I went to a wedding today. An old University friend from the Old Country got hitched today. I'd arranged to meet up with some other friends somewhere along the way and then travel down together, but made a detour into the shopping hell that is Oxford Street! Don't get me wrong, i love Oxford Street. I love shopping....no actually, i love window shopping better than the act itself. It's funny, i've never been one of those females who gets up one day and decides to go shopping for the sake of it, and still manages to come home with bags and bags of stuff. No. I'm more calculated. I take mental notes while out window shopping and then decide if i want to get the thing(s), so when i go back to the shops, i go with a purpose.
I remember taking a trip to Rome a couple of years ago with 3 shopaholic friends (big mistake!). I mean these girls were hard core!!! We'd already planned our itinery ahead of time i.e. hit one of those out of town shopping outlets on the first day and then spend the rest of the weekend sight-seeing (i.e the part i was looking forward to). So we get to the Outlet (eventually), only to find out their Sale started the following day. My friends decided it wouldn't be prudent to shop then, but to come back the next day and you really couldn't fault their logic. To cut a long story short, we spent the whole of the next day shopping. Or at least they did. I spent the whole day scowling and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
We'd agreed to get a taxi back to Rome after the shopping trip, but having spent all their money SHOPPING, we now had to cross express roads and catch buses and trains and anyway, it wasn't funny at all! We finally made it back into Rome late afternoon and i insisted on seeing some sights. Well, the Colliseum has shut for the day by the time we got there, and we got to cast a cursory glance over the Trevi fountain. That was it. What a waste! I was so annoyed. I digress though.
So i dashed down to Oxford Street to get a card and gift. 'Cutting it a bit fine', i hear you say, given that the wedding was this afternoon? Well, i only heard about the wedding earlier this week...and from another friend back in Naija! I was a bit miffed and almost didn't go, but i soon got over myself. After all 'Rejoice with those who rejoice..' the bible says. Not 'Rejoice with those who rejoice and also send you invitations well in advance of the wedding day'...
I also took advantage of being in that vicinity and had a look round in a couple of shops for a skirt to complete my choir uniform for tomorrow. I finally found something in Zara, and as i stood in line to pay, i caught the Manager-type guy (well, he was in a suit) who was serving at the counter, checking me out in my wedding finery as his customer input her PIN. He smiled when our eyes met and i smiled back. It was very refreshing, seeing as how i'm used to 'franking' Naija men (see here. Maybe it's about time we reopened that debate. Naija men, why do you like to frank ya faces at people you don't know? Would it kill you to smile? Would your face crack, perhaps? The funny thing is that when you actually, on the off chance, get to meet some of these same franking (frowning) guys, some of them turn out to be quite decent. So why, oh why, can't your faces reflect this?).
Anyway, back to my manager dude. He was kinda cute (ehn, so what would i have done if he was 'ugly'? Scowled? Lol!). He was also, i'm guessing, Spanish. All Zara staff seem to be. Now, do they ship them over from Spain to work in their branches here in the UK? Or do they advertise in Spanish? Answers on a postcard, please. The mere fact that he smiles rules out the option of him being English! Unfortunately, there's one person in front of me and as he finishes with his current customer, she goes over to his till and i have to go over to the girl beside him (also Spanish). Ah well...c'est la vie.
The wedding was great. But i love weddings, period. I also reconnected with some other old friends, which is always good.
Earlier in the week, i went to see new Nigerian singing sensation, Nayo, perform live. Hailed as the new Sade, Nayo is starting to generate a buzz over here in the UK. I went to see her at the Soho Revue bar. Men, Soho at night is scary! Well, maybe scary's a strong word. Perhaps seedy and sleazy describes it better, what with the women standing in doorways inviting men in to come and check out the girls on offer, and the punters (perverts, in my book) trooping into sex shops with impunity! But this is not a post on the moral decadence prevalent in today's society, now is it?!
Minor rant: Nigerians are so --- (you fill in the blanks).
I rocked up to the venue and was waved in by the bouncers. The naija chic at the desk asked for my name and now consulted the list in front of her. 'No, you're not on the list' she says finally. As i try to process this info, someone mentions the words 'guest list'. I'm like 'Excusez moi! Do i look like some kind of groupie/hanger on? I paid for my ticket fair and square online. Capiche?'. The girl now goes 'oh, do i have a reference number'. I tell her, Noooo because the website only said to bring along the credit card with which you made the booking. Then ensues frantic mobile phone conversation explaining situation to faceless person on other side of line. No list had been produced of people who had bought tickets online. I'm like 'Duh-uh!!!'. I wait about 15mins while they get their act together. The sad thing is that i'm not surprised!
I finally get my hand stamped with what a friend refers to as 'the mark of the beast' and am allowed to go up the stairs and into the venue. After the support act does his thing, Nayo finally comes out.
Looking good, sounding good...Nayo is an undeniable talent. Great voice, great presence, charming and engaging. My only issue is that all her songs seem to sound 'samey'. I'd be willing to hazard a guess they were all produced by the same person. She also needs to work on the smoothness of her segues between songs. I believe all that will come with time, and all in all, i really was impressed. My best bit was when she did a bit of improv, asking the audience to shout out words or phrases which she then weaves into a song. Enjoy (Don't say i never do anything for y'all, my faithful readers :))