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Nkem Says: The Time I Trusted My Gut & Took a Stranger’s Kind Offer

Nkem Ndem

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I have always been a “Miss goody-two-shoes”. I hate to admit it. I mean, I like for people to see me as this savage, bitchy, extroverted, carefree, light-souled individual…I figure people consider those kind of people much more interesting… but no. it is what it is. I am reserved (being around lots of people drains my energy), quiet, shy, introspective, very blunt, a huge observer and I like to plan everything! I also like to follow rules, routines and I hate to make mistakes. In fact, when I tell people I have never really made any huge, life-threatening mistake in my life so far or that I have no ‘vice’, they look at me like I am a pretentious piece of f**k. But then their feelings are quite understandable too. My personality probably makes about as much sense to a people (even some friends) as Snapchat does to my grand-uncle in the village.  There is the general perception that introversion is the inferior personality type and all who want to succeed should strive for extroversion.

So, on this trip, a friend, who was also visiting, handled everything: booking the apartment, itinerary, e.t.c. and she did a stellar job too. The plan was simple: I fly Etihad,  arrive Abu Dhabi then wait for 12 hours before joining the Etihad bus to Dubai, from where I would head to the Dubai Airport to meet up with her. Then we were to commute to the apartment she rented together. Upon getting to Abu Dhabi, however, I was told the layover was a mistake on the booking agent’s part and I would be traveling to Dubai immediately. Luckily, I had the address of the apartment: Dubai Marina Towers, and a few dollars with me. My plan was to head to the apartment on my own, seeing as I would arrive earlier than my friend, contrary to our plan.  I went on to update my friend on the changes, but she informed me that I would not be allowed into the apartment without her, seeing as she did the booking and I would have to stay in some hotel temporarily until she got in.

As you would imagine, I did not like the idea of spending extra money on a room for a few hours when I had already paid for a room for the 7 days I would be staying there. My “Igboness” immediately kicked in and I started to consider other options. I considered the possibility of waiting at the Etihad Travel Mall but that would mean sitting and staring into space for at least 10 hours until my friend’s flight arrived. I also considered walking into any of the coffee stores or restaurants and sitting there…  my very options were very limited.  As I sat deliberating my next steps, the man sitting next to me said: “Hi, my name is xxx” and I said, “ hello, my name is Nkem”. Next, he asked if it was my first time in Dubai, where I was staying e.t.c and like a loose tap, I went on to narrate my predicament. It was unusual for me. Usually, I just listen to people. Maybe I just needed to vent, I don’t know. But it kind of worked; to my surprise, the man (who is Nigerian by the way) made me an offer.

“I have an offer for you. You can wait for your friend at my hotel”.

The phrase “my hotel” creeped me out a little. On a normal day, it would be all I need to brand him a pervert. He looked like he would be in his 50s and he wore a wedding band. But, my brain was working differently. I really needed a free place to stay though, and agreeing to the request would be an adventure. It would be me stepping out of my shell, taking baby steps towards becoming the carefree rebel kinda girl I have secretly always wished to be.

I may have stared at him in silence for about 2 minutes, but eventually, I said: “OK.”

I have heard stories of people being raped by strangers in hotel rooms, killed for rituals or just beaten up for the fun of it, but why would this man have such a plan for me? He just met me, and this is Dubai.  I had the nagging feeling that I was being stupid over what would only cost me about $50 -$75 dollars, but I said to myself: “Nkem calm down, this is just a man trying to help you out” and I decided I would go through with it. if I die, I die. It was a chance to be different and I had to take it.

The moment we got to the Etihad travel though, my heart started to beat fast. The man hailed a taxi and asked me to put my box in the trunk. I wanted to, but my hands wouldn’t move. I looked him in the eye, I could tell that he already sensed my hesitation, so I said cooked up an excuse: “I need to use the bathroom and make inquiries about my return ticket, I will be right back”.

In my mind, we had silently agreed that I would go into the mall and he would drive away and let me fend for myself. About 30 minutes later, however, he found me: “Gosh, I have been looking for you, I was worried. Are you done making the inquiries?”  I was legit perplexed. I heard myself mutter something like: “Yes”. And he was like “great! let’s go”. Clearly, this was God, or so I forced myself to believe. I followed him and got in the taxi. A few minutes into the journey, I felt myself relax.

