So I was in church yesterday, as per usual for a Sunday. We were well into our third hour and I was desperately trying to fend off the sleepiness threatening to overtake me, so I was looking at my iphone and deciding if I would randomly read the bible or if I should catch up on some notes in my research journal (I use Momonote, a truly awesome app). In general, I try and be respectful in church even if I'm not totally into the 4 hour service so that's why I stuck to these two options. I didn't really feel like reading so I decided to write some notes.
Now three additional notes before I carry on. The first, like many churches, this church has ushers that assist with various things (offerings, seating, etc.). Unlike some churches they stand at rapt attention for the entire length of the service. We have the same guy in our section, the Minister's Stand, every week. We, meaning me, M, A, T, Baby F & D, sit in the back of the section and try to stay out of the walking path that is right in front of our chairs.
The second note is that Nigerians are some note taking fools. I don't know if I just never noticed this before or if it's particular to the people I'm hanging out with, but seriously, nearly everyone in church takes detailed notes about the sermons each week. They write down all the bible verses, who spoke that week, and key messages. Like the most conscientious students ever.
The third and final, is that M got a new Blackberry this week. Blackberry is the BIG thing in Nigeria. For some reason the cell phone companies have special deals for Blackberry phones, but no other Smartphones. My iphone works but I have to pay the same rates as any other joe with a junk phone. With Blackberry you get unlimited data usage for 5,000 Naira a month (about $33). And Blackberry, if you weren't in the know, has a private text messaging like system that was built by and for Blackberry exclusively. It's called BB Messaging, or "pinging" for short. Nigerians love some pinging. M has been using an iphone but since he is here for another 4 years (he's going to University here) he decided it would be a better investment to use a Blackberry. I'd have to agree. If I were gonna be here for longer than 4 more months I'd probably get one too. But for now I'll be conscious with my iphone use and not get as much bang for the buck. Anyway, long story to say, M is OBSESSED with his new phone and is pretty much glued to it.
So I am writing away in my notes and I think M is goofing around (he also is not a fan of the 4 hour services) when the Usher for our section comes over and hisses at us "Are you MESSAGING???" And I'm like, whoa, back the truck up Chuck, why are you in my biz? And I flash my screen and say "NO, I'm taking notes." So he decides to leave me alone and harass M instead. I didn't hear what excuse M gave, but I was really like, UGH. Don't try and call me out! Everyone else was taking their notes, but they just happened to be doing it with a notebook and pen. I was using my phone. I mean, I wasn't exactly taking notes about what the sermon was about, but still, I was paying more attention than I would be if I were dozing off, which is what I would have been doing otherwise. I was a little annoyed. I didn't even get in this much trouble when I was in Catholic Sunday school!
And with every story in Nigeria it seems, there was a funny twist at the end. As we were leaving church the guy says "Hey, remember I told you how much I like you bible?" My CATHOLIC bible that I used to bring every week before I downloaded my iphone bible app? Ah yes, I remember you telling me you liked it for whatever reason I have no idea. He says "Before you leave, I wish that you would give it to me." Seriously? Besides the fact that it is a Catholic bible and you are not Catholic, YOU WERE JUST TRYING TO BUST MY CHOPS DUDE. I gave him a non-committal answer and told him I had to go. Some people!