Too ninja for Nigerian catfishing… what?

I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone that’s ever had an email address, ever, has at least at one time received an email from charming Nigerian Prince asking for marriage, money, or some other scam. I had always laughed about it, but never really made any sense to me. Like how do people actually send them money, or don’t they suspect, or what kind of ratchet street smarts do these people not have?

Anyways, how does this connect to me? Well since I lived in China, I’ve been connected on Chinese social media accounts that I check up on here and there. I sometimes get messages from people and I ignore it, but recently I’ve gotten a slew of really attractive guys chatting me up.

Cue to alarm bells ringing, red flags waving, and self doubts flying around like vultures in heat. While in China, I would get tons of people contacting me for no other reason that they want a foreign or white friend. Smooth. But never in my entire life have I been outwardly contacted or pursued by someone attractive.

Cause I, Cause do it better 😛

A post shared by Edson Santos (@edsonnsantos) on

So naturally, as you can probably imagine, receiving a photo like this is both surprising and raises suspicions right from the get go; like look at him, right?! Anyways, he’s chatting me up and I’m keeping it pretty vague and whatever, and then he’s like “Hey let’s move to Google Hangouts” and my immediate reaction is like, I haven’t used that in years but sure yeah whatever.

Then the ratchet mess starts asking me for photos, and I think. Hell to the no, I’m not born yesterday. I already suspected I was being catfished, so naturally I used my internet street smarts to say: I ain’t sending any photos until we video chat and I can see who you are. Seconds later, Video Call incoming. I tilted my phone upwards, and the video came in, pixelated and dark. I saw some faint lights in the background but then they disappeared.

“Where are you, where is your face?” blah blah blah. And then this person says “Oh sorry my webcam doesn’t work” and my immediate reaction was like who the hell uses a webcam anymore? Don’t we all just use our phones? Red flag again. I knew for a fact that the video worked because I saw light movements and if it didn’t work then it would have been all black or the profile picture shows. Luckily for me I didn’t display myself on video.

So flash forward 4 more call attempts and me keeping to deny it; I’m playing hard ball. So few days later this person is still hitting me up and whatever, and I’m out for some drinks with some friends. I tell them that I’m being chatted up by this person, show them a picture, and they are like wow. I say, I ain’t fooling I’m being catfished. So we drunkenly devise a plan to catch this catfisher. I reluctantly give my phone to a friend Alex and she proceeds to start a conversation, initiate some video calls. She’s talking to this guy, he’s not saying anything, and then the call drops. Here’s how the conversation proceeded:

We are laughing at this point, and as the 22:31 call starts, sure enough we find a Nigerian Prince on the screen and the jig is up. The girls tease a little bit, and I’m a bit irritated that I was correct. A sliver of hope existed that maybe this is real and there was some really hot guy into me, but alas it was not to be.

We wrapped up that mess for awhile, and then I went home. I felt invigorated to press this guy on why he’s catfishing and what the fuck basically. I’m able to find the original Instagram account of the guy he’s taken photos of, and then I screenshot some photos and DM the original guy to let him know his photos are being used. He laughs and thanks me, and I go back on my way doing a good thing.

But I’m getting this sap story from a guy in Lagos about how he poses to be hot gay guys in order to get money so he can get educated. I lecture him about if he’s got an internet connection he can educate himself instead of pretending to be other people. And he feels guilty; in other words I’m scamming a scammer.

According to what he’s saying, he feels really bad about what he’s done, discloses all the social media counts of his actual identity (pretty dumb eh?) and then tells me that he lives in a house of 5 other guys that are all scammers. They manage to get $5’000 from some people and this is what they use to support their families. It’s hilarious, but then I realise it’s really sad. Sad that these people have to go to such desperate lengths to scam people. Sure their living conditions are pretty bad, but from what Is saw, they were doing pretty well for themselves.

Thinking back, of course I got the scammer that revealed himself to me, the true empath inside gave me the power to set his spirit free. What’s the message of this storytime? Don’t get catfished and don’t send your photos online to strangers; you never know who could be behind that picture!

Breaking the Tinder Algorithm

The struggle is real; real like the extremely intense hunger for cake of a cake lover

It was unknown to me up until about five minutes ago that there actually is a Tinder Algorithm, or at least to online reports it seems to be legit. There is ELO scores and positive and negative affecters, and even a noob value. Up until that moment I just was making a joke when I said that I broke Tinder, but what do I mean?

Well, despite not being the most polished glass in the cabinet, so to speak, I figured I’d dabble in meeting some people and much as expected it has been a tragic tale. Firstly, in Sweden seemingly nobody actually replies to you when you get matched. It’s bizarre, and seemingly pointless.

Secondly, after a certain point you start to wonder if these people actually exist. Are these fake profiles of people that are being casual flirters, or are they legit human beings (sometimes you have to wonder…)

And thirdly, when you spend four months and get no more than 5 matches, you start to wonder about stuff. Am I too this, or too that, not enough this or not enough that, or simply undesirable? No matter, more fish in the sea, or so I’m told is the case.