Upon arrival at the hotel – Ibis Hotel, he paid for ‘our’ room. I had been of the impression that men and women who weren’t married could not stay in the same room in Dubai, but apparently, that only applied to 2-star hotels and below. They scanned our passports, it was clear we were two strangers, yet there was no hitch.  As we got to the room, the free-spirited girl disappeared and the careful one reappeared.  I signed on to the wifi and told my friend immediately. I sent her the name of the hotel, the room number, the man’s full name e.t.c.  My friend was legit shocked. horrified. “Nkem, how could you be so stupid! Why are you in a strange man’s room in a strange land? Are you ok?”. I had asked myself the same questions over and over before but couldn’t come up with a sensible answer. She went on and switched into fierce mother hen mode: “Do not lie on the bed. Sit on the chair. Make sure you do not sleep. Do not drink anything he offers you…e.t.c”. it was actually sweet the way she was genuinely worried, so I took her advice.

Mr. xxx took me and I went to the restaurant immediately after we dropped our bags. It was a lovely meal. He needed someone to listen to him. He also didn’t let me pay for anything.

We got back, he took a shower and before I could say, Jack Robinson, he slumped on the bed and started to snore. I hate people who snore, but his snoring was like peaceful, sweet music to my ears. It was a huge struggle to stay awake, but I was determined and 10 hours later, I was ready to head to my hotel. Mr. xxx still got up, called me an Uber and did not insist on having my number or meeting up later.

Perhaps it is the Holy Communion I took before I set out on the trip or my very active guardian angel, but he did convince me that really there are good Nigerian men. And most importantly, it is okay to do “stupid” things sometimes. it does not make you the worst person on earth, rather it has a way of reminding you that you are human and that is quite refreshing.

Nkem Ndem is a dynamic freelance writer and editor who can be reached for copywriting, editing and proofreading. She is also a content creator (web, T.V, radio) who has had stints with Jumia and SpiceTV Africa e.t.c. Now she works at Glam Africa as Online editor and BellaNaija as Features writer. E-mail: [email protected]; IG: @kem_dem; Twitter: @ndemv

35 Comments

  1. Physio Tinu

    December 1, 2017 at 3:45 am

    My heart was doing tungba tungba expecting a bad ending. God bless Mr XXX. He shows that there is light in the darkness of male/female relationship dynamics.

    I’m scratching my head trying to recollect such a positive experience with a fellow Nigerian stranger… there was a day I had a flat tyre on a busy highway. It was distressing and intimidating to see vehicles drive by so fast, the car was rocking on the spot. At this time, id just started driving myself after weeks of “L” sign. Out of the blues, an elderly taxi driver (those lagos types that are normally cantekerous and saucy in their rickety vehicles) drove by, reversed then parked helped me changed my tyre and didn’t collect a kobo from me. I swear, it felt God sent. He was an angel.

    Maybe if more people shared more of these type of experiences we can start learning to trust each other again.

    Happy holidays Nigerians in Nigeria.
    Happy New month citizens of the world.

  2. Physio Tinu

    December 1, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Before I go Nkem, by way of feedback, was the first paragraph really necessary? Maybe too much of a preamble?
    Keep doing your stuff and when BN haterz come for you, tell them to Google Charles okocha and take a cue from him.

    • Eziokwu!

      December 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      It was extremely necessary. It got me, otherwise I would have skipped the piece.

    • A

      December 2, 2017 at 12:42 am

      That paragraph is exactly me & I always thought it was only me & I was weird. So you see @ Physio Tinu, it was very necessary as i have found someone i can identify with. Nice one Nkem.

  3. bruno

    December 1, 2017 at 5:50 am

    u forgot to include the part were you had sex with him and he paid u. nkem ndem the liar.

    • Bless you B!

      December 1, 2017 at 6:27 am

      Wow, I’m sending love your way Bruno. May God give you a reason to be happy. I truly feel sorry for you. I don’t know whet the problem is, but I want you to know that GOD will help you.

