Chiuaua!

A young man earned my respect today. 

Young, smart, ambitious… But that’s not exactly why.

When I joined my class this semester, I knew only one girl from my class last year. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in all my classes. Being the only black girl in my class, it’s hard to go unnoticed. Unless you’re blind. 

I naturally tend to work harder than the average student because I seem to always want to prove myself to… Me. Whatever that means. 

I am also quite the introvert unless I am with people I like so I really suck in the friends-making department. This automatically implies that I was awfully alone throughout the greater part of my semester. 

Halfway through, however, I decided to greet people in my class. Say hello. Not have earphones plugged in all the time. Stuff like that. Since I know I can’t approach people, I might as well be somewhat approachable.

I had also decided those I wanted to avoid. Because let’s face it, there is always that racist person or groups of people, or those crowds that are just bad news, or those gossips you just want to stay as far away from as possible.

I made a friend in my second week though. Tall, beautiful and happy. I know happy isn’t really a compliment, but she is. And she is really cool. The first time we met, I decided she was going to be a really great friend. And I’d tell you why.

So, typical day in class. She sits by me and we get to talking. We are all new in class, and whether or not they admit it, everyone is somewhat curious about the stranger. So it becomes a group discussion of sorts. Normal questions are asked, like country and language and how many years I’ve been in Algeria. Then religion. 

“I’m Christian.”

“Why?”

You see, there is no appropriate answer to this question. So I just hold back all the sarcastic responses I could decorate a person’s life with. 

But my new friend, who has clearly never been privy to such a *insert as many words as you want* conversation goes berserk. 

“What do you mean by why??? You’re Muslim. She’s Christian. It’s a choice. What’s your problem?” 

Then there was this awkward silence. Oh how glad I was!!! 

Anyway…

I have decided that most of the boys in my class were cool. The are not good looking –in my humble opinion– so no distractions there (no offense). They would explain stuff, make jokes and generally be nice without trying to forcibly befriend you. I already have five favourites.

Two are really smart. They don’t talk to me though. But if they happen to be seated near me and I have a question, they help. A lot. One speaks more arabic than french and he always says hi, or smiles and he’s helping me learn a couple of words and expressions. I think he tried to make a move on some girl in the first week but she wasn’t interested. They don’t sit together anymore. Poor guy. The fourth one is also from my previous class. We acknowledge each other with a nod everytime meet. 

The last one is the one who’s earned my respect.

You see, he has a particularly loud voice and is very animated (if that’s the right word). Like me, he’s wears glasses but still can’t see if he sit’s too far back. We share a lot of classes together. He is also, officially my sitting partner in the compulsory English class we take. (My prof doesn’t know I’m anglophone yet😴).

Anyway, today, I bumped into him after class holding a big bag of Chiuaua! (It is a tiny packet of salted Sunflower seeds. Really tasty. Really nice. Hot commodity.) . 

The famous Chiuaua!😊
 Though it is loved my many, I have never seen anyone buy a bag of it😂 so it was bizarre to say the least. He said he was going to eat all of it. I laughed. Even I knew that no boy, no matter how big an appetite they had, would eat all of that.

  Am I going to smoke it then?

Sure. Roll it all up and have a field day.

Smh.

I thought he was going to sell it. So I told him. He said he did sell them in the school buses.

I laughed. He maintained a serious expression. 

I must’ve had a weird expression on my face because he said, “It sounds crazy right? Shouting Chiuaua in the bus?”

Like duh!

Then he said , “In the beginning, it did feel weird, but now, it’s not such a big deal anymore.”

I was like cooooollll. 

I had met alot of these boys whose public image meant a lot to them. They wanted easy money. All that. 

I don’t know what his story is. I don’t know why he does what he does. But I have seen him work so hard at his books, and to see him work hard after… Respect!

He’s probably never going to see this. 

But ah well… 

-J

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Not your business

My friend ditched class because of her fiancé today.

A lot of loose talk, negative comments, unsolicited advice and wild stories.

Told them to leave.

“Come with an opinion when you have a fiancé.”

Thank you.

–J

A beautiful soul

The people we live with make direct and indirect impact in our lives.

 A lot of people plan certain events in their lives way before they happen. On beautifully rare occasions, I am one of those people.

However, I never planned my uni roommates. 

Throughout the whole school selection process, it never crossed my mind to think about who I was going to stay with. And I didn’t even have a lot of female friends back then so my options were close to non-existant. 

When the hall allocations came up and I had to choose a room, I freaked out. 

Which wing do I want? What floor? Lucky numbers???

So I started hollering at people who I’d heard were going to the same uni. Funny thing was, nobody had been allocated to my hall. Somewhere in the middle of giving up and deciding to wing it, my friend goes like, “Ellie is also going to be in your hall! You should totally link up!”

