gap year, do you mind if I join you?”

He doesn’t even wait for me to finish. He grabs me in a warm and energetic embrace.

“You student from USA? Estados Unidos?”

His face is brimming with excitement.

He pulls me over to the other members of the group.

“Escola li! Escola li! Escola Estados Unidos!” Something like that.

Everyone seems happy to have me around.

I don’t mind. I exchange pleasantries with the celebrant, and begin to indulge in the barbecued chicken and red wine.

We have a nice time.

The guy who pulled me over gives me some valuable insights on Cape Verdean life philosophy and organic living.

“Terra Terra!!”

He pronounces the “rr” like a harsh “h”, almost close to a “k”.

“That is from the ground, from the earth!! We live from the earth!!”

“Hmmmm!!! Terra Terra!! From the earth!! Alright! I’m getting you, I’m getting you!!”

I am nodding and smiling excitedly, my mouth active with the mastication of fresh barbecued chicken.

At some point I sneak one unbarbecued chicken thigh into my pocket.

I could go cook this at the studio apartment where I stay. I don’t think my hosts will mind.

I guess these are “Student from the US” privileges.

It is my birthday today.

Today I am twenty years old.

I decided to try ice skating this evening. Union square has an ice skating rink, and I thought- Why not? Why not give ice skating a shot?

It has been fun so far. I have fallen a number of times, as expected, but it has been fun regardless.

I saw a woman fall earlier. She had been skating pretty vigorously. I was in immense admiration of her skills. She fell suddenly.  Hit her hip on the ice. It seemed like a pretty bad fall. She got up after like a minute and kept on skating with her partner. I hope she’s alright. I hope she’s alright.

I am getting ideas involving attaching ice skating blades to the underside of a skateboard. I wonder what that’ll be like though. I wonder how it’ll work.

I keep moving forward on the ice. I won’t quite call what I’m doing, skating.

We were at a comedy show earlier. There was me, two Brazilian classmates (who found out about the event), and one Nigerian classmate. And then everyone else at the show. The Brazilians turned twenty one like a few weeks earlier. I am so envious. Now they can legit go for 21+ events. While I’m stuck with 18+. Ugh. The very interesting events are always 21+.

At some point the performers at the comedy show began to pay a considerable amount of attention to me. Use me as a subject of their jokes. In a good way.

It was strange. It was very strange, because they portrayed me as a handsome guy who had absolutely no life problems because of his physical attractiveness.

First, I am still trying to get used to people describing me as handsome. Or physically attractive in any regard. All my life I have never really thought of myself as a handsome or attractive person. I have always perceived myself to be about average in terms of attractiveness. But it seems like things have changed a lot in the past year. Things have to have changed. All of a sudden I’m getting all of this physical attention that was not there before.

Even to the point of being pointed at by a performer who was like “I go out for parties and it’s a herculean task to get women to talk to me but this guy *points at me* has absolutely no such problems”.

I was wondering who he was pointing to.

Another performer did something similar. This one was female. At the end, one of the Brazilians described my experience at the show as “He almost almost got laid by a performer”.

I don’t know what he was talking about.

I don’t know what to do with it though. This whole physical attractiveness thing that people seem to be perceiving. What do you use it for? What is it useful for? I don’t know. I really do not know.

I’ll have to think about it. I’ll really have to think about it.

“Onde kuta morra?”


“Onde kuta morra?”


“Onde kuta morra?”

Okay this isn’t going anywhere.

I am in a settlement behind Espargos, on the island of Sal in the Cape Verdean archipelago.

I am trying to understand what the hell this guy is asking of me.

Google Translate is not quite helping, I’m not sure why.

“Onde kuta morra?”


“Morra! Morra! Onde Kuta Morra?”

He is making hand gestures now.

I don’t think my confusion has reduced.

Morra? The fuck does Morra mean?


From a night at Shiro – a Pan-Asian Restaurant at Victoria Island in Nigeria. View of the gallery.

I am on the BART to Berkeley/“Black Virgins are Not for Hipsters”.



I am on the BART to Berkeley.

Lapsley’s “Hurt Me” is playing on my Spotify.

Spotify has this “Save offline” functionality with which you can save songs for offline listening.

That’s what I do whenever I go skateboarding at Potrero Hill. Potrero is so picturesque though. And relaxing. I love skateboarding there to just chill on the lush green hill in front of the very colorful high school.

I have this Spotify playlist I curated over the past few months. Plus, there was this playlist my roommate introduced me to: “Lush + Atmospheric”.

He is from Southern California, my roommate. He is so cool though. I got to learn about Spotify’s Lush+Atmospheric playlist one night when we were both very high in the room and listening to Spotify playlists. I think he actually had a “High” playlist. Or maybe it was an official Spotify playlist. That Spotify thing is pretty crazy.

That night I ran out of synonyms for “high”, because he kept coming up with new ones I had never heard before, every two minutes.

”Oh Mayowa, I’m so baked right now.”

I couldn’t even contain my laughter. I was like rolling all over the rug in the room.

”Baked.” What the fuck.

