“An African City” Season 2 Launches in Accra!

Oh hey dolls!

It’s Adjpants here, your Slayage and Fierceness Correspondent for West Africa *flips hair*

Let’s dive straight in! So if you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know about my obsession with Sex and the City. I loved the directness, the openness and the sheer ballsy courage of the show. It was the first time I had seen women on screen openly discussing all manner of bedroom debauchery.

So imagine my excitement when I found out that there was an African, nay, a GHANAIAN version of Sex and the City? I stumbled across “An African City” on YouTube a while back, and I was hooked within seconds. The first season of the web series followed five young Ghanaian women on their return home from the diaspora. During the series we see the returnees settling into life in Accra, navigating the (hilarious) sex and dating scene and gallivanting in incredible outfits. The show is groundbreaking in its openness, especially in an African setting where sometimes these topics are taboo. It was particularly thrilling for me because this was around the time I was considering moving back to Ghana. Watching their adventures was like a glimpse into a possible future. Sadly, my hotline doesn’t bling like theirs doe. But I digress.

I had the pleasure of meeting the show’s creator, Nicole Amarteifio, at a Blogging Ghana event last year and she was warm and delightful.

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So guys imagine my delight when I heard that there was going to be a launch party in Accra for Season 2! I died. The launch paree (yes, I said paree) was held as part of “SheHive Accra,” a women’s entrepreneurship conference brought to you by the incredible She Leads Africa organisation. SLA inspires young African women to shatter glass ceilings, be their best selves, and rewrite the rules on success. Talk about your sheroes.

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Anyhoo! Of course your girl was able to get her hot little hands on an exclusive ticket *insert flamenco dancing emoji* On Thursday night, I joined Accra’s glitterati to celebrate the launch of Season 2 with the exclusive screening of a never-before-seen episode.

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Red carpet hugsies with awesome celeb blogger Ameyaw Debrah

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The stunning venue: One Airport Square, Accra

It. Was. Lit. LAWD! We were actually shown an episode from halfway through the season, and it became clear that the ante had been upped. Production quality has improved, outfits are even more gorgeous… and… girl. The sexytime has increased to the tenth power. Neither I nor the auntie seated in front of me were quite ready. I wish I had brought pearls to clutch! I guess the only teensy thing I would say is that I’m hoping for a lot more depth and character development in Season 2. The show’s concept is gold and I can’t wait to see more.

Next up was a chat with the panel- the creator Nicole Amarteifio, actress Maame Adjei (possibly one of the nicest people I have ever met), and writer Esther Arma. They talked us through some of the decisions they had made with the show’s direction, including the fact that Season 2 will be sold on a new channel (as opposed to streamed on YouTube). We finished up with some Q&A.

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Blurry but still amazing fangirl moment with “An African City” actress Maame Adjei

I was seated next to my blogger bae Kiki of Ayiba Magazine fame, and she asked Nicole about the decision to show more #surfboardt action on screen in Season 2. Nicole responded my saying that so many people complained that there was too much sex in Season 1, so she had decided to serve up more in Season 2! WELP!

And then the evening was over and we had time to mingle and sample some of the fabulous champagne cocktails being whipped up by the lovely people from Moet & Chandon. Each of the cocktails was named after the characters in the show. You know I headed straight for a Berry Sade (Sade is the “Samantha of Am African City and my fave). It was a gorgeous end to a fun evening.

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Season 2 launches on the new channel, An African City at midday today! Y’all better run home after church! Tell Sister Beulah from the Usher Board you don’t have time to stay behind and discuss the Easter bake sale.

Until next time my darlings!

Love,
Adjpants

 

 

 

 

 

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OOTD: FELAbration 2015!

Hey boos!

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Felabration 2015 #TurnUp in Accra. The event was a fabulous way to honour the legendary Fela Kuti’s birthday. You guys know I don’t play when it comes to my afrobeats, and I got my love for Fela from growing up in Nigeria. I lost all my home training when Kyekyeku performed Fela’s “Lady.” For me though, the best performance of the night was by Villy & the Xtreme Volumes. Absolutely electrifying. I was screaming YAAAASSS, hitting my shoki and waving my handkerchief like your overly turnt Auntie at the church BBQ.

