Our second day at the airport was the same routine; Immigration, NDLEA, Customs etc.
After being cleared by all the agencies, some of us were taken back to the machine room to check if we had somehow, decided to swallow drugs and transport them to Europe.
After boarding a new Jet that was brought to us from Abuja airport, we rose to the sky and waved goodbye to Lagos and Nigeria.
Seated beside me was Clement. He was an Edo man of about 40. He disturbed me during the journey with his pride, ego and boast. He was going to Berlin via Frankfurt, the same as me but i didn’t tell him i was doing the same. Rather i told him that i was traveling to Essen where my letter of invitation had originated from. According to him, Berlin was the real deal in Germany. He told me that every other city in Germany was small compared to Berlin. He said that Essen was a village and that since i was going to buy vehicle spare parts, i should follow him to Berlin and forget about Essen. I suspected he was a scammer and was looking for a way to convince me to follow him to Berlin.
”I will come to Berlin in two days. I need to go to Essen first and pick up the money i will use to buy goods” i had told him. That single statement had effectively shut him up for sometime.
Mr Clement wanted to drag me and my money to Berlin. I wondered what a novice would have done in a situation like that. He had given me a business card of his company in Berlin. Unfortunately for him, i knew the area he claimed to have established the business.
At a stage, i started asking him how much i would pay him if he helped me to buy the goods in Berlin. He said he didn’t need my money but just wanted to help me. He said he knew where i could get a container for my goods and where i could ship them. He mentioned Owa and Bassy shipping companies; two firms i had used in shipping down cars to Africa.
Finally, we agreed that we would meet in Berlin after two days.
We got to Frankfurt international airport in the early hours of Saturday 17the February. Due to the fact that it was a weekend, the airport wasn’t so busy. The Police presence was not large and so was the immigration officials.
We walked to the counter and got the arrival stamps.
The immigration officer who cleared me had asked where i was traveling to and i had told him that it was Essen. He had asked for my invitation letter which i gave him.
He pressed his computer for a few seconds, handed the letter back to me and told me to go.
I watched Mr Clement as he headed to the local flight departure hall while i walked down to the train station.
I checked the time tables and bought a ticket to Essen. The ICE train going to Dortmund via Essen came twenty minutes later.
I boarded it and stopped at Dusseldorf Central Station, then i boarded another train straight to Berlin.
We got to Berlin around 3pm in the afternoon. It was a familiar area which meant that i didn’t need to ask any questions. I had called
Johnson and told him that i would stop in Berlin Hauptbanhoff, a new station built for the 2006 Fifa World cup. He had told me where to come. Due to my absence, Johnson had rented a new one room apartment where he kept his drugs.
I took a taxi and went there. He was in the apartment when i came. We had hugged and exchanged greetings. It was straight to business for him as usual. He had proposed how we were going to start new business.
”I am going to Holland anytime Johnson” i had said. He wasn’t surprised. He said it was a good move since we had both discussed the possibility of starting the cocaine deals sometime later in our drug careers.
After eating some food, i went to Akunne’s store. As usual, many Nigerians were there that evening. It was a standing ovation for Ozoigbondu 1 of Berlin. People shook and hugged their hero who had returned from Africa. Some said they never hoped to see me in Berlin again. Some said they heard i had gone to United states or United Kingdom. Everybody was scrambling to buy me drinks and food.
Akunne had presented a bottle of Jack Daniels to me. He was too happy to see me return to Berlin. News had gotten out that Ozoigbondu was back in town.
Joe, who had relocated to another apartment heard the news and called someone at the shop. The phone was given to me. He was happy to hear from me after such long time and said he was coming to the shop immediately. Junior, Ifeanyi and some other friends heard the news too and were coming to welcome the Marijuana boss of Brandenburg.
None of them knew that i was heading to Amsterdam. I walked outside and bought a simcard, then i called Kenneth my cousin.
He was excited to hear that i was back in Berlin. He apparently thought that the usual pocket money of €100 a week was going to return. Kenneth was the immediate elder brother of Okey who lived in Jakande estate. They were from the same parents.
After drowning parts of the JD, i followed Junior and Ifeanyi to another joint where they wanted to present me as their best friend. It was an African shop where some imported food items from home were sold.
They said we were going to the Savannah Night club later in the night but they wanted to take me to the shop/bar to continue our drinks.
Before 8pm, the entire Igbo people in Berlin had heard about the return of Ozoigbondu. Bolaji from Brandenburg had mysteriously gotten my number and called too.
We got to the new shop and went inside. It was still cold outside since it was February.
As soon as we sat down, we ordered for food.
”Jennifer bring pounded yam, three plates for Junior and his friends” i heard the woman owner of the shop shouted.
Jennifer? Which Jennifer. Well, many people answered that name but when she came out with the first plate of food to put on my table, she had looked up at my face and the plate she was carrying fell down from her hands. The soup splashed on the floor.
It was my own Jennifer. She started crying,
Jennifer was also visibly PREGNANT.
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and
understand each other, we may even become friends”
Dedicated to achovirux. A naval officer i met in Lagos last week.
Acho was kidnapped a day after we met. He is free now.