“Oh Mayowa, I’m so packed right now.”

”Jesus Christ hahaha! Packed! What the fuck bro, You just keep bringing it hahaha!”


I am on the BART to Berkeley.

I am going to see a show.

“Black Virgins are not for Hipsters”, that’s the title of the show. I found out about it on Eventbrite. Eventbrite is so cool. Plus there is just so much happening in the Bay area all the time, it’s so exciting. Although sometimes it feels like you’re always missing out on something. That can sometimes be an uncomfortable feeling.

Lapsley’s voice is really nice. I like this song. The lyrics are pretty gripping.

Under the overly bright lights of the BART this evening, I realize that I am experiencing a new feeling. I am currently experiencing a feeling I have never experienced before: The feeling of having someone waiting back at home for me. The feeling of having a romantic partner waiting back at home for me. This is new. This is a completely new feeling.

Some context: I recently got a girlfriend. I recently fell in love. And believe me, it’s crazy- I’m being introduced to this side of myself I never knew existed. This soft mushy irrational Mayowa I don’t understand at all.

It’s an interesting feeling- having someone waiting back at home for you. There’s the excitement that comes with liberty- being free to do whatever you want- being free to stay out as late as you want- That’s something I have been enjoying immensely over the past few months. But this is different. I have someone I love waiting back at home for me in San Francisco. For some reason, staying out as late as possible just doesn’t seem as appealing anymore.

Lapsley’s “Hurt Me” keeps playing.


I am skateboarding around the campus of UC Berkeley.

It seems like a cool school. Not as cool as my school though. Haha. Nowhere as cool as my school.

I am early for the show. I don’t know how that happened. I am usually late for everything.

I keep skateboarding. There’s a Frat House building thing by the left. Alpha Beta Gamma Zeus or something like that. Sounds like something Tyler and Zach would be extremely excited by. I myself am curious about what goes on in the building though.

I keep skateboarding. Some woman is doing a garage sale. I’m interested in a fairly used snowboard. I spend the next like twenty minutes in a discussion with the woman, while negotiating on a price for the snowboard at the same time. I’m not quite sure how much she agreed to sell it for- I think it was thirty dollars. I didn’t know if that was a good deal or not. I had no idea how much snowboards cost.

“I could ask Omar, my Israeli classmate. He’s a snowboarding guy.”

When we eventually agree on a price, I realize I have nowhere to keep the snowboard. My classmates and I will be moving to Berlin soon. How the hell am I supposed to transport a snowboard all the way to Europe? Who is going to pay for the extra baggage?


Black Virgins are not for Hipsters.

Echo Brown’s performance is impressive. Very moving. Her tears are so compelling. She is such a bad person and dating her will making you very disoriented and miserable in life and she is so open and honest and straightforward about that. It’s very admirable. At the end of the show she takes questions. I ask a few.

I really like my school. I genuinely feel like the experience I’m getting there is perceptibly improving the quality of my questions/contributions in general social situations. Echo Brown responds to my questions from her seat on the stage. This is so exciting.

After the show I’m talking with this girl from Ethiopia. She seems somewhat nervous. Come on pretty looking girl, open your mouth and respond to my questions. I don’t bite you know.


I am on the BART back to San Francisco.

It has been a very enjoyable night. There is just one thing on my mind right now- getting back to my girlfriend. I love her so much. I have never experienced this much affection and desire for a human being in my life.

I’ve missed her so much just in the last few hours. Right now I am in a Subway train under the ocean, pining to get back to get back to my girlfriend in San Francisco.


Something from my Spotify “Saved for Offline” playlist is playing.


Now Playing: Memories by Petit Biscuit.



1. In the MUNI, on a different night. I think I was on the way back from buying a new skateboard at Haight/Ashbury.

2. San Francisco. Probably also on a different night.

Two Days in Frankfurt.

Reykjavik Airport. Iceland.

“Hello. Please do you mind not taking off yet? I need to find someone. We came to the airport together, and I need to be sure he is on the plane.”

The air hostess stares at me. I stare back.

I elucidate some more.

“We were sitting together at the boarding gate. I quickly went to get something and by the time I got back everyone was already getting on the plane and I couldn’t find him.”

At some point she gets a clearer picture of my situation and nods in comprehension. She speaks to some other hostesses in what I assume to be Icelandic.

I remember trying to come up with some sort of a rudimentary understanding of the language after a few minutes at the airport. I was studying a large signboard that was placed over the booth of the officer who stamped our passports. I felt like I was beginning to make out a pattern in the sentences- a pattern with the structure of the verbs and their conjugation. Something like that.

I think someone passes a message to the pilot not to begin the takeoff procedure yet.

She gets a hold of the microphone.

“What’s his name please?”

I tell her.

“Hello Mister Soso and So, you have a friend who is looking for you. He wants to know if you boarded the plane successfully. He wants to know if you’re here. Please indicate if you can hear me. Hello?”

We look around the plane. It is a relatively small plane. My Indian classmate and I booked the cheapest flight to Germany we could find from San Francisco.

We keep looking.

I see a hand go up in the air a few rows down.