Anyhoo! Before the event I was stressing about what to wear. It was laundry day and I needed to take a simple outfit from “okay” to “SLAY!” Et voila… a cutesy little black dress and some chic accessories.

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This “little black dress” is actually a vest top from Dorothy Perkins, tucked into a flared mini skirt from my beloved Primark.

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I paired this outfit with a gorgeous deep coral beaded necklace, accented with a chunky bronze section. It was a gift from a very dear friend, and I love it. I’m a fiend for pops of bright colour, so I set off the red/orange of the necklace with a fuchsia lip. This lipstick is “Spellbound” by CoverGirl- I picked it up in Sydney and it is BAE!

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And on my tootsies? These fringed tan sandals from New Look. I bought these babies in the summer for Wireless Festival in London. My aim was to serve Chocolate Pocahontas realness. I love these sandals with shorts and little skirts. The swishing of the fringe with every step gives me life!

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There you have it! I felt fabulous and also like I had cheated the universe by creating an outfit out of laundry day dregs. A little black dress will always be a winner for ladylike chic. I may swear like a sailor, but I am ALWAYS a lady. Like Fela said, “If you call am woman, African woman no go ‘gree… she go say I be Lady o…”

Love,
Adjpants

Accra Update: Two Weeks In…

Hey!

It’s Adjpants, your Fierceness and Slayage Correspondent, coming to you live from Accra, Ghana. I wanted to give you an update on my adventure so far. Hoooo my garsh- moving “home” when you’re essentially a foreigner in your own country is NOT EASY. It’s been a stressful couple of weeks. After two days holed up crying in a darkened room, I thought it was time to put on my big girl pants and share my ongoing story. If I can help even one person who’s going through the same thing, I’ll consider this a job well done.

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So! We’re now two weeks in- here’s what we’ve learned so far.

1. Taxi Drivers Are Thieving Knobjockeys.

I just… I can’t. Taxi drivers in Accra have left me so unable to deal, like I’m fresh out of being able to deal and there is no chance of stock replenishment. They are the bane of my effing life here and I really wish I had a car. Any rich Uncles reading this who want to buy me a Camry, please #CallMeMaybe.

I have previously only spent short periods of time in Accra/been on family trips with our own car. So this level of f*ckery is new to me. The taxi drivers will cheat you on sight. Yes, even if you speak Twi they can tell you’re a foreigner and they will double or triple the price. Haggle them down mercilessly- I usually like to cut the number they give me by half, take off a couple of cedis, and start bargaining from there. Even then, sometimes you’ll get to your destination and they’ll claim not to have change so you have no choice but to overpay. This happened to me the other day and I straight out lost it. We almost came to fisticuffs and I am normally such a peaceful, jolly person. So lesson learned- carry small notes and an old lady bag of change if necessary.

Another tip: if you’ve managed to haggle the price down in Twi, don’t then get in the taxi and start talking to friends on the phone in Queen’s English. You’ll notice the driver peering at you as if you lied to him, and suddenly there will be loud claims of how the agreed price needs to increase due to traffic/time of day/the crisis in Syria. May God smite them all with herpes. Also ladies? Always sit in the back seat. Some dudes are pervs.

2. People Have No Filter and Zero Chill.

Lemme tell you a story, paint you a little word picture. I met a friend of a friend the other day, nice gentleman, friendly and fun. I thought huzzah new friend, right? Wrong. He called me and we were chatting away, and suddenly out of nowhere he asked, “Are you watching your weight?” I was like, “…Um, no…” He replied, “Don’t you think you should be?” I was like O_O and he chirped into the icy silence, “I mean, don’t you think it’s getting too much?”

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WHUT.

