Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Re-Introducing The Phoneparazzi

Foreword: Shortly after creating a photo-blog called “The Phoneparazzi”, I happened to later lose interest and even contemplated deleting it. Imagine my surprise when upon going through my first post again, I discovered certain people had previously left comments on it for me! So here I find myself heralding its launch and re-posting what was originally meant to be the foreword to that blog…

Blog - Real Life - The Gist

Saturday 22nd March, 2008: I was the cyber-fresh author of this blog. I had a vision and I was beginning to see MN as a long-time legacy I’d be pursuing to re-educate the Nigerian media on what I feel is wrong with the system. There was plenty to be done and I had lots of time to spare.

Then around 5pm on that fateful Saturday evening, my state of urgency changed. Cruising down the Benin-Asaba expressway with my elder bro at the wheel, relishing the fact that we had conquered the madness that was long-distance travel and anticipating the welcome we’d receive upon arrival, we lost our attention for just a few seconds. 20 minutes was all that was left of the time between us and home.

By the time 20 minutes were over we were still tied up with our seat belts to a car that had veered off the road, flipped once turning 360 degrees through the air and traveled an immeasurable distance without control to land upright in a ditch.

The loud grinding noises, the blackness, the sudden upside down / downside up feeling, the shattering glass, “missiles” flying through the air, the feeling of being carried along in a vehicle knowing there was absolutely nothing we could do… these are remembrances I’ll take with me to the grave. But that was not to be the day.

To the utter amazement of everyone we calmly opened the car doors and walked out. We survived the ghastly car crash with just scratches and a few bruises but the car? I didn’t know a car could go to pieces so quickly. I used to slightly detest that VW Passat car at first when my brother bought it but somehow I know GOD - and that car - saved us. And yes, seat belts sure do work too.

Oddly enough, if the accident didn’t kill us, the sympathizers would just as well have finished the job. The average Nigerian sadly, knows nothing of Rescue 101. Only the shouts of people forcing me to sit down on the road as someone upended a bottle of water on my head was enough to give me the high blood pressure I didn’t have in the first place.

I am very much aware that in every disaster scene there exists the other kind of “sympathizer”, the one who with no conscience whatsoever, steals your scattered belongings. Instead of doing the normal thing, jumping up and down and shouting “PRAI - PRAI - PRAI - PRAISE DA LORD!!!” my attention was caught by the other group of people who were helping us gather our widely dispersed luggage. I can’t start imagining how I must have looked covered in dust and a bit of blood, scrambling about looking for the portable DVD player that made up the centerpiece of my bro’s customized out-of-this-world automobile entertainment system before a sympathizer would “recover” it for me.

When the inventory was eventually taken the only casualties of that accident were the car and my Samsung SGH-C230 phone. Now, I really loved that phone but maybe someone on that crash scene loved it more than me. I don’t know. Before using (and losing) that phone I had previously used a Sony Ericsson T100, a Sagem My-X7 that mysteriously died after just 2 days and a Nokia 1110.

None of the phones I’ve ever used in my life have been classy phones but my C230 was my world. Due to its SMS - copying capabilities, I had archived cherished text messages from my very first phone line, crazy-sexy-cool MMSes, some treasured ringtones and anything else that could fit into its limited memory space. Best of all, I loved it’s radio and I didn’t mind its lack of a camera one bit.

After the jubilation of survival, the loss of that phone hit me pretty hard. The Good Lord, however apart from saving my neck from the Casualty Ward decided He wasn’t done with me yet. Since that fateful day in March, I have been offered a Motorola C975, a Sagem My 501C, a Nokia 6020 and a Samsung SGH-E250 by friends and siblings. All free! I have given away my original N1110 and the Moto and Sagem have issues so now I’m sticking to my 6020 and SGH-E250. They’re still not classy phones but both of them do come equipped with cameras and connectivity. (Of course, I’m still wishing for my dream Nokia E- / N-series, SE Walkman, Apple iPhone or Blackberry and Christmas is around the corner so please, don’t say I didn’t ask!)

I’ve always loved photography but those two camera phones unleash the paparazzi in me. A camera phone is a wonderful thing; it can go where even a camera can’t go. And I can’t help but to blog about these places. But I won’t say much about it here when there’s a brand new place somewhere else to do so.

Here’s re-introducing my formerly-new, temporarily-rested blog: The Phoneparazzi, where I’m hoping to present to you my mostly unconventional views on Life as seen through the eyes of not just my camera phones but other cameras as well.

I hope you like it!

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