Saturday, July 14, 2007

On Coincidences & the Dark Child

Sometimes repetitive observations serves useful purposes; but you start know you on the edge of losing your mind when you start gloating over mundane coincidences. Give say, seeing a particular number on the bill boards than others. I have since concluded it is eternally difficult to find a single person without a six in either their birth date, drivers licence number, license plate number or cellphone. If you do find such person, go ahead and tell me. To prove this, I had to mine my cellphone data in an Excel file- only busanga - and sorted it for six. I swear, 89% of all numbers on my cell had six in them. If you think say I dey lie, try am.

But one coincidence has even been troubling me lately. Check this out: I had started to fill up weekly at this Citgo gas station down the street. I normally used a Valero on the other end of the road, before I started noticing an appreciable price differential in the socialist ran, Chavez owned Venezuelan oil giant retail outlet. Not someone to pass up on cheap stuff- awoof dey run belle - I started gassing up the ride there. But to my amazement, five times, five weeks, different prices but characteristically empty yellow indicator, and I have always paid fifty bucks for gas at Citgo. How probable is that? With gas tax, to pay $50.00 five times? No penny less, no penny more. Personally, I think the machines in the station are communists! Okay may be I am paranoid, but am not complaining. The fifty bucks is five quids less than I used at Valero on the average.

Just finished reading the Dark Child by Camara Laye the Guinean author who dies in 1980. Such good re-read. I last read the book when I was twelve. The inflexions make more sense to me now. More detectable is the effect of translating from French to English. Personally, I don't think the happy dignified langauge that the book got translated in was the intent of the author. Some lines also got translated literarily like when he said: "my mother put herself out there for them than us". That is a literal translation from a West african thought- at least the Guineans had this in common with my own native Yoruba. "Mo ko ra mi si ta" means just that in Yoruba..."putting one self out".
The actual translation could mean being lenient or accommodating. Nevertheless, it was such an enjoyable read..a joyful story of growing and living in a lost Africa- one rural, yet so peaceful; shut from the rest of the world yet orderly; one agrarian yet so hopeful. That continent is forever lost to the upheaval of post-independence and the death of culture of reason, order & respect. The new continent is one without a soul- where anything goes!


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