Ellie was a friend of ours. Same circle of friends. We went to high school together and everything. Somehow, I had never hollered at her individually before that night. But desperate times…

So I text her and she is so enthusiastic and is telling me what to do and how I should hurry before the room gets full cause she has already picked a room.

People who know me would agree that I don’t like nice people. I feel they are too suspicious. How can you just be nice to me? Granted we have spoken multiple times and all that, but you can’t possibly…

Anyway, though I had my suspicions, I was very glad I knew at least one person in my room and she was cool. 

 Thank you God!🙏

On the first day of school, Ellie gets there earlier and picks a bunk for us. I meet her and she is as warm in person as she is in her texts. I meet her sister and though she is a little on the reserved side than Ellie (because we are technically strangers) she is just as warm. 

How do they do it?!!!

In twenty-four hours, I am convinced that there are people who just love out loud like that. There are people who are nice to you and it doesn’t feel suffocating or whatever.

 If there have been moments in my life when I have doubted the love Miss Ellen has for me, there have been an infinite number of moments when I have been convinced of the deep love.

Initially, I planned on mentioning instances like the numerous breakfasts in bed and the reprimands and the cheering on and the lloooovvveeeeeeeeeee…

But I think I have mentioned this… I get lazy, sometimes.😴
There are very few people in my life I call sisters and don’t mean the fact that we are black or come from the same country or go through the same hustle or think along the same wavelength. You, Ellie, are one of those few people in my life.

You are one of the people that make me want to love out loud too. You exude a certain confidence and kindness that gives me permission to do same.

You are so beautiful. Inside and out. I am very very proud of you, my little pumpkin😊

 When people see us, they think we’ve been together our whole lives. We may not have been together a lifetime, but I think we still have time to make up for that.
And you’re probably one of the very few people I’d do this emo thing and get away with it😂

And I’m kinda realizing how mushy mushy this is, so if I do post it, please, please, let all the emo jokes stay in your head🙏

  I love you EllieBoo.

#NoHomo😂

My very first date

I was about ten years old when my dad took me on a date. Well, not a date, but it was dinner in my favourite restaurant and we talked and laughed all night. Date? I guess so.

So we were at home, regular evening with the family. My dad whispers to me to follow him outside. Says we are going out. You see, my little siblings are kinda like the regular ones. They always want to tag along. Always. To prevent that, we snuck out. That and the fact that we would have to tell my ma anyway. 

When we go out, we open the gate slowly and quietly, then my dad puts the car on neutral so we can push it out. We don’t lock the gate well so that our return would be equally smooth. Smart right?

When we are finally away from home, we spark the car and away we gooooooo…

My dad parks into my favourite restaurant in the world [at the time]. It was this pretty cool chinese restaurant on a quiet street. We’d even become friends with the owner over time.  

I am super excited and heavily under-dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. But he doesn’t seem to mind, so I don’t either. We walk inside.

Table for two. My dad and his queen. Me.

He says, “Order anything you want.” 

He knows me so well!!!

I order my favourite shrimp fried rice with beef sauce. We talk about everything and nothing. I’m even allowed to order my favourite soy milk. 

It was so cool. Like my dad and I were the only two people in the world. Like in the movies… Just better. I ate till I couldn’t breath!!!

Unfortunately, the night had to end. We had to go back home. 

On the way back, we were trying out excuses to give the fam if we were questioned. (My family is just a bunch of lawyers and detectives bound by blood)

In the end, we settled on acting like nothing happened. We took a walk. That’s it. 

We got home safely. Thank God!

Again, opened the gate slooowwwllyyy. Then pushed the car back inside. Locked the gate and walked into the house like the innocent duo we were hoping to pass off as.

Everyone was already in snooze mode when we got home and they didn’t even care to question us. A mild blow to the ego though.

After all the careful sneaking and planning, they didn’t even have the decency to make us feel like suspects. Smh.

So…

I was supposed to take this secret to my grave. But really, if they didn’t care then… They shouldn’t be so bothered now, right?

Open floodgates

I had a veeerrryyy eventful day today.
Like every other person on this planet, I woke up this morning not knowing what the day had in store for me. Of course I had an agenda of sorts, but I can’t see into the future y’know.

So I woke up, begrudgingly, to get ready for school and all it’s wonders.

I got to campus late. Not that I was perturbed. I dislike the first class. The prof is this short lady with too much attitute and an overdose of pride, I wonder what went wrong in her life. Smh.

Anyway, fast forward to the end of my last class. I had multiple plans after school.

