Settling in a new country: Food, Toiletries and Infrastructure

I moved back to Nigeria in July, and I have not been miserable yet. There have been a few frustrations, but for the most part, I’m okay. I suppose that’s a good thing, and I have to credit the positive changes that occurred in Nigeria during my absence AND my good fortune.

Food: When I lived in Nigeria some years ago, I think I used to eat bread for breakfast. Now, I’m older and try to eat healthier, and white bread makes me almost-nauseous. My new breakfast preference is granola, but apparently you can only find granola bars here, not the cereal version. You can find muesli, though (but ewww). I considered – and even attempted – making my own granola but can’t find maple syrup, honey is too sweet for me and I need a better oven. So, for now, I subsist on Kellogg’s Fruit n’ Fiber. It’s fine.
I’ve also been experimenting with all sorts of Nigerian food recipes, and none has gone wrong yet (except my burned granola, of course), so yay! I snack on yoghurt with fruit chunks, like when I lived in Finland – which makes me miss it more, by the way – and groundnuts (Virtues and Vision). Many times, I find cider (Savanna Dry or Stella Artois) when I go to the store, but when I don’t, I have to make do with beer (Heineken). I tried that thing called Star Radler recently, and, no. Just, no. Unfortunate that there isn’t a great wine store that I know of, but I’ll be happiest when I find one!

Toiletries: I’m detailing all this because I remember writing about how, when I move to a new city or country, my default-meter resets and I have to choose my default food combos, toiletries, etc afresh. I still have some cosmetic stuff left over, but I now use black soap (Dudu Osun) to shower. It’s fine because it’s supposedly all-natural, but it doesn’t leave my skin feeling silky smooth like my old default shower gel. Will try other things. Body lotion is the hardest thing to choose, and I currently use a Nivea lotion that claims to give you even skin tone (but we all know this doesn’t happen, at least not with Nivea). I miss my Sanex range. And I use sunscreen when I remember.
Roll-on was not difficult at all to choose, and if there’s one thing I missed about living in Nigeria, it was my easy access to Old Spice. Glad to say I’m back to using that.
One of the things that makes me want to tear my hair out is panty liners. I mean, you try some stuff before you settle on a variant that makes you happy, but in my trials (abroad), none has ever been as appallingly horrible as the box I bought last week. Goodness.

Infrastructure: The one thing that has improved in Nigeria is electricity. It’s almost-nearly constant, and even when it’s not, I have access to an inverter and a generator, both of which ensure that the fan and router never go off. Yay.
Internet access is 24/7, and it’s super fast, but there’s a data cap. That said, I think there’s something wrong with the way my internet juice runs out every month. With all my streaming in Europe, I doubt that I ever went beyond 20Gb/month, but now, I blink and 50Gb is gone. I don’t stream movies any more, so how on earth? Also, internet access is ridiculously expensive – I pay ~€180 for 50Gb – and sometimes, it gets spotty or even non-existent, supposedly because of some base station problem, then I have to call customer service but it’s almost-okay because calling my ISP is toll-free.
I can do pretty much all transactions without having to leave my house or touch cash now, and that’s very nice because I don’t like going anywhere or touching cash. Except when I try to make a payment and it doesn’t go through but the money leaves my account anyway, and then I have to go to the bank. FFS.
Spotify works for me here, as long as I use it in the browser – or rather, it was working and now it doesn’t work anymore. I currently own an Apple device though, so I can switch to Apple Music; and I think I’d be willing to pay the required €4.99/month when my trial runs out, but let’s see how that goes. Finally, I think Uber is one of the top 5 best things to happen to Lagos, Nigeria. I hope they branch out to Abuja and PH soon.

All in all, apart from the tiny frustrations which can add up to become really annoying and rob me of my peace of mind, I think I’m okay.

Happy end-of-September, good luck with next month!

À tout!


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