Do you see why I am so unable? What fresh hell is this? And this sort of piping hot nonsense is commonplace. People here are for the most part, pretty judgmental. Which would be fine if they were using their inside voices- but they’re not. They’re telling you their opinions at every opportunity. I’m sure there will be many more of these occurences. Just keep an eye out for the headlines: “Crazed Non-Weight-Watching Ex Londoner Cuts Man In Public: Says She Regrets Nothing”

3. Slow Your Roll- You’re The Only One Rushing.

Coming from London where my life was a constant race against the clock, I find the slooooow pace of life in Accra maddening. I’m used to the big city where people will throw you into oncoming traffic if you’re walking just a touch too slowly. Here everything takes forever. FOREVER. There’s a general laid-back attitude to most things which can be so effing frustrating (some things need urgency bruv). It’s been driving me insane but then it hit me. Why am I hurrying when nobody else is? Why am I rushing to be on time for an appointment, when the person I’m meeting has no intention of being on time? I’ve been told that I need to relax, slow down, and just accept things as they are. I might have to do that, but not because I agree with constant delay and inefficiency. Because I don’t want to die of stress and or/rage.

4. Don’t Expect Everything To Make Sense.

There are so many things which just don’t make a lick of sense. Examples below:

How can I be asking a salesperson a question, and they can’t be bothered to answer me because they’re chatting to a colleague? How can it then be other customers who step in and try to help, while the salesperson continues to ignore my increasingly loud questions?

How can Accra be just as expensive as London? People tell me the prices for things and I just want to flip tables.

How can Ashanti be on this sign for the omotuo (rice ball) special at a local chop bar?

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This is a switch to turn on the air-conditioning, isn’t it?

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No, it’s not. It’s for the water heater. Is this life?

*Puts fingers on temples and sighs* Just don’t expect things to make sense.

5. The Kindness of Strangers Is Heartwarming and Awesome.

Moving to a new country can be extremely difficult and heartbreakingly lonely. I came here knowing almost nobody, and I thought I would just have to fight it out myself. BUT GAWD (I love how my people do that, just be halfway through a sentence and suddenly scream out to the Lawd)! See the way God is set up, he sometimes places people in your path to show you the way.

When I moved to Accra, someone blessed me with this golden piece of advice: join the Ahaspora mailing list. This group is made up of awesome young African “returnees” who have come to make Accra home. They have a huge network, and they’re a resource for almost everything you could ever need. Advise on housing? Done. Recommendations for good legal advice? Yes. Where to get your nails did? No problem. When I first moved to Accra, I went out on a limb and sent out an email introducing myself to the group. The response was overwhelming; within minutes I had invites to lunch, general friendly greetings and even some potential job opportunities. Chile if you’re moving to Accra, GET ON THAT LIST NOW.

My advice would be to reach out to people, and keep your heart open. I’ve already made some new friends, and I can’t thank them enough for welcoming a stranger with open arms. They’ve checked in on me, taken me out for cupcakes, welcomed me into their homes and given me a wealth of advice and support. Y’all are the real MVPs.

So darlings that’s it for now. Keep your eyes peeled for more Accra Updates! And anyone else who has recently made the move back, or is thinking about it? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re all in this together.

Love,
Adjpants

Girls on Safari: Dominican Republic, Part Dos

Ola mis amores!

As effing usual, the 2nd instalment of my trip to the Dominican Republic is late. I keep telling you African time is a real affliction. Yes I’m always late, please just love me anyway! Teehee.

So where were we? The last time you saw Miss Fu and I, we were sipping cocktails and working on our tans. Tanning was going well and #OperationDarkChocolate was coming along nicely. Fantastic though that was, we were gagging to get out and explore La Republica Dominicana. So we booked ourselves on a cheeky Outback Safari tour!

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#Excoitment

From the second we got on that truck, we just knew we were in for an amazing time. Our guide was called Angel, and we loved him on sight. He was jolly, hilarious, and most importantly full of local knowledge and passion for his country. He told us he’d been born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and that he would never want to live anywhere else. Kudos to you sir.

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We trundled through the Dominican countryside, and I couldn’t get over how stunning everything was. The colours were so vibrant, the air was clear and the scenery was incredible. We drove through little villages, and then it was off-roading time! As we made our way through thick rainforest areas, Angel pointed out the cocoa and coffee trees all around us.