“Ah haha. There he is! There he is!”

“Haha great! I wave and smile. He successfully got on the plane.

Thank you very very much!”

I make sure to profusely express my appreciation.

I walk back to my seat, half-wondering why I momentarily delayed the plane’s takeoff to check on the welfare of someone who evidently did not care if I successfully boarded the plane or not.

Frankfurt airport.

A few minutes of Google Mapping over the airport Wifi, and I realise I need to get to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. That’s like “Frankfurt Central Train Station” or something like that.

I head towards the subway.

One of the first things I become aware of after landing in Germany is how much taller the people around me seem to be.

The first two people I talk to are a guy and a lady I believe is his girlfriend. I ask for some directions. They are both smiling and they seem happy to talk to me.

They are both in about the same height range as I am.

“Christ, it feels like everyone is taller in this place.”

It’s a strange feeling. It makes the air feels a bit more choked.

I do not have money to use the subway. I begin to interact with a guy close by. He seems confused. His confusion has something to do with the ticket vending machine. Something about the language and what ticket would take you to the Hauptbahnhof.

We begin to think and talk, trying to figure it out. Eventually we do. I ask if he would not mind buying me a ticket. He doesn’t mind. We head into the subway.

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof.

I’m in a hostel. Well I’m not really in the hostel because I am not checked in. I’m at the reception. I learnt about hostels from an Israeli friend I met in San Francisco.

“Oh waitt, so they’re like hotels but less expensive? Ahhhh. I did not know there was a thing like that.”

It was an interesting day when I learnt about hostels from the very cool Israeli guy.

I am sitting at my computer and reloading my account balance page on my banking portal.

“Fuck, we were supposed to be paid like a few days ago. What sort of undeserved brokeness is this?”

I keep reloading.

The lady with really interesting blue eyes at the reception begins to pass snide looks at me from across the room.

“Yes I know I know. I’ve just been sitting down here and drinking your internet and I’ve still not paid for a room. Yes I know thank you very much, just wait till this money hits my account. It’s coming all the way from the US. It’s probably about halfway across the Atlantic at this point, don’t worry.”

I log on to Netflix. Their internet is good. There is no cash at hand, but there is an existing Netflix subscription. Life isn’t completely terrible.


I am skateboarding around Frankfurt. It seems like a cool place. Some of the roads look strange. Right in front of the hostel it looks like the sidewalks are much wider than the actual road. A few minutes down the road, the sidewalk and the main road are exactly the same thing- completely indistinguishable. The road is the sidewalk, and the sidewalk is the road.

I keep skateboarding.

I stop at an ice cream shop, and get myself some ice cream. I’m giddy from all of the skating adrenaline. I’m giggling as I collect my ice cream. The lady selling has an amused smile on her face.

“Haha, thank you very much.”

My money finally arrived in Frankfurt after its sustained journey over the Atlantic.

I keep skateboarding.

I am at a really picturesque lake. I take the time to lie down in the grass and enjoy the warm sunlight. I would have taken pictures but it seems I lost my phone on the way to Frankfurt. I’m not quite sure where.

Ugh. And it was a new iPhone.


Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof.

I am about to get a train to Berlin. I’m chomping down on a pack of Dunkin Donuts. Each donut has a different flavoured topping. I pick three and take a bite from each one. One after the other. And I keep going round. My mouth tastes like rainbows and good music.

The roof of the train station is largely transparent, and so it lets a lot of sunlight in. The station is airy and bright and smells of fresh coffee and trains and railway metal.

Someone is using my skateboard. Some guy. He is wearing a white T-shirt, jeans and a cool looking beanie.

He effortlessly does a pop-shuvit. Spins the board around 180 degrees with his back foot. Okay this guy can use my skateboard for as long as he wants.

I introduce myself. We begin to talk.

We get on the train. He tells me he is from a small village in the south-western end of the country. Close to the border with France. He says the name means “Water under the bridge”. I think it sounds cool.

I offer him some Dunkin Donuts. He says he’s fine thank you. At the back of my mind I wonder how anyone could refuse these brightly-coloured, extremely cheerful donuts.

We keep talking as the train cruises through the beautiful green plains that stretch out into the horizon.

Somewhere in Germany.

I was on the wrong train. Right now I am about 50 miles in the opposite direction. I’m with my pack of now almost depleted Dunking Donuts, my skateboard and my backpack.

The German skateboarder is beside me. We’re talking with the train operator. Working on how to resolve the issue. He gives us directions. It turns out I do not have to pay any extra money. Good to hear. The train operator has this tired and disapproving look on his face throughout. I think it’s supposed to make me feel bad about having gotten on the wrong train. I don’t really care. Maybe he just needs some Dunkin Donuts to spice up his life.

I get off the train. I part with the skateboarder after adding him up on Facebook.

I ask for directions from another officer at the train station. So I can double-check the information accessible to me. I need to get on the right train this time.


It was a beautiful train ride. Thoroughly enjoyable. I pull my big red travelling box behind me as I step out of the subway at Waschauer Strasse.

Time to locate my new apartment.