To say I am a book addict is an understatement, this is not the matter of blowing my trumpet to provoke ‘braindead’ secret haters and alabosians.I love books and books love me too. That’s my life. Wetin concern anybody?
While still living in London, I registered in 6 local libraries: Newham, Southwark, Hackney, Camden, Chelsea & Kensington, and Barking & Dagenham. I encouraged my children to fall in love with books ‘by fire, by force’ because knowledge is light.
From my teenage years(now moving closer to 50 years!), I have tortured my brain to read many great books, waking up in the middle of the night to read as if remotely controlled by unseen spirits, exchanging ideas with ghosts in my dreams. Aye mojuba ooo!
I memorised many keywords plus their meanings while reading the Longman dictionary as a teenager. I struggled against all odds to master the Queen’s language.
I visited Glasgow for the first time in my life about 10 years ago, just to visit some friends and as my bus entered the city from the motorway, I saw a big signboard of the University of Strathclyde, I was so fascinated with the ‘advertised’ qualities and achievements of this great citadel of learning and made up my mind to attend this university one day (before I die!).
The Scottish engineer (John Logie Baird) who invented TV attended this iconic first technical university in the United Kingdom. Mission Accomplished!
When I attempted to live and work in Glasgow 10 years ago, Nigerian friends were not ready to accommodate me for bogus reasons, I was technically ‘homeless’ (but not hopeless!) in Glasgow and had to return to London to protect my human dignity.
The rest is now history, I am now in my own house with my family in Scotland. Praise Da Lord…Halleluyah! Takbir..Allahu Akbar. Ibaje Eniyan, Koda Ise Oluwa duro. Tanimola Anybody?
Let me go straight to the main story, I misplaced my Glasgow library card, I discovered this incident after my return from Nigeria via Dubai. I searched all the corners of my house, nothing!
I decided to visit my local Glasgow library yesterday to request for a replacement library card which I learned cost £3. I was ready to pay the penalty fee.
“Good day! I misplaced my library card, can I request for a replacement?” I told the Scottish lady at the library information desk.
“Just tell me your last name and date of birth for me to check your records.”
I told her my last name plus my date of birth(I have been using one date of birth in all my documents till tomorrow!)
“Your address is still showing Charles Street, do you wish to change it or you’re still living in this address?” She asked me.
My mind quickly flashed back to Charles Street in Royston area of Glasgow, many highrise buildings kissing the sky at random.I was living on the 10th floor then. To ‘waka about’ in the night as a non-white person, you need to watch your back and steps!
Royston is a traditional Scottish area of Glasgow with some racist guys. I once had an encounter with some nasty Oyinbo teenagers during my brief stay in Royston. That’s another long story. A friend’s wife(Nigerian) was also brutally attacked then in this Royston. I won’t go into full details for ‘security’ reasons.
“I lived in this area about 10 years ago and I have moved to another address,” I explained to the lady.I quickly gave my new address and updated my personal details within 3 minutes!
This Scottish lady did not even ask for £3 penalty fee, she just issued me a new library card. Chai..Wabilahi Taofeek.
I walked around the library and borrowed 2 books for 3 weeks with my ‘tear rubber’ Glasgow library card. Bo se wa niyen ooo.
TO BE CONTINUED….
Dare Lasisi writes from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org