    • John

      December 1, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Lol..I was like she should tell that her story to the birds…I was like~ Nkem that that hates Nigerian men would suddenly follow one to his hotel room,If not for monetary reasons…what is she even doing in dubai in the first place if not RUN things..I take whatever a Nigerian womn says with a pinch of salt and it had saved me alot most of the timee….anyway, but to play the devil’s advocate..I have noticed that we Nigerians help and care for one another more ( with nothing attached) once we leave this devilish country…even when I was schooling abroad..once you say you are from Nigeria, I will drop everything I am doing just to make sure your settled. And a lot of people did it for me too…we are quick to say “sorry’ and ‘cheers’ to one another but once we come back to this country it is like a demon has taken over ..I don’t know whether it is the Nigerian weather or the borehole or purewater we drink in this country that make us to be too aggressive.

    • Wendy

      December 1, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Awww! Such sweet romance!
      Curious minds want to know… who’s the bottom? Cos both of you sound mad butthurt all the freaking time.
      BN can we some crowdsourcing for these two leaky booty overgrown underdeveloped self-loathing male-babies? Every little change helps.

    • Biker Chic

      December 1, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Bruno, this is so uncalled for. This is a new low even for you!

    • Mr Something

      December 1, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Learn to shut the entire fuq up. Not everyone would as crass as you would have them.

  4. Oluwatoyin

    December 1, 2017 at 7:02 am

    No matter how messed up the world is/people are , there are still good people. I enjoyed reading this!
    Physio Tinu I think Nkem wants her readers to see her as a person and not a virtual personality, hence the first paragraph.

  5. The Friend

    December 1, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Hmmn….Nkem, I don’t think you quite understand that your decision to share a room with a male stranger, no matter how kind, was reckless and should not be promoted as a positive event. This absolutely sends the wrong message to young women. Sharing a meal with a kind male stranger who shows you goodwill, in public, is one thing BUT spending hours alone with him in his private room is playing Russian Roulette.

  6. Victor Adegoke

    December 1, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Good story line.

  7. Loki

    December 1, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Wait, so Nkem can use swear words in an article but that time I called John a bloody ‘N’ word even though I did the masking thing, I got censored? Issokay. Thank you. One day I will open my own blog; even though I’m sure only my dead mother will read it.

    • John

      December 1, 2017 at 9:17 am

      @loki sorry for your loss…I mean it

    • Loki

      December 1, 2017 at 9:38 am

      @John- Thanks baby.

    • Wendy

      December 1, 2017 at 9:49 am

      @John: I would say you two should get a room… but we all know your lil peepee don’t wriggle that way, so just stop already. No one is buying it. Keep chumming up to other misogynist on here… one of them will eventually give up the d for your whiny behind.

    • Loki

      December 1, 2017 at 10:25 am

      @Wendy, I dunno…I’ve never seen a tiny peepee before; it might be interesting. Please don’t spoil this for me…

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      December 1, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      @Loki, who are you and when can we have coffee? ? ? ?

  8. bonifaze

    December 1, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Nkem is just doing job as a content creater, an entertainer, blogger e.t.c. Hope Mr XXX really existed, but I trust God especially when you have his body and blood in your system every day. ##BornCatholic.

  9. Bodunade

    December 1, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Well, stupid things have got a lot of people killed.
    Nkem, yes its cool to follow strangers to their apartments and be adventurous. Preach !!!!

    • Nkem Ndem

      Nkem Ndem

      December 1, 2017 at 10:41 am

      @Bodunade, thank you for taking time to read and even leave a comment. However, I believe you have my message misconstrued. If you read carefully, you would have realized that i never said it is “cool to follow strangers to their apartment and be adventurous”. If that is your interpretation, own it. Do not twist my words. I clearly indicated that my actions were “stupid”:
      “My friend was legit shocked. horrified. “Nkem, how could you be so stupid! Why are you in a strange man’s room in a strange land? Are you ok?”. I had asked myself the same questions over and over before but couldn’t come up with a sensible answer. ”
      and i also indicated that things could very easily have gone south, even listing the possible negative outcomes:
      “I have heard stories of people being raped by strangers in hotel rooms, killed for rituals or just beaten up for the fun of it..”
      With my experience, I blindly pushed myself to take a very silly risk (which, again, I referred to as stupid to dissuade others from doing same) just to prove to myself that I could be daring, knowing fully that i could have ended up dead:
      “I decided I would go through with it. if I die, I die. It was a chance to be different and I had to take it.”
      This is me sharing a personal journey and saying: “look at me, I am human, I make mistakes too”. I should be able to share this experience with my readers, No? With risks, it’s always a 50/50 and people who are overly cautious should realize that taking risks may not always lead to a sad story and making mistakes, doing stupid things or failing in certain ways or things, does not make you the worst person on earth. The last paragraph reveals that I while I may have been stupid, it only makes me human, and that is a refreshing experience for me as I am always overly cautious and a bit of a perfectionist (read the first paragraph).

