Jorge turned out to be a very unassuming man, someone you might refer to as a believer in the doctrine of Buffettism (from Warren Buffett). Since he had a few hours to burn he couldn’t help but jump on Jorge’s invitation to go see what his typical day felt like.
After a few transactions at the bank, Jorge made towards the Sheraton in the middle of town, where they can have Brunch. He parked his car at the park below Silverbird Galleria, and both walked on foot towards Ladi Kwali where the Sheraton Hotel is located, using an overhead pedestrian bridge (which also had an adjoining structure that allowed for trolleys to be used), from where the Musa Yaradua Centre and the National Mosque can be seen in it’s full glory. The roof of the Musa Yaradua Centre made of SOLAR POWER PANELS generates the electricity with which the building is run. It saddened him greatly, that Nigeria’s wealthy aren’t using their wealth to promote the use of GREEN ENERGY, even when they can afford it. If only more wealthy people can follow this Musa Yaradua Centre example, like Senator-Elect Ben Murray Bruce with his battery powered car, is currently doing, Nigeria could be saved much of the damage that’s been done to the environment with the heavy carbon footprints, especially with our heavy dependence on fossil fuels, a reason for which Nigeria was shut down a few days back, because of unavailability of petroleum products. One can only hope that the events of the past few days will encourage the wealthy individuals, companies, corporations and conglomerates to consider alternative power sources that can be tailored to meet their basics, while they may still stick with the heavy environment-polluting fuel for that which will require huge sums of money to tinker with, or impossible to change, for now.
He was surprised that they were the only pedestrians using the bridge, while others simply risked their life crossing the road below, to the other side where Sheraton Hotel was located. Jorge was particularly saddened by those crossing the road when there was an overhead bridge they could use. He kept quiet knowing he was guilty of same several times in Lagos. He was even apprehended at some point by members of a Task Force, saddled with the responsibility to discourage pedestrians from crossing the road under pedestrian bridges at the ONIPANU and PALMGROVE areas of Lagos, but was released minutes after, having greased the palms of the head of the team. One time he decided to obey the rules and climb the bridge, he found at the top that he was panting, with shortness of breath, even palpitations, which informed his renewed efforts at daily exercise, for which he bought himself a TRACKBAND to measure his steps as well as amounts of sleep daily. He hadn’t been a fan of watches but if he ever wanted a watch, his Trackband was something that also fulfilled that purpose, one good reason to wear a watch that was for him.
While Jorge’s angst was with the pedestrians who refused to use the pedestrian bridge, he took umbrage at those who turned the covered parts at the foot of the pedestrian bridge into their toilet, leaving those who manage to use the bridge to bear the stench from their “uncharitable work”. Maybe, he thought, that may have contributed to some other pedestrians who might have wished to use the bridge, staying away from it, but the situation itself would’ve been helped had the authorities in charge had taken it upon themselves to ensure that the place is kept clean (especially seeing that the bridge is right beside a prestigious hotel in Nigeria’s capital), and examples made of the “crazies” who have no iota of shame in executing their shameful act in public.
Once they had negotiated their way out of there and into the comfy surroundings of the Sheraton he felt good and began to have fun again. He fed his eyes with the ambient surroundings while Jorge visited the offices of some European airlines in the lobby to secure tickets for an impending journey. Afterwards, they moved on to the swimming pool area of the hotel, where they had to make do with some drinks while waiting for Lunch, after having missed breakfast.
There was no dull moment between them,as almost all subjects was touched upon, ranging from politics, to religion, to economics, commerce, money, relationships, family life, everything; in between drinks, plates of goat peppersoup, hot bread with butter and peanuts.
Interestingly, not many Nigerians were there at the time of the day to enjoy the peace of the serene environment, or use the pool, or the equipments at the gym opposite the pool and the restaurant, like the Caucasians that were spending the time and facilities, for leisure and for business. Even Nigeria’s wealthy don’t know how to enjoy themselves!
Soon it was time to go, having burnt his extra time before his scheduled appointment, they made to leave, again via the pedestrian bridge then to Silverbird Galleria, this time he didn’t pay much heed to the foot of the pedestrian bridge, but noticed that the ARTS VILLAGE which had been closed on their way to the Sheraton earlier in the day, had opened and several works of art were on display, ranging from woodwork (calabashes, masks and the likes), metal work using brass (of images and items of cultural values), Tye and Dyed pieces of clothing and the likes.
He wondered how much he’d make if he were to manage to ship the artefacts abroad especially for the European Art Market, which he knows is already saturated with artifacts from Africa, almost immediately the thought that he would also be able to get the same and better works of art in other parts of Nigeria at a much cheaper rate than in the highbrow Art Village of Abuja dampened his enthusiasm, hence he didn’t bother to haggle with the exhibitors.
He simply took pictures of the items on display, maybe sometime in the nearest future he will have cause to revisit and even make some business of and with what they have on display.
He stopped taking pictures when he noticed that some of the exhibitors weren’t too happy with his shots, especially since he didn’t appear to them like he had the intention of buying. He also had had enough, and walked up to a waiting Jorge who found the whole scenario amusing.
Away from the Arts Village, Jorge gave him a lift to Berger Bus Stop, where he got a cab that took him to Nyanya where he could get another cab to Keffi, in the neighboring state of Nasarawa, also in Nigeria’s North-Central, where he had a business deal to seal later that day.