Don Camillo and the Devil

As we came in for the landing. I gazed out the window and saw the wide expanse of brown below me cobwebbed with roads and speckled white with cattle. Something clicked at the back of my mind, but for a little while I had trouble recalling it. Then I remembered the Po river valley, but what about it? Then I remembered Don Camillo, folllowed shortly by the full title of the book – “Don Camillo and the Devil”. I remember we had two versions of the book at home when I was growing up – a big tome and a small condensced version that had a black cover with the characters of Don Camillo and the Devil drawn in red.

Don Camillo and the Devil is the story of a small village somewhere in the Po river valley (Italy?) set around the first world war I think. Don Camillo is the local Catholic priest much loved and respected by his people. Peppone (?) was the leader of the local branch of the Communist party (think Russian sickle and hammer). Both burly men were equally matched in several ways. Both were truly interested in the improvement of the conditions of their people though usually having opposing ideas on how every single goal is to be achieved.

I haven’t thought of that book in many years. Let me assure you that the writing is excellent. If you can find it, it’s a must-read – trust me 🙂

Strange, I seem to think about death a lot. May be it’s the same with others but people just express the smallest number of comments on the issue out of fear or being considered nutty? On the other hand if we believe in the bible and live righteously (two feats becoming more and more impossible every day), burial ceremonies should not be so sad and we shouldn’t be so scared of dying (every one wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die?)
So, sometimes I wonder how easy it would be to just end it all. Then I wonder if that’s how it starts? Next, I will be considering suicide and the like? There are only a few ways to die but many variations. There is indeed nothing new under the sun. There are 2 ways to perdition. One was shied away from by Farouk – which is to consider taking along others with yourself on the journey of no return – sick. The other way of course is simple plain suicide of which quite a lot of people have decided over the years that the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco is the destination of choice for taking the “long” journey (see the documentary film “The Bridge”).
Meanwhile, I drop all thoughts of such thing for the moment, after all I believe in the bible and I hope to make heaven (otherwise, “we are most miserable of all men if …”).
I get my VISA, got stuck buying PTA at the bank, was still in town at check-in time when the airport was probably 100km? away. The taxi driver tried his best, mostly going at 120Km/hr, weaving in and out like a stunts car driver with the car actually shaking when he goes to about 130Km/hr. I rushed into the terminal only to told that the plane was just taxing off the run way. Not bad for a great attempt. Virgin Nigeria had a great policy that you can use a ticket for up to a year from the day of purchase (which I didn’t know about before) – so my flight was changed from 15:30 to 18:30 (their next flight from Abuja to Lagos). I had time to kill, so I went upstairs and had lunch – dragging it out while charging my laptop. I then went back downstairs and watched part of a film on the laptop. Some minutes before boarding started, I called out to an old school mate who walked past (Dare Faleye – I don’t think I have seen him since 2000). I learnt he brought a friend who was travelling – to the airport. We were soon joined by another colleague (Kenny from my NYSC service year in Owerri). They had come to the airport together to drop off the friend. Both worked at the same firm. An exchange of phone numbers and I was on my way to Lagos.
I still have to wash (clothes) and pack for my trip the next day. As I was getting ready for that, NEPA struck and oops no electricity. My washing barely dried the next day (using the generator) before I had to head to the airport.

Now where was I on that death thing? Sorry I need to check-in now. 

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