    • Biker Chic

      December 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      I say just keep doing you @Nkem. There are too many people who do not even like themselves so, how can they see good in others?

  10. Akara Pancake

    December 1, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Of course there are good Nigerian men. Not all of us want “your sex”

  11. omolola

    December 1, 2017 at 10:49 am

    this is good positive vibe this new month. I don’t find your story difficult to believe. there are still so many good and trustworthy men out there. I have had similar experiences where I have been helped without giving out my number or giving anything in return. I pray we would always have God sent Angels in Human form surround us whenever we find ourselves in demanding situations.

  12. That African Chic

    December 1, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Nkem, you are getting there. Much more relatable article as for the very first time you kind of subtly ridiculed yourself.
    A little different from the very very PERFECT Nkem who’s married friends confide marital infedelity to. And who is too intelligent to find a man.etc etc Lol
    But I was thinking, you really didn’t have to go into the room with him. You could have just stayed at the lobby and I’m sure you would have had WiFi there too. I like to take chances and I would have followed him to the hotel after cross checking a few details but I would have never entered the room with him or check in with him.
    And why do I have the feeling this was the 50 year old man you told your Mum about? You are already in love with his snoring

  13. That African Chic

    December 1, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Also Dubai is funny with laws. If he had raped you, you might have been imprisoned also for having sex with a man who isn’t your husband. So you shouldn’t have been comfortable that you were in Dubai.

    • A

      December 2, 2017 at 12:55 am

      Did you read she had to wait 10hrs for her friend to arrive? So she would have just been lurking around the hotel lobby for 10hrs? Take the message behind her story and stop nitpicking people. She has already alluded to her decision being a stupid one, had weighed the pros and cons in going with the suggestion.

  14. Engoz

    December 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    If you like have the face of Jesus Christ, I cannot risk it, lol. Men??? Oh lord, won’t even follow a woman, let alone a man, a naija man at that! Lmao! It’s either I stare for 10hours at the mall or preferably get a hotel room with my money. If I can afford a trip to Dubai, I should be able to afford a day stay at a hotel. My life is more important than $100 or less sef.

    Your Chi was with you that day.

  15. John

    December 1, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    @Wendy…whatever u decides to label yourself whether hadiza , A real Nigeria or wendy…I have told you to stop projecting your father small d*** on me …I am not the one that abused you…channel your frustrationsto your father and uncles… some one mentioned her dead mother ..I said sorry for your loss ..how that translate to your sick mind as sexually is what I can’t figure out..I still don’t even know whether loki is a male or female or a tranny….leave me alone,I am not the only that comme t here ..go and play with sand

  16. U O

    December 1, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I just realized I’ve done something as stupid as this before too. Not the same story but something unwise. It just came to me. LOL. Na only Jehova protect me. Never getting myself into that type of foolish situation ever again. Thanks for being brave to share this. 🙂

  17. Tolulope Ipinmisho

    December 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Nkem, I enjoyed every bit of the story. Your choise of words, exact and explicit. Proud of you mate!

  18. Lucinda

    December 1, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    When I was serving I once accommodated a stranded Corp member. She came to see my neighbour who travelled. The name She called my neighbour was different from what I knew her as. She claimed she was in my platoon but I swear to God I didn’t recognise her. Later that night, I developed a horrible stomach bug. Nausea and diarrhoea. There was no water in the house. She went downstairs to fetch water from a well and flushed the toilet when I was done. This was like 2 am. She didn’t sleep till I slept. All she said about my neighbour and platoon etc., checked out later on. Though I am cautious oh but I can totally relate Nkem.

  19. Mrs chidukane

    December 1, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    So many stupid things we’ve done oh and gotten away with them. @John, what is so wonderful about Dubai that a girl with a job can’t afford to go? Dubai of all places? Nkem enjoy your stay, I’ve been seeing your pictures.

  20. Jemimah

    September 2, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Well written…

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