  1. Go collect some important item from some person in one of blocks.
  2. Head to the post office on campus.
  3. Go shopping with a friend and just… Chill.

That was before I saw I’d missed multiple calls from my neighbour. I kept trying to call back but connection in school is just pathetic. I open my messages and my heart sinks.

Fastest time I’ve ever made it from campus home. My thoughts were running wild!!! I kept trying to do a mental assessment of how much damage had been done and how fast I can fix the mess before my rendezvous. 

I get to my floor, and I see water… Everywhere. I go through a mini heart attack before I realize the water is from other rooms.

 Ooookkaaayyy… Oh God, let mine be better!!!

I know, I know, selfish prayer. But I was flipping out. I finally get to my place and find my door already open and my stuff all put on chairs or tables and on the bed.

My neighbour had managed to get the person in charge of my block to open my room so she could save the valuables. The sweetheart.

On the plus side, nothing of value was actually damaged. Turns out the carpet absorbed most of the water so… On the other hand, Hello general cleaning!

Now I have this algerian friend/acquaintance/neighbour on my floor. Pretty loud, almost obnoxious. She has a big heart and a loud voice. Crazy girl really😂

So she comes and sees the damage and wants to do anything she can to help. She actually takes over the cleaning of the place while I deal with the wet things and whatnot. She scrubs and cleans my room like it’s hers with all these products and whatnot. I was legit touched. 

I mean, she’s nice to me, I’m nice to her. But she just came to my rescue in a way that I never thought possible in this place. Like wooowwww!!!

My room was back to normal in an hour and half, give or take! Everything dry and ready to use. Except the carpet. That baby has been put out of business for a while.

I learnt something today. I’ve probably always known it, but still…

We never actually value the valuable people in our lives. Not as much as we should anyway.

There were two girls who came to my aid today. And I am utterly grateful.

The irony is, if tables had been turned, I’d probably have helped one more than the other. And it probably would not have been the one who stayed till the end.

Sucks though. Doesn’t it?

Oh yes! The cause of the ‘flood’? 

The pipes connecting to the heaters managed to burst somewhere. I’m not really sure about the details. But they have uninstalled the heater in my place anyway. 

 

#Winteriscoming

🎶Look at me now

There are days, like today, that I feel like my life would make a really decent tale to tell. Sadly, I’m usually either too lazy to tell(type) it or I just don’t fancy the idea of letting people in. 

I’m growing out of it though. Slow but sure.

Before I leave this beautiful country(Algeria), I probably do multiple posts to tell but a few of these tales. 

Sighs.

Anyway, it hit me yesterday how little by little, I’m getting closer and closer towards becoming an engineer. A chemical engineer. With boots, and a mind full of explosive science. 

Also, I am becoming a “grown-up” as well. Yipee…

Funny thing is, engineering wasn’t really a dream in the beginning. I met a couple of engineers while growing up. I thought they were smart and all that, I just never thought it was meant for me. Like, “you can be smart but you should know your place in life” kinda situation.

I’m not sure when my mindset started changing, but one day, I woke up and engineering didn’t seem so scary. Well, the entire transformation and career selection process was more detailed than that, but I am a recovering lazy storyteller so…

But my point is, a couple of years ago, studying chemical engineering, becoming a Chemical Engineer, was just an idea. A crazy thought. A what if.

I’m not going to lie, the journey there is hard and crazy and there are times when I wonder why in the world I chose this path. A lot of hard decisions have been made. A lot of blood has been shed. 

But if I’m being honest, the fact that my “what if” is now my reality is just exhilarating. With the added bonus of being multilingual. 

On hard days, I sort of lose sight of the beauty of this miracle. But right now, with my steaming cup of coffee and afrobeat playlist… 

God has truly been good to me. And I can’t emphasize on how grateful I am. 

-J

Sweet Dreams

Forgive me,

If I happened to have forgotten how I was brutally raped by the only person I ever called “Uncle”

If I never remembered how I was beaten afterwards by the same person because I wasn’t “good enough” or “worth the chase”

Forgive me,

For not reliving the pain everyday and somehow forgetting it all happened, leaving me with just a bitter taste in my mouth anytime I heard his name casually uttered.

Forgive me, 

If the only memories I have of my childhood are the good ones.


Forgive me,

For the only time I cry is in my sleep. Because somehow, that is the only time I can actually let go and not be judged. 

The people in my head are at least a bit kinder than they are supposed to be.

Forgive me,

If I happened to have offended you by asking for your forgiveness. But that’s the only thing that prevents me from getting into trouble.

Myself.

Hi.

When I started this blog earlier, I was hoping I could be more honest. Throw my thoughts, feelings and emotions here. Open up.

But these things are always easier in theory. 

