The Day Before You Came

“The Day Before You Came” might not be one of Abba’s most famous songs, but it is one of my favourite golden hits. Maybe because I love routine or appreciate details. And I’ve never seen a movie or read a book or came across any kind of art that portrayed routine like this song did.

It’s amazing how this 5 minutes song makes you live the details of how a lonely woman spends her typical day. With everything that happens between leaving the house at 8am and going to bed at quarter after 10 while yawning and hearing the sound of rain.  Those who hate routine will find this song slow and absolutely boring. But I think that the beauty of it lies in its slow pace that never changes from the first second of the song to the last one.

The sense of boredom is not only obvious in the typical boring details of the day, like clearing the desk or signing heaps of papers. You don’t have to read between the lines to realize how uninteresting her life was, as every now and then she mentioned it in different ways: Because I always do, I’m certain, I must have, no doubt, the usual, undoubtedly. And how she stated that it’s “a matter of routine” half way through the song.

Mentioning the exact time of some tasks puts you at ease and makes you sure that no surprises or unusual events will suddenly happen and break the schedule. What could possibly happen while having lunch at half past twelve or lighting her seventh cigarette by half past two?! Leaving work at 5 and opening her front door at 8 everyday will not make you doubt that “life was well within it’s usual frame” like she said.

The most interesting part of the song is being specific. She didn’t only pick food on her way back home, she picked Chinese food. She watched Dallas and read a book for Marilyn French. Those titles added some excitement and lessened the dryness of the habitual day.

“And at the time I never even noticed I was blue” she said. This one line makes you realize that everything seemed fine to her back then.  She only discovered how lifeless her life was, after she met him. And that realization is what formed a line between The Day Before You Came and what came after.

A beautiful song that will always be one of my favourites.. Abba – The Day Before You Came..

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Book review: Say You’re One of Them

My love to African kids attracted me to this book at first. Beside the fact that it’s a good book, i believe that i got attached to the stories in it because of how much i adore and feel bad for those kids and what they have to go through everyday.

Say You’re One of Them by Uwmen Akpan was published in 2008 and it was Oprah’s Book Club 2009 selection. It consists of five short stories, each story takes place in a different African country and takes you in a journey to witness life in Africa through the eyes of a child.

My favourite story was Fattening for Gabon (Benin). I got intrigued and i couldn’t stop wondering what will happen next to the kids. It was very heartbreaking, just like the other four stories. But the one that really gave me a heartache was My Parents’ Bedroom (Rwanda). After reading it, my dream of adopting an African kid felt more like a duty or something that i have to do. The only story that i felt a bit bored while reading was Luxurious Hearses (Nigeria). It took place in a bus and it was the longest story in the book. I felt like i was suffocating at some point.

What i loved the most about this book is that although it speaks about African countries that we barely know anything about, i still related a lot to the stories. The religious and cultural conflicts between people of the same country is everywhere. And just when i thought that things where i live can’t get any worse, i discovered that it’s much worse in other parts of the world.

The stories in this book create a beautiful mixture of different issues: Poverty, religion, child abuse, politics, etc. I’d love to see it on the screen someday.

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