Nigeria

Nigeria

I’ve been in Nigeria for the past couple of weeks, and I couldn’t help playing the role of an observer, seeing as I haven’t been here in 2 years. Of course, the first thing that hits you is the heat. Then the hustlers, “aunty do you need to make a call?” (I did), the banter/negotiation (“how much will you charge me, per minute?” “just call, and afterwards, you can ‘appreciate’ me in any currency”. *whet?*), the realization that a lot of your countrymen drive as if they are bereft of their senses (lots of times the boyfriend muttered “you’ll soon tell me whether it’s your daddy that owns this road”, when a road user was being silly). You also notice the improvements. Much faster internet speeds than you were accustomed to before you left, but of course, expensive (if you’re in Nigeria long-term and you’re on a budget, get a blackberry), more constant power (maybe it’s because of the festive season, but power in my parents’ house has been constant – 23.75 hours/day – since I got back. I could live with that), zebra crossings (people say they’ve always been there, at least in Lagos, so maybe this is a testament to my own ignorance). So that’s it. My friends have been so incredibly kind to me on this trip – from the one who woke up at 5:50 am to pick me from the international wing and take me to the local wing to catch my next flight (it’s quite a distance, which should ideally be serviced by airport shuttles, but hey, I landed at 5:14 am), to the one who met me at that local wing, bought me breakfast and kept me company till I checked in. There’s the boyfriend who dyed my hair (which was getting quite brown and not looking good), took care of me for 1 week and made sure I lacked nothing – power, good food, etc, then there’s the friend in Lagos who bought me a carton of bottled water, “because I don’t want you to drink sachet water and get diarrhoea”, when I went to stay in her house. There’s the one who got back from Canada, after being away like me for 2 years, and bought me a book because she heard I wanted to start some sort of business. {Speaking of which, before that, before I left NL, there was the darling friend who heard I wanted to start a business and sent me 2 not-cheap books, one of which is heavy enough to be used as a doorstop, but thankfully not useless at all. I won’t forget that, especially because I got home to meet those books after I had just received rubbish news.} There are of course, my parents, in whose living room I’m currently sitting, who want me to eat all the food. They bought me a protein shake “because you’re way too thin” (I am. I see my ribs when I look in the mirror these days). They go out of their way to make sure I’m comfy and making the right life choices. So, to all of you, whether or not you’re reading this, (I have probably said this to you in person already but) thank you. A lot. You’re more loved and appreciated than I let on. Moving on, the weather in my parents’ city has been interesting. It’s harmattan, which is really not *that* cold, but these days I find myself having to wear thermals, of all things, to bed. Well then.

Christmas

My Christmas this year was very meh. Like, I did not sing a single carol, did not feel psyched about any single thing. There were (and still are) just fireworks scaring my dog (who is quite big and barks something fierce and scares everyone, but is scared of fireworks and acts like a peasant when she’s hungry. Smh.) I hear it was snowing in NL though, so they had a white christmas which I’m sad I missed, mainly because it was a WHITE CHRISTMAS. Oh well. There was food and cake, drinks and cousins, and I amused them with my instant camera. At some point, on the 26th, I turned on the radio to listen to some carols (because, the last time I checked, carols are played quite often around this period), and what did I hear? “Because you know I’m all about that bass, ‘bout that bass, no treble…”-_-
I still want to go on an adventure in this country, before I leave. An adventure for me could be a road trip to some town, or a train trip to a town (those aren’t common in Nigeria so it counts as an adventure), or an excursion to somewhere like the Fela Shrine (I’m curious. I’m also curious about theatre in Lagos, and that thing called ‘afropolitan vibes’).

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I should be back tomorrow or next to do a review of my year but just in case I don’t, here’s to everyone who made my 2014 any good. Thank you. And to the ones we lost along the way, you’re missed.

Happy Holidays!!!

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