The year is slowly, no, quickly, coming to an end. I still haven’t “personalized” this space.

So here are a few fun facts.

  1. My name is Edith Julline Asante-Kumi. Affectionately, refered to as missjake. Or Jay or EJ or WonderWoman … The list is endless really.
  2. I’m Christian. Not the religion. The lifestyle. Yes, I have my flaws and I kinda fall short very often, but I’m honestly trying.
  3. I’m female. (in case that wasn’t obvious)
  4. I’m Ghanaian. From Ghana. In Africa. West Africa. So yes…
  5. I am black.
  6. I live in Algeria. It’s kinda temporary-permanent because
  7. I am a student. I am usually home during summers.
  8. I loovveee my family.
  9. I have no favourite colour but I have a certain affinity for red, black, and purple.
  10. I think I would make a very gorgeous redhead😊
  11. I don’t like insects.
  12. I love staring at the sky.
  13. I love writing but I think I’m holding back… A lot.
  14. The concept of love is still… New to me.
  15. I have really amazing friends
  16. And I love them!
  17. I’m not sure why I’m doing this tho but…
  18. I live alone. And I miss home.
  19. I am developing an unhealthy obsession with my bitmoji avatar. 
  20. I am hopelessly in love with my bed.
  21. I think I’m becoming a foodie. 
  22. Yes, I cook.
  23. No, I don’t always love it.
  24. I love beautiful cars.
  25. I have issues. (then again don’t we all?) 
  26. I don’t like school. At all. 
  27. I love milkshakes and ice-cream and coffee.
  28. I want a pet tiger someday. 
  29. Do you think I should make a bucketlist?
  30. That wasn’t a question but I’ve been considering it.
  31. I live quite a lazy and mundane life half the time. And the other half is spent doing fun and exciting things.
  32. I am single. And it’s not complicated.
  33. I love sneakers and sweaters.
  34. I prefer playing a sport to watching it.
  35. I don’t like football(soccer).
  36. I get way too emotional sometimes for my own good. 
  37. I love music and movies and books and series… But I also love sleeping. There is always a conflict of interests.
  38. I laugh often. No, a lot actually. Not always genuine though😅
  39. I have got my heart broken. 
  40. I am scared to dream.
Sky full of dreams.

Oh my goodness!

When I was a bit younger, my friends were all getting their hearts broken and going through a lot. As much as I was empathetic, I wanted one too! To join the club. To also, understand what they’re going through.

But the thing is, I wasn’t particularly interested in the male species. Yes, I had friends, but I wasn’t quite looking forward to a hookup. I was just interested in the break up. Smh.

I always thought that it would be a sudden thing. No heads-up.

Like one day, everything just changes, then I’d tell my group of friends, “[Insert name] dumped me last night.” Then they would take turns insulting him while comforting me at the same time. We might even end up having a girls day out or whatever to take my mind off of everything. Or they’d just be there for me and all that.

I was wrong.

It was like parking in a new spot and then coming back to check your usual spot for hours before it hits you! Or like buying a new car and walking out of the house and seeing a new car in your driveway. It takes a moment before realization creeps in, you know.

There was a change. Yes. I know. I was aware of the change. But the realization of the effect of that change… That is what knocked the wind out of me!

Like woooowwwwwwwww!!!

So I’m sitting here realizing that I am now a proud owner of a broken heart. There’s no group of girls to take away the pain. There’s nothing. Just me and whatever is left of my heart. Oh and a Popsicle!

Am I the only one who’s had it this way though?

Just wondering…

Any advice for the newest club member? 😅

My flaw. My fault.

Is it me???

Am I too skinny? But I thought I gained a little weight recently.

Or I’m too fat? Oh my goodness! It must be that! But… there’s not really much to lose.

Am I too short?

He said I was cute though. Or he was just trying to make me feel better.

Am I that ugly?

But Lord, what can I do about that? I could try make up. You know, I’ve seen all these “Slay Queens” on the internet with well-drawn eyebrows. Hold up, I did try make up!

Or is it the make up?!

I mean, he did look pleasantly surprised. Or I just imagined the pleasant part? Was it that bad?

Or my clothes?

But I put in effort. I think I always look decent.

Is it the clothes? Too decent?

I don’t know if I want to change that though. Whoring was never my forte.

Wait! Am I too good?!

Oh my! He always teased but I didn’t think he minded! I’m too good.

Is it the hair?

I knew I shouldn’t have permed it. He always said he loved the naturalness about me. I guess I ruined it. But…

Was it the change?

I have been changing a lot lately. New tastes and styles. Was it that? Did that put him off? Too much too fast.

It’s just me I guess. The change, the features… the flaws.

It was always just me.