I’ve been at the NYSC camp in Okada, Edo State for 2 days now. I spent the first day trying to fully sort out my registration and the second day conditioning my mind to accept my new reality. On the third day, I wake at 4am, as I want to hurry out and take a shower. I look to my left and see this light skinned, oyinbo boy who looks very familiar. He turns out to be Chuba, a Law school friend. We exchange greetings and I immediately feel much better having someone I know around. We rant about how annoying life in camp is and proceed to get ready for the morning march past.
They put us in different platoons and I am in platoon 6. I don’t put my name down for any sporting activities as this would mean I’d be a certified platoon 6 member and have to report for rehearsals and so on. Being there only in body makes it so much less of an effort so I head to the back of the marching ground and take a quick nap. When I wake up, it is announced that we can leave, thank goodness!
I meet up with another guy from Law school, Sope and his friend, E. We sit down in Mammy market and watch the Chelsea game. Watching Chelsea lose is one of the highlights of the day, mainly because of how much of a twat Mourinho is. By the end of the game, it’s time to head back for the 4 pm march past. I head to platoon 2 (Sope & E’s platoon), as thankfully I’m just floating. We barely do any marching and just hang around jisting. The Arsenal game is on at this time so we are keenly following live updates. By the way, this whole time, Sope had been window-shopping for girls. The girl with the weave vs. the one with braids.
It turns out that Platoon 2 members are pro’s at marching, so we get let off early. We trot back to Mammy and finish watching the Arsenal game. Arsenal wins, and life feels great! Man Utd draw and it feels better. The weekend is much better than I’d anticipated. As we are sat in Mami, a very dodgy looking man in a Kangol cap, Argyle sweater, baggy jeans and boots walks up to us. The first thing that goes through my mind is obviously, “Ah! Are we still in Okada?” The guy says he sells sharwarma. He literally forces me to buy his sharwarma. I watch him put vegetables, chicken and sliced sausages in pitta bread. I start eating the sharwarma and realise that chicken bones are also apart of his recipe. I can’t help but wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. We see Chuba walking past and we invite him to join us. Chuba decides that he also wants a sharwarma but he is more careful than I am, so he gets a beef sharwarma. Apparently, the beef was just suya. We laugh about our food woes and decide to become better judges of food vendors.
As we are chilling, we notice some really weird things happening around us. Guys are dancing in the bar and they are dancing on themselves. One of them keeps gesturing me to join him, it’s almost comical because he teases, “Come now, come and join us.” The party is getting very boring at this point so we decide to leave. As it’s the first Saturday in camp, lights out is set at midnight as opposed to 10 pm. We hear that there is another party being hosted by DeRok so we head over there. DeRok is liquor that tastes just like coffee. This party is even more boring than the first one as it seems like the soldiers have chosen this one as their abode. Chuba and I decide to go back to the hostel. I eat the dodo, turkey and fish I had ordered earlier and then go to bed.