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Before we knew it, it was time for our first stop! We were taken to a little school in the hills, and peeked in to wave at the kiddies. At least I did. Some overly exuberant people with our tour group strode right into the classroom and got snap-happy. It made me uncomfortable, like Ma’am please have a seat! These children are in class so maybe don’t lean over them with your camera? Cretins. Anyhoo…

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Our next stop was definitely my favourite. We stopped at the family home of a man called Chappy, who runs a cocoa and coffee plantation with his wife. They gave us a warm welcome, and showed us how the raw cocoa is processed into cocoa powder and cocoa butter.

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We got to sample some of the delicious products. Chappy and Senora Chappy laid out some hot chocolate, cinnamon coffee, and fresh sugarcane. Obviously Miss Fu and I have no home training so we were chowing down long after the rest of the group wandered off. Everything tasted heavenly, and I bought some coffee and pure cocoa butter. Needed to make sure I spent the London summer stunting on these heaux with my luminous skin!

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Uncle Chappy is a real G. Just look at him on the packet with his wife! He was kind enough to show us around his beautiful family home and grounds. I don’t think I have ever seen anything so lovely. The colours fam…

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The fun continued as we were taken to see how coconut oil is made. Honey you know I’m all coconut oil everythang so that was awesome. Then it was time to shop! We got to sample some traditional dranks. We sipped some aged Mama Juana (you might remember the “Dominican Babymaker” from Part Uno) and then I was introduced to vino de piña, which is pineapple wine. You have never tasted anything so divine. There were all sorts of delectable items available.20150519_121521

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We also got to see how cigars are rolled by hand, which was awesome. Just a few seconds with his deft fingers, and BAM! Done. Bawss moves.

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El Bae, Miss Fu.

We then had lunch at a country ranch, which was amazing. Heaps of fried chicken, grilled beef, salads, and rice. While we ate, Angel plied us with drinks to keep the party going. It was such a perfect afternoon, and the view from the ranch was breathtaking.

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We hopped back on the bus and made our way to our final stop: boogie boarding at Macao Beach! It was just… guys I want to say it was beautiful but that wouldn’t do it justice. Like, Carol can I get a vowel or nah? No words! Look at it!

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I grabbed a board and looked out at the ocean. I was nervous cos I didn’t fancy drowning on such a beautiful day. The ridiculously hot guide who had joined our tour group asked, “You need help, mami?” I was all “YES HI I NEED EVERYTHING FROM YOU,” so he took my hand and led me out into the water. We went out so far that my tootsies were no longer touching the ground. I lay on the board and Hottie McAdonis held it still, while watching for the perfect wave. He suddenly asked, “Ready?” I was like “Gah! No!” He yelled, “Hold tight!” And I turned my head and saw this huge swell of water right behind me. I barely had time to scream “Jesus fix it” before he let go…

And WHOOSH! I was borne up on the crest of this gigantic wave, shooting towards the shore at high speed! It was like nothing I’ve ever felt before; complete exhilaration and pure joy. I was laughing and shrieking, and I felt like I was flying! I couldn’t get enough, and spent the rest of the afternoon on my #Surfboardt

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And just like that, it was the perfect end to yet another perfect Dominican day. We got on the truck to make our way back to the resort. The rumble of the engine started to put me to sleep… I tasted salt on my lips and felt sand between my toes. As I drifted off, my last thought was, “I don’t want this trip to ever end.”

I can’t wait to share the final instalment of my Dominican adventure- coming soon darlings (I promise, I promise)!

Amor,
Adjpants

Homecoming.

My dearest loves. It’s been a while since my last post, and I’m sorry I’ve left you for so long without providing some sort of foolishness or tea-spilling. Why have I been absent? Because I moved away from London 2 weeks ago…

*cue gasps*

That’s right. The last couple of months have been an insane emotional rollercoaster, a whirlwind of goodbyes. I wanted to write about what was happening in my life, but can I be honest? I was avoiding it because it hurt and I was scared. But someone once told me to “write through the pain,” so here goes.

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(FYI this is my brave face. The hearts are cute non?)

A bit of background for those of you who are just getting to know me. I travel a lot and I call four different places home (Ghana, Nigeria, Australia and England).

I was born in Australia to Ghanaian expat parents. We then moved to Mexico for a few years before settling in Nigeria. I had a blissful (and hilarious) childhood there before heading to boarding school in England.

