City Hopping in Naija Caleb Olorunmaiye October 5, 2016 Arts & Culture, Lifestyle I had always said I wanted to have a friend in every state in Nigeria, not because I am entirely that friendly, but because I wanted to have a person I can call on if I ever found myself stranded in a city. Or bored and needed someone to show me around. This plan didn’t entirely go well with connections I started out making being that most were students who were studying in a different city and would eventually relocate back home after their studies and yet again be flung somewhere else when it was time to do the mandatory NYSC service. It was beginning to sound like a really clumsy plan, even though it made a lot of sense in my head at the time. Plus, close family were beginning to send request on Facebook so I completely abandoned that social media account. Didn’t want family meetings called on my behalf over Facebook posts which I might have considered harmless banter but frowned upon by old fashioned parents and aunts and uncles. A while ago, I told my friends when they begin fixing wedding dates they should do so with three considerations in mind. The first being that it shouldn’t be during the rainy season, the second was that that it should not be during football season, unless they planned to install a TV screen where can catch up on matches while they said their vows. The third was that it should be spaced, lets not have two weddings clashing on the same day. I’ll simply sit at home and disappoint everyone equally. But what are friends if they ever listen to you. In the space of two weeks I received wedding invitations from a roommate in University and from another from secondary school, and my worse nightmare was coming through right before my eyes. August 20th. In two different cities. How on earth would I be able to pull this off? Even after I had said I would sit at home if this ever happened and disappoint everyone equally, I didn’t have the nerve to follow through with it. These guys were really dear to me. Deep inside I wished someone would call off or postpone their wedding. It was a mean thought that I discarded. Thankfully enough, I wasn’t on the groom train for either of the events, which was fantastic, because it would have been impossible not to disappoint one for the other. So I started making plans. Port Harcourt for one wedding, Warri for the other. I lived in Lagos. Really this was doable. I only just needed to show face and made sure I took a picture with the couple. If it was rice, there was rice at home. I finalized plans on what I would wear to both weddings, on one hand I wanted to wear the same outfit, I figured it would be good for laughs when photos showed how I was at two different cities for two weddings wearing the same outfit. On the other hand, I wanted to keep it fresh and dapper at each event, so I don’t lose the respect put on my name. But what about accommodation? I didn’t know anyone in Warri, nor in Port Harcourt. Okay I knew people. The two fellows getting married. But I couldn’t bother them on where to stay in Warri or Port Harcourt, planning a wedding alone was enough stress. I was going to go to Warri first. Spend a night there, and attended the wedding, fly to Port Harcourt to Osawe’s wedding right after I spent exactly two hours at Franks wedding. I had assured them I’d make it after a put them both on a conference call right after I got the invitation and it was settled, couldn’t be bothering them with accommodation plans on my behalf. Off I went to book hotels online. I was sure I could get something nice if I booked online. I wasn’t even exactly bothered about the price, for these guys, I could splurge a bit. I began my search and quickly found the Protea in Warri already I was wishing I had a female companion with me to hop the cities with. There was a car hire service that could take me from the hotel to the venue which made it super convenient. Free Wi-Fi too, I could finally update all my apps and my entire OS. Sweet! After browsing for a little over 5 minutes I found The Golden Tulip hotel in Port Harcourt, which was just perfect for me. It was in close proximity with the reception venue, and there was free internet again as well as complimentary breakfast which I knew I would need after a long day the next morning. I booked, paid and confirmed. Then as I was just going to go get lunch I received an email from my boss. Apparently, I was due for a presentation in Abuja on Monday, the 22nd. Thankfully I hadn’t closed the tab, I booked the Bolton White Apartments right away, this at least was going to be on the company’s tab as well as my flight tickets. Accommodation sorted in both cities, I had a great feeling it was going to be an amazing weekend. In hindsight, I was right. It turned out to be super duper fabulous.