What is your work?
I am now being quizzed by a man I believe to be a police officer. There is a Police Station in the Terminus.
He’s asking for my occupation.
Engineer. I’m an engineer. Software Engineer.
I prefer “Researcher”, but I think he’ll be more likely to relate with “Engineer”. The last time I attempted giving some elucidation on Artificial Intelligence research to some law enforcement officers who stopped me at a roadblock for questioning, I don’t think it quite got us anywhere.
My motorbike was parked by the side of the road. My helmet and gloves were on the ground- they made me take them off.
I was explaining to the very doubtful-looking soldier like:
Artificial Intelligence has to do with giving machines the ability to—-
Shut Up!! Shut Up!!! You are gay! Look at your mouth! You are moving your lips like a woman. You are gay!!! You are a gay!!!
I was astounded. Like, what?? Howww??? Whattt?????
So now I just say “Engineer”. Pretty much every one has an idea what “Engineer” means.
I’ve been thinking of some other words I could describe myself with. Like Founder or CEO or Managing Director. I don’t know. Maybe then people would let me off with fewer questions.
I don’t know though. The research is what I primarily identify myself with. All of those other fancy terms are just to make the whole thing sound legit. Plus, there’s the chance law enforcement could begin to demand bribes befitting of a CEO, from me.
Please I have no CEO money to give you abeg. I am but a modest researcher. Please accept this humble token, sacrificially carved out of my very unassuming wages.
Where is your ID card?
Hm that’s true. I don’t have an ID card. Not yet. It is on the list of things to get done. I explain that the company was just registered a number of months ago. Things are still taking shape etc etc.
At some point he walks away. There is a lingering suspicion and distrust on his face. He looks completely unconvinced.
I head out of the train station.
I am on the pedestrian bridge right opposite the Terminus. I need to take a picture. I’m thinking I could write a blog post about this? I don’t know. In any case a straight-up picture of the building’s facade will be helpful.
The sun is behind the building. It’s in my face. The lighting is weird. Ugh.
I take a few pictures and head back down the bridge.
There are some guys seated on the bridge. I’m not sure what they’re doing. They look like the sort of group that hangs around in secluded places with the aim of ambushing passers-by.
The only issue is that I am sure there are no passers-by here. The bridge smells of bad weed and dried urine on asphalt. I am about a hundred percent certain that I’m the only non-street-gang guy to use this bridge today. And so I kinda wonder who they’re ambushing and robbing, and how they’re getting food to eat.
Hey you! Why you dey snap us??!! Why you dey snap us??!! Bring that your phone make I see am!!
It’s one of the strange guys on the bridge. He seems to have suddenly awoken from the communal trance they appear to all be in.
He claims I’m taking a picture of them.
Hah. You wish bruh. You wish. I’m here for this decrepit train station.
He asks to see my phone.
That’s something I know I should never do. Give them leverage. Once my phone is in their grasp, I’m somewhat beholden to them.
I ignore him and briskly walk past.
As I do, another bridge guy tells the first to calm down and let me go.
I turn briefly to fling some insults their way once I am at a safe distance.
Later I’ll think about personality. Personality and contingent situational attractor states. A character in a TV show will make me starkly aware that amenableness to reason and dialogue is not to be assumed for all possible confrontational situations.
And in response I’ll begin to think seriously about Krav Maga.