After I graduated from uni, I worked in Australia for a few awesome years before heading back to the UK for another stint. After a rough start in London, I slowly started to feel a strange and unfamiliar sensation. I was starting to settle in. Settle down. Everything started clicking into place and for the first time in my life, I could actually see myself staying in the same country for years to come.

But bruv, you know how life sometimes throws you a curve ball? Things changed very suddenly and it became clear that this just wasn’t going to happen. I would have to leave, yet again.

While my international background is interesting, it is by no means unique. Apparently people like me are called “Third Culture Kids” and we’re everywhere. Children of expats, we went to international schools and were taught the capital cities of every country in the world (shout-out to my IITA peeps WOOP! I know you remember Stripies). We didn’t know what racism was, because our friends looked like a United Colours of Benetton ad. For us, constant travel was normal and stability was never guaranteed.

The last couple of years in London, I started to realise how much I craved that stability.

But sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to. I was now faced with a choice- where to next? Back to Australia made the most sense. I lived there for 3 happy years, and Melbourne wasn’t voted “Most Livable City in The World” for nothing. It’s funky, fresh and fabulous. And yet I didn’t feel quite ready. Something was telling me it was time to go home to Ghana.

But “home” can be a problematic concept when you have never actually lived in your home country. I tried to move back about 6 years ago. Saying it was a bit of a train wreck would be like saying Uncle Donald Trump’s hair is a bit off.

I wasn’t prepared for the culture shock, wasn’t ready for how my own people would see me as an outsider. They said I was too British, too feisty, too Westernised, even too Nigerian. My grasp of my parents’ language, Twi, was… well…it was dusty. This added to my frustration and sense of isolation. I only lasted a few weeks before fleeing to Melbourne.

So. When I found out I would have to leave London, that still small voice of calm said, “Go home.” After my previous experience, I was definitely nervous. Nah let’s be real- I was terrified. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I fail? What if I still can’t fit in? What if I still feel rejected? What if I can’t find a good job?

As I started packing, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. At one point I sat on the floor of my rapidly emptying bedroom, surrounded by bits and pieces of my past, and I just sobbed. It seemed so unfair- why was this happening to me?

Now check this out. Somehow at my lowest moments, when I’m just about to fall to pieces, my mother knows. Even though we live in different continents, there seems to be an invisible string connecting my emotions to hers. Right at that moment she called, and she waited patiently while I cried and cried and cried. Then she said, “Dry your tears. God has never failed you, and He won’t fail you now.”

With those words, she reminded me that there is someone looking out for me. She reminded me that you can’t miss out on your destiny. Whatever is meant to be, will be, and you have to trust the journey.

So my darlings, as I write this I am in Accra, Ghana. In the distance I can hear rushing traffic and the ever-present thump of hiplife music. My grasp of Twi is still rusty, but it’s better than it was 6 years ago. When I arrived in Accra recently, I managed to negotiate the price of a taxi without being royally ripped off with the “abrokyire” (overseas) price. That, my friends, is progress.

I’m effing scared, and there’s no shame in that. But I’m going to try and give this a shot, and I’m taking you guys along for the ride. We’ll explore the city together. We’ll go and see all the landmarks. We’ll hunt down the best brunches and the stiffest cocktails, and we’ll find out where all the hipsters hang out. Welcome to Love, Adjpants: The Motherland Edition!

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Is it possible it won’t work out? That I’ll fall flat on my face? BISH IT MIGHT BE- but there’s only one way to find out.

They say you can never go home again. I’m going to try and prove them wrong. As Dr. Maya Angelou said, “all God’s children need travelling shoes.”

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And if those travelling shoes happen to be serving Pocahontas realness… well that’s a bonus, hunty.

Love,
Adjpants

How Adjpants Got Her Groove Back: Dominican Republic, Part Uno

Darlings!

It’s your Caribbean Queen here, back in the country and reporting for duty. I just got back from paradise, and I can’t wait to share the amazing experience with you!

Last year, my homeslice/travel buddy/BFF Miss Fu mentioned a Caribbean getaway to celebrate our birthdays in May. We chose the Dominican Republic and did some research. When we came across Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, it was a done deal. Their website described the resort as being “secluded in a lush tropical paradise.” YAAAAASS BISH.

