…Day four of workshops.
Potentially the most exciting day as far as visiting a strange new city is concerned. It was going to be a half day with the afternoon free for us to do what we wanted – explore, see and be seen, watch movies, shop, visit, whatever.
Joining us that morning was a Guest speaker, Pippa Cross who’s a producer at CrossDay Productions. Strangely, I can’t remember what exactly we talked about. I promise you I was present, body and spirit. Just don’t right now remember…
We had an early lunch. Usually lunch was around 1pm but since we had to clear out for some other people to use the meeting rooms, we had lunch 12ish. And what a spread it was! Christ. Boxes and boxes of all sorts of pizza. Seriously, I have never seen that much pizza and that many different types in one place that wasn’t a pizzeria. If I thought this was as good as it would get, I was in for a shock. Next thing, cartons of chicken and chips descended on us. Couldn’t believe my eyes. Ah, I got it. So we were being fed so meagrely before so we’d pay attention hunh? It wasn’t a mistake that the day we were taking off, we were fed till we could touch the food in the back of our throats. It didn’t help that the chicken and chips arrived when we were well into the pizza so by this time, everyone was just eating for the fuck of it. Except C.J who really had been unable to eat much so far. As for Emile, Emile was near orgasmic.
C.j, Kassim and Kenneth were out in the meeting room setting up the projector or something, I’m not sure. I knew they didn’t know what was happening ‘backstage’ so I filled a plate with chicken and chips and took to them. C.J just turned his nose up at the sight of food assuming it was… then he did a double take whaaaaaat!! Chicken! For the next two days, he would shake his head and mutter ‘I don’t understand, so there was a possibility we could get chicken all this while.’ LMAO. He truly couldn’t get over it.
Me I was on another planet. Which made me wonder if there was something about the way pizza is made in Naija, or perhaps I had been so starved of the familiar that pizza was a welcome change. From fucking sandwiches. Whatever, it was great. I wanted to hug Emily and Wendy and everyone. Hell, even Jennifer ate so much she fell sick. Tsk.
Joining us for an informal lunch was Professor Noe Mendelle, Director of the Scottish documentary institute. I confess, it took a while before we were able to pull ourselves away from the bounty before us to pay attention, but eventually did and had a great thirty minutes or so discussion about documentary making. Whereupon I asked Matthew what else he’d done apart from documentaries and he gave me a bewildered look and said, no, never made a documentary, I said I thought he told me that was his thing and he said ‘seems you always make things up in your head.’ Ouch Matthew.
Anyway, we packed up the leftovers – some was even forced on me, and off we went.
Stopped at Sainsbury to buy things for my sister.
Nicole, Kassim, C.J and I then met to explore the city a bit. Or at least that was kind of the plan. But we managed to walk to Princess street and spent most of the afternoon shopping with C.J reminding us that we were supposed to be exploring, not shopping. Oh and we took loads of pictures. And because Nicole and I are babes, we took care to hide our Primark shopping bags (wait I’m not supposed to say that *ducks*). C.J’s friend, actually the fiancée of his late friend met us along the way and we waited while they talked a long time. Nicole was shooting him daggers but me, while I could have told her who the lady was which would make her sympathetic, where is the drama there? So I let her simmer in anger.
After we left there, we stopped at Nando’s to get food for Nicole seeing as she’s a growing child. Ate lots of ice cream which shouldn’t be in the cold right? Who cares? Russell met us there and somehow, the guys got into a conversation about drugs/hallucinogens. Ah. I didn’t follow. at this point, we’d long decided we could no longer climb up to the castle as planned and what the hell, it wasn’t haunted anyway and we could see it fine from the road. We returned to the hotel, (where I collided with Rob at the elevator and he took in my shopping and squealed in delight PRIMARK) dropped our shopping and headed to dinner at Zucca(where it turned out Rob had told everyone we closed down Primark. For shame, Rob. For shame). This Nigerian guy who lives in Edinburgh tracked us down and asked excitedly, ‘Are you the Nigerians? I heard you guys are town.’ LOL. His excitement was infectious. He also informed us that everyone was talking about us because… you guessed it, we made our presence known.
We left dinner and went to take a walk through the cemetery, which may not be a big deal unless you are African. Then it is a very big deal. A cemetery is simply not where people go and stamp around and make a lot of noise and take pictures. A cemetery is a place we approach with caution, restraint, respect and leave in a hurry. Ghosts and shit. LOL. We had fun, taking pictures,hell someone even found a heroine needle (he insists).
From there, we went to a Mexican party. Party is a strange term for that gathering because as far as I could tell, the music was subdued, there was no dancing that I could see and imagined perhaps things would pick up later. The drinking did and I had my first ever Tequila (five in total, encouraged by Rob who swore he was drinking in solidarity with me and showed me a picture of his little girl in a Cop’s cap she’d borrowed. Cute) but as far as I know, the party remained… un-partylike. Of course, we could not resist the urge to promise them yet again that when they come to Naija in November, we’d show ‘em how it’s done.
Anyway, we made our way back to the hotel and there ended the evening. Although if we’d listened to our new Nigerian friend (whose name I didn’t get) when he met us on our way back around midnight, it wouldn’t have.