1/04/2008

One long overdue post about a birthday cakes, ATMs and all what not

December 4th was BIG CRUSH’s birthday.

For months I had been plotting how I would get her a 2-layer chocolate cake with a layer of cream in between, home-delivered, elicit an excited scream from her (which I wont have the pleasure of witnessing) and an even more excited phone call afterwards. I live for moments like that.

I had been plotting, planning, saving and the week finally came.

My first line of action was to get a good baker. I already had one in mind – Cactus cakes, I think. Unfortunately, I got to find out that they didn’t do home delivery to places as far as Festac (she lives there). It then occurred to me that it would probably make more sense to get a baker in Festac. I did some asking around but came up with no suitable suggestions. Infact, at a point, I would’ve have asked Princesa but by the time I remembered, it would have been too late considering that like many of us that added blogging to our job profiles, she won’t have seen my question till Monday when it would have been too late.

December 4th was a Tuesday.

On the Saturday before, I decided to go to Festac and search on my own (humongous mistake). I asked two friends that lived around there for ideas but got no really good suggestions. After over one hour on the road and 3 buses in between, I arrived Festac dusty, tired, with a frown hidden behind my cheap aviators.

I started my search at a Mr Biggs outlet. They don’t home deliver.
Another Mr Biggs, same story.
Goodies, same story…

At this point, I should mention one kain prayer I prayed in the bus on my way there. (Ejura please no comments about me being prophet Ejijah). I wasn’t sure if getting a cake was the right way to go, remember that I’m a bit new to this whole thing, and I had been getting a lot contrasting advice. So I prayed that if God didn’t think a cake was the right way to go, He shouldn’t let me get one. Personally, I’ve not received any evidence of recent that God and me were still on that kain levels (I haven’t fasted in eons, preached to anyone in longer, I still got a ‘B’ in my EE 453 as opposed to the ‘A’ I was praying for etc). I sha prayed the prayer so that if I got the cake, I could safely console myself that He sanctioned it.

Now, back to Goodies, No home delivery. At this point, I remembered the prayer.
I tried some other baker I passed along the way, Angel cakes (I think) she wasn’t around.

Tantalisers.
Yes, they did home delivery.
No they didn’t make the kind of chocolate cake I wanted (they make what I call chocolate coloured/flavoured cake).
No, there could be no cream in it.

I was discouraged but happy that they did home delivery (at least) but I decided to give one more eatery a try before I settled for them. Choices (abi na Choicest?) was around the corner so I gave it a shot. Same old story: no home delivery. I ran back to Tantalisers before they could change their mind. Alas, I was too late; they had changed their mind. There was home delivery for everything except cakes. God is great.

I wasn’t quite done yet (my determination, especially in women affairs, knows little limits). I was directed to another Tantalisers outlet. Getting there, I was told I could get home delivery on a cake with all the options I was offered at the other outlet. I settled for a regular sponge cake with raisins and some customised icing. Not too bad.

Payment time.

Take note that all this while, I had been biking around most of Festac. My wallet was almost empty, I barely had transport money for the return trip and I was relying on the fact that I could top up at any ATM machine. So I went to the closest bank to top up my wallet and withdraw enough to pay for the cake. God is greater than great.

Oceanic bank, “ATM not working”.
GTB, “Financial institution not available”.
Zenith, “Transaction timed out”.
Skye, “Financial institution not available”.
UBA, “Financial institution…”

Now I got really worried. I was far from home in an area I didn’t know well, my wallet was now dangerously low cos I had to do some biking to get to these banks, my credit was too low to call for help and the only friend I could call on in Festac was at work. Even big crush was out of town. I had to find my way to and trek (under the hot sun) to the kain Tantalisers to cancel the order. I was afraid to even buy a drink.

Somehow, I got to Ojuelegba which was close to home so I decided to try out a few more ATMs. I really needed money cos I was planning to travel the next day and I didn’t even have money to buy my bus ticket. The first ATM I tried managed to show my account balance. On trying to withdraw, my account was debited but no cash came out (something I discovered after trying 2 more ATMs). At this point, I felt I wasn’t just prevented from buying a cake; I was being punished for attempting it.

I somehow withdrew some cash from another machine anyway but I couldn’t travel the next day anymore so I could visit the bank and sort out the ATM-stole-my-money issue (something I later discovered could be (not) done from any branch).

Sorting out the issue took very little time and I had more than enough time to return to Festac and complete the cake matter…but of course, fear catch me. Maybe this time na kidnap dem for kidnap me.

December 4th came.

I called her and sent her an SMS in the morning. At night, just before I went to bed, I called again to ask how the day went. Out of curiousity, I asked if she got any cake. Her response:

I didn’t o! Nobody loves me that much.

If only she knew. God is the greatest.