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Miss Fu and I tore thangs up in Cuba a few years ago, so we were totes looking forward to the trip. The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation bordered by Haiti, and it’s known for its white sandy beaches and sizzling bachata and merengue music. The people are ethnically diverse; of African, European, and Native American descent. All these things piqued my interest and made La Republica Dominicana my dream holiday destination.

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Before we knew it, it was May 14th and we were OFF, hunty! As our plane touched down in Punta Cana, we peered out of the windows, practically climbing over each other for the first glimpse. I squealed at the sight of the heat shimmering off the concrete, and the thatched roofs of the airport buildings. As we taxied to our gate, I noticed crowds of deeply tanned “gorgoisie” (my word for the gorgeous bourgeoisie dahling- you can borrow) sipping dranks on balconies. At the airport. #WinningAtLife

We made our way through customs and immigration, and out into the sun. Moments later, we met the uniformed driver who would be taking us to our resort. He was a tall, jolly black man (who looked not unlike my Uncle Kwabena), and he broke into a smile when he spotted us. He shook our hands and cried out, “Mi colores! Mi familia!” He gestured to his skin and we realised he was excited because our complexions matched his. Throughout our time in the Dominican Republic we would hear delighted calls of “Oye morenas” (hey brown girls) and the ever-passionate “Familia!” I loved it.

About an hour later we were driving up a long, curving driveway to our resort. Listen- I have never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life. Gleaming mahogany floors, soaring ceilings with ornate fans, and everywhere lush flowers and swaying palms.

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We could barely contain our excitement as we were led to our room. It was stunning- decked out in white decor with splashes of red and lime green. I opened the curtains and…

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It was like looking out on the Garden of Eden. Also… how could there just be a peacock chilling on our patio? PARADISE, that’s how. We soon realised the resort was full of flamingos and peacocks, taking naps and preening for the gawds.

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By this point all the travel, excitement and shrieking had tired us out, so we were like “quick nap, then we’ll head out to explore.” Needless to say jetlag knocked us out, and we woke up in the middle of the night like “BRUH”

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(Introducing the gorgeous Miss Fu, who stays ready so she never has to GET ready!)

Early the next morning we headed out for a jog, excited to check out our new home for the next ten days. They say a picture paints a thousand words so lemme just leave these here real quick…

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Right?! Next was breakfast! Freshly showered and gleaming with shea butter (we didn’t come to play), we headed to one of the resort’s many restaurants. As long as I live, I will never forget the reception we got. Let me tell you a little something about Dominican men. These men are SO FINE that they look at you and you forget your name and address. The good news is that you’ll never need those details again, because you are now drunk in love. And they’re not just easy on the eye. Their swag is on ONE HUNNID. Charm? Yaaaaass. Twinkle in the eye? Check. As we sashayed past the juice station, I caught the eye of one of the waiters and he gave me the most thoroughly salacious wink I’ve ever seen. Miss Fu and I giggled, and suddenly men were hurtling across the room towards us. Pulling out our chairs, declaring us “caliente” (hot) and “linda” (pretty), elbowing each other out of the way. I think someone was injured in the fight to pour Miss Fu’s drink. By the time we finished eating, I was ready for permanent Dominican citizenship. They had me like “AND I AM TELLING YOU I’M NOT GOING” (you’re gonna love me Carlos).

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We spent the next couple of days in the blazing heat, sipping cocktails and frolicking between beach and pool. Things escalated when someone urged us to try the national drink: Mamma Juana. A potent blend of rum, red wine, honey, tree bark and local roots and spices, Mamma Juana is also known as The Dominican Babymaker. It’s reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities but of course I couldn’t possibly comment (I can) on whether that’s true (it is). As the bartender poured us a shot each, he laughed and said “It gives you potential!” HEY NOW!

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As we languished on pool mats, I trailed my fingers through the water and bopped along to the merengue blaring from a nearby speaker. The sun was warm on my skin and the Mamma Juana was warm in my belly. I remember being happy and calm. In that moment I thought, “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Hope you enjoyed the first instalment, pumpkins! Look out for Dominican Republic: Part Dos, coming soon! Besos!

