You’d think the closer I got to the wedding the more tense and stressed I’d be, but after the last eight months it’s all going away, dissipating in the sun and the friends I’d made in The Gambia ?
The journey out was uneventful.
The usual drive down to Gatwick in the early hours followed by the interminable wait for the flight to be called and all the while drinking enough Costa black coffee, which is horrible by the way and also Costa fortune, especially at airports, to try and keep the caffeine levels up to keep me awake.
Trouble is, it just makes me want to piss.
Brother Pat turned up after the flight had been called, after staying in the Hilton across the road so we did actually manage to get seats together on the flight.
He tried a couple of times to stick the barbs in but thankfully packed it in after one warning shot.
I’m tense enough before a flight that slapping down my younger brother seemed a reasonable solution to stress busting.
Thankfully he heeded the warning and from that moment the needling stopped.
I really don’t know why he bothers ?
Maybe he thinks he has to compete…
Who knows ?
But it’s puerile, facile and all the rest, so hopefully it will stay hidden away ?
Haddy won’t put up with it anyway, and she knows I have a short fuse when it comes to that sort of thing so it’s best it goes.
The flight was ok.
Six hours of shite on the flight’s entertainment system so I didn’t bother.
I needed sleep, but try as I might it didn’t happen.
I got close but then they brought round dinner, so go figure ?
We finally got in and through customs and immigration and I tapped some dickhead on the shoulder as we went through and told him to do up the zips on his backpack or he was going to lose his wallet which was hanging out of it but as usual I just got told to mind my own…
Suit yourself sunshine… Fucked if I care what happens to it ?
There she is…
And ‘Tufa, and the bloke who lives in the village and works at the airport…
Jeez… A real welcoming committee…
Well, it’s finally happening.
Bring it on !
We spend the next three hours eating and trying on clothes.
My wedding suit is white and Pat has also got one the same which I had no knowledge of as he’s packed a thin polyester number for the wedding, but no, we’re both going African apparently for the ceremony.
The other bits we need we can pick up from Banjul market tomorrow.
Finally, hours later than everybody else, we check into the hotel…
And all the staff seem to know why we’re there, too…
The word has definitely gone around.
I have a nine o’clock appointment with Haddy at the Justice Registry in Banjul on the following day to go through some forms and then on to see Pa whose car we are borrowing, and then we’re just going to mooch around looking for the things we need.
So get this…
There we are, the four of us, me, Haddy, Brother Pat and ‘Tufa walking down the main drag of Banjul which is absolutely teeming with people, and one of ‘Tufa’s mates taps him up and asks him if that idiot is with us ?
What idiot ?
The complete fucking moron who is walking gaily along taking pictures of all and sundry with an unzipped backpack on his back…
My idiot brother.
Nice one !
Here we are in the middle of what can only be described as Bandit Country and the stupid sod hasn’t taken in anything I’ve previously said.
Listening with your ears shut and your mouth open is not something I’d recommend in a country, no, scotch that, in a continent that you’ve never taken a single step in before yesterday.
God help us !
At least when ‘Tufa pointed it out to him he was suitably chastened and moved it to his front, but honestly…
Why do I bother ?
We saw Hadim and Badu in the market, and the lady who sold me my blue elephant shirt back in March, and blow me, she recognises me, as does little ‘Messi’s dad.
Apparently his little lad is still listening to the music and songs playing in his head and still dancing everywhere.
I reckon he’ll grow up wanting to be a musician ?
Aaaaahhhh… Truth to tell I’m glad to be back.
We bought hats to complete our wedding outfits from the main market and that did us,
although trying to explain why I will not wear anything with red piping on it seemed to flummox the guy until I spat on the ground and made the ‘evil eye’ sign and said Manchester United…
He got it then.
Rummaged for a couple of minutes and came out with a pack with light blue piping...
Now you’re talking.
So now it’s back to the hotel for a bit of relaxation by the pool before we're picked up by 'Tufa for a meal at Haddy's later in the evening before the big day tomorrow.
Guess what ?
Hey Pat... Look at the food in the pot.
That's sweet potato, that's cassava, that's cabbage, the snot coloured thing is bitter tomato and don't touch that red thing 'cos it's a chilli and it'll be hotter than the fires of hell...
So without taking a blind bit of notice of anything I said, Mr Know-it-all forks up the red one and happily sticks it in his mouth...
What a dickhead !
He'll learn... The hard way perhaps, but he'll learn...
Oh what fun.