It was all hunky dory until one moment that rocked the experience. I noticed in a profile that someone said they were looking for “the girl of their dreams” and I full stopped. The immediate thought that came to my mind is that this guy is heterosexual and why then is he showing up for me to swipe?

Then it extended into more thoughts and I wondered how many of the people that I swiped over the last 4 months were actually heterosexual as well? Given what I know about how things are here, I wouldn’t be surprised.

And that’s how I broke Tinder and its algorithm, and I think it now thinks that I’m a female. This might explain no matches in 3 months.

2017 Year in Review

 

Greetings friends, family, strangers, or the curious. I haven’t done a year in review since 2013 and I figured maybe it’s a good idea for anyone who has no idea what I’ve been up to.

(more…)

When you give your voice

This Christmas season I have decided to do something a bit different and out of the ordinary. I haven’t really had many Christmas plans over the last few years. I’ve been living abroad for the better part of the last 6 years, and that can often times be a very lonely feeling.

I haven’t been so successful with my social life since moving to Sweden, and as the days counted down closer to the Christmas holiday, I was left wondering what I should do. Faced with the options of being home alone, I decided that it wasn’t a good idea for me. And so I decided to give.

The only thing, apart from my usual donations during the holiday season, that I could think to donate is my time and my voice. Thus I committed to volunteering to sing for my choir’s Christmas events. This involved an afternoon mass, a midnight mass, and then Christmas Day mass. It was a lot of a singing, and a lot of time. I even had to stay in a hotel from the 24th to the 25th since trains didn’t run with enough time for me to go back and forth to home.

I guess it’s good to provide to others and help others enjoy or celebrate an important event, but I couldn’t help feeling very selfish and lonely during the time. I basically didn’t interact with anyone, did my singing, and then went back to my hotel after a bit of a long walk.

I felt like it was important for me to give, because otherwise I would be doing nothing. But I was faced with a strange situation: first of all I’m not really all that religious and the amount of times I sing in a choir in the last year greatly outweighs the amounts of times that I’ve actually been to a church in my entire life. But what is so striking is when the head priest at the cathedral where I sing, said to me “Weren’t you here all day yesterday too?” and my response was “Yes” she looked at me with a bit of a perplexed look on her face, as if to suggest that I should be somewhere else.

I’m not sure if it was thanks, confusion, or pity but it was certainly something and it made me think. In any event, I’m happy that I did something and being a stranger among strangers is a very strange experience. But thank you to Västerås Domkyrka for allowing me to be apart of its community and to donate my time towards a greater cause.

In summary, it certainly is a theme to my life of late; but the question remains “Where should I be?”

I met a celebrity, Oscar Zia

Despite the fact that my friends don’t appreciate this fact, or particularly know who the celebrity is, I’m still proud to announce that I met a celebrity.

I was on a party cruise, Viking Line’s Cinderella to Mariehamn, and to my surprise a musical artist and dancer that I’ve seen on TV and Melodifestivalen was the featured artist. I naturally got excited at this surprise and I of course made a point to be there before, during and after the performance.

His name is Oscar Zia and he is well known in Sweden, but not by foreigners. He sang with a neat cover band, and after his performance he appeared on the dance floor with a few friends.

My colleague and friend Elin saw this, and based upon the fact that I earlier said that he’s so cute, thought it was incumbent upon her to insist that I kiss him. Of course that was a crazy idea, being a stranger and all, and more importantly a celebrity (knowing how much crazy attention celebrities sometimes get). I rejected her idea. She persisted.

The next thing I knew, she grabbed me by the arm. Suddenly I realised that she also grabbed his arm and turned him around and then suddenly pushed us both together. Face-to-face with a twenty-year old extremely attractive celebrity, I stood completely still and in the balance held the pregnant awkwardness. I said hello, and she screamed for us to take a photo.

To give you a sense of how hot this guy is, here is a photo.

Vilka är ”alla andra artister” som ska gå på denna toalett???

A post shared by oscarzia (@oscarzia) on

And so we took a photo of us together, and I said thank you and moved on, embarrassed and shocked. Elin persisted and still thought I should kiss him, I laughed at her and said that she’s crazy.

And for the next 45 minutes or so (at least it felt like a long time), Oscar and his posse danced basically right next to me and the girls. My crazy dance moves seemed not to deter him or his group, and I was having difficulty believing that I was so close.

Elin persisted and kept telling me that I was sneaking peeks, and admittedly I did. I mean the guy is a 10, and I felt embarrassed. She seemed to be convinced that he was looking back, but I’m skeptical. Crazy dancing continued, and honestly I was most surprised that he didn’t run away like most people do when I’m dancing around them.

You may think, “What the hell is with this guy” or “What’s wrong with him”? Nothing, I just dance really expressively like it’s my last opportunity. It’s a bit intense, I suppose, much like me.

And so, upon reflecting on the evening who know’s what happened, or is going to happen. Maybe he was flirting with me and I didn’t realise it, maybe he thinks I’m a creepy fan (but I don’t think fan is the right word), maybe he thought I was flirting with him without me knowing, so many questions and only time will tell.

Or maybe it won’t…

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