Amor,
Adjpants

Hot Child in The City: New York!

My beloveds! So… you may remember how I went on a life-changing, mind-blowing trip last summer with my sidekick Rosie of A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe fame. It was a whirlwind holiday, where we touched down in four epic cities in under two weeks! I had a blast writing up the first installment- the magical New Orleans, Louisiana.

So um yeah this post is approximately 1,000 years late. See what had HAPPENED was… Don’t blame me- have you never heard of African time? S’not my fault. Genes innit?

Anyhoo let’s pick up where we left off. Rosie, Our Tez (my other Aussie darling) and Mama Karen (my favourite Southern belle, writer of the lush blog KP Says) packed up our bits and departed New Orleans in a puff of glitter and scented smoke. A few hours later as we made our descent into JFK, I could barely breathe from excitement.

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Let’s be real- is there anything more glamorous and exciting than New York? NO! I had my face smooshed up against the airplane window, trying to get a glimpse. We landed, jumped in a cab and started meandering through the streets. My excitement reached fever pitch when I started seeing the street signs!

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I have wanted to see New York City since I was a munchkin running around in afro puffs, and I just couldn’t believe it was finally happening. The way it felt to see those street signs flash by… that feeling of “OH MY GOD I AM HERE!” I won’t forget it as long as I live.

When the cab pulled up outside our hotel, I was like O_O

Lemme tell you a little something about my pal Rosie; she is a fiend when it comes to organising fabulous things. This minx had only gone and booked us into the effing Marriott Hotel in effing Times Square! After a screaming group hug and general ratchet displays of glee, we checked into our room, opened the curtains and BAM.

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The view was… Out. Of. Control. See Roger Federer saying “Hey boo, welcome to New York”? And soon the day got even better- Karen’s hubby Joey arrived to meet us. I adored him on sight, just like I had done with KP. They are now officially my favourite couple. Poor Joey’s luggage had been delayed. If that had happened to me I’d be throwing beds out of windows and flipping tables, but he was calm and cheerful because he’s a LEGEND!

And then it was time to hit the streets. Guys, it was unbelievable.

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 The rest of the night passed in a blur of fun and excitement, as we headed to dinner with Joey and KP’s friend Oliver. We went to a glorious restaurant called Hearth, where the food was so amazing that we forgot to take any pictures. After days of eating deep-fried-everything in the South, the fresh seasonal cuisine was exactly what we needed. And the place was uber-FANCY! Whenever any of us popped to the bathroom, the others started playing a game where we counted the seconds before a waiter discreetly swooped in and folded their napkin into a perfect square, simultaneously filling their water glass. I believe we got to a record of about 15 seconds. Perfection.

The next morning Rosie, Tez and I trotted out to explore. Everything was so big and bright, I loved it!

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We made our way through the hot-as-all-hell streets to the Empire State Building. We were so lucky- almost no queue to be seen! Huzzah! We made our way to the 86th Floor to take in the sights. I pushed open the door, stood there for a second, and promptly burst into tears. There are no words…

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Even when you’ve seen it a thousand times in movies, NOTHING compares to the real thing. We took approximately 4080 photos of the stunning view and then moved on to serving some high-altitude fierce. Yes, hunty.

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From there we made our way down to Perry Street, to Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment! Anyone that knows me is aware that I am a true Sex and The City fiend. Chile I have been wearing this nameplate necklace and calling myself the Black Carrie Bradshaw for years now, so to say this was a dream come true is an understatement! We rounded a corner and there it was… Carrie’s apartment!

It was amazing- such a quiet, leafy little street. I was thrilled to be standing in front of that iconic wooden door, and those famous steps.

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After flinging our hair back and forth and taking a thousand photos (“I get to be Samantha, no get to be Samantha dammit”), we were ready to head out. We had such a fabulous time that we ended up going back the next day for Round 2 ha!

Next, we hailed ourselves a cab and sped down to Battery Park. We waved at the Statue of Liberty and engaged in more foolishness before speeding off again in the blazing heat to meet KP and Joey for a drink!

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Next stop was the gorgeous Tavern on the Green in Central Park. It was a gloriously hot afternoon, and as we sat there sipping champagne and perving at boys, I remember being blissfully happy.

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We then jumped on the subway to our next location. Is it lame that I was uber excited to take my first subway ride? After a ride in the HOTTEST carriage ever we stepped out, flustered, moist (I said it, yes) and in desperate need of refreshment.

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We decided to have lunch at yet another iconic venue- Monk’s Diner from Seinfeld *cue screams* It’s actually called Tom’s Restaurant, and it’s a traditional Greek-American diner. The menu was OUT OF CONTROL you guys- delicious homestyle cooking and OMG so cheap! Stuffed clam shells, chicken parmigiana, corned beef hash, steaks, salads, huge sandwiches… and cheese fries. Can we just sit down for a sec, real quick, so you can tell me why you’ve been keeping cheese fries from me? Why?! I opted for buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing, and a sardine salad. It was like a party in my effing mouth.

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 YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSS.

Full to bursting, we slowly crawled back to the hotel, taking in some of the incredible architecture. So help me Lawd, you guys give good building out there in NYC! I was enchanted.

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 After we’d recovered from eating All of The Lunch, we spruced ourselves up, re-applied our lipstick (even Joey) and were whisked up to The View, on the 48th floor of The Marriott Hotel. This revolving bar and restaurant has the most incredible views of New York City. We sipped cocktails and gazed out over the bright lights of the city, feeling very much like the glitterati. From there we sashayed over to Haven, a hot rooftop bar, for more cocktails and gallivanting.

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The next day we headed to the 9/11 Memorial. It’s hard to explain the mix of emotions you go through, on seeing the memorial itself. It’s made up of two huge man-made waterfalls, marking the spots where the Twin Towers once stood. On the panels surrounding each memorial are the names of the thousands who lost their lives on that awful day. Some people were taking selfies and running around carrying on (CRETINS), but we stood quietly and took it all in. We saw some photographs tucked into the railings, and what truly broke my heart was the single white rose someone had laid next to one of the names. All of those names belonged to someone who was loved and cherished, and it was shocking to see the sheer number of them. Standing there, I tried to imagine what it would have been like to be a New Yorker on that day.

The museum itself was truly incredible. I hadn’t known what to expect, but my mind was definitely blown. The museum holds heart-wrenching artifacts like voice messages left by people trapped in the burning towers, as well as recovered wreckage from the planes that crashed. There were also hundreds of photographs and interactive displays showing the events of September 11th. The museum was a deeply emotional and educational experience, and I highly recommend it.

 By this point we were all a bit emotionally drained, and in need of cheering up. We decided to go in search of yet another iconic SATC landmark- the Magnolia Bakery! This teeny bakery was obviously made famous by the show, and it was absolutely packed! I shrieked when I caught sight of the framed SATC photo in the window. We oohed and aahed over the cakes and I was so excited to be standing somewhere Carrie and Miranda once did. Remember the scene where they’re sitting on a bench, chatting about Carrie’s new crush, Aidan (he of the luxurious hair, broad shoulders and turquoise rings)? After a little cupcake and the STRONGEST iced coffee known to man, we were off again.

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Later that afternoon, we had a wander down to gawp at the gorgeous Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s such a stunning building! We thought we might treat ourselves to a drink at the famous rooftop bar, but when we were told it cost 25 big ones just to get up there, we were like “Um WHUT?” I mean, did they not know who we were? *hair flip* We decided to just take in the scenery instead, and then swanned off to sip dranks elsewhere.

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Before we knew it, the sun had set on our last day in New York City. We had one last incredible dinner at an Italian restaurant called Pappardella. With our bellies full of good wine and sumptuous pasta, we drank a toast to the city. I feel like it’s one of those places you can never quite get enough of. A dizzying mix of bright lights, beautiful buildings, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I was heartbroken to leave.

*types, deep in thought, sipping a Cosmopolitan and adjusting a Manolo Blahnik* Sitting there, I couldn’t help but wonder: Would I ever get to come back? Until then… we’ll always have New York.

Look out for the next installation of our USA trip, coming soon (I promise). Next stop, VEGAS BABY!

Love,
Adjpants