Settling In

I think I’ve settled into life in Kano, but haven’t fully adjusted yet. I go to work in a (company) carpool, so I don’t have to use the keke napeps and be sweaty when I get to the office, and I come back the same way. I’m friends with a couple of expats (one of whom left this past weekend, and that’s sad because he is a fun person, but the silver lining is he’ll send me Shito very soon so yay) and I’ve taken to hanging out at their house whenever I’m not at mine because theirs has basic amenities (such as a dispenser, a couch and dining table, etc) which mine doesn’t have, and they feed me very often so I don’t have to cook.

We (some 3 expats, 2 Nigerians, and I) have gone on a couple of ‘adventurous’ trips to places in Kano. The first was a place called Tiga lake, which is where Kano State has constructed a dam. There’s a hotel on the premises but it’s closed for renovation – and what this means is that there’s currently no place to buy food around. There’s also a lot of cow/horse shit around. Anyway, we got on a speedboat and went around the lake, found a nice, small, picture-friendly rocky island. Then we went ‘hiking’ to the top of the rocky plateau surrounding the lake, took some more pictures and rowed back to ‘shore’. If this was a more sensible country, Tiga Lake would look nice and be made a bit more attractive to tourists, but here we are. It was fun though, and we bought cheap foodstuff (onions, watermelons, etc) on the way back.

The next weekend, we went to a place called Minjibir Resort, which is quite developed (by a private citizen of course) and colorful. There are rooms to sleep (no unmarried couples can be admitted though, and proof of marriage has to be a certificate, not just the ring on your fingers), play areas for children, fancy vintage trains and cars that you can actually ride in, a golf course, a track, bicycles, animals (ostriches, tortoises, parrots, rabbits, ducks, geese), swimming pool (one for men and children to swim in for free; another for women, but that one has to be paid for. It will be aeons before gender equality becomes a thing here, I think). More importantly, they have FOOD. The food options were either fried rice + chicken or chicken + chips, so we ordered and had to wait a long time (they were peeling and cutting the potatoes by hand), but it was delicious when it arrived and did not make me sick, so yay. After eating, we took more pictures and went to ride bikes. The bikes looked good from afar, but upon closer inspection, we found that many of them had flat tires, seats were useless, etc. This poor maintenance culture thing, sigh. They fixed the bikes though, and we rode around the golf course, twice. My thighs were burning the next day 😦

Nigerians can be hellish to live with. [Aside: When I first moved in, there was some excitement about finally having a girl in the flat, because girls are supposed to cook and this girl will cook for them. LOL. I don’t cook often and when I do, I like to share (sometimes), but you opening your mouth to inform me of your expectations only means that when I do cook, I shan’t offer you any.] So, we have stewards who come everyday (including Saturdays, excluding public holidays) to clean up our rooms and the kitchen. They can do your laundry too, for a small fee. I grew up having housekeepers around the house, but we (children) were also made to clean up after ourselves, so forgive me for thinking that’s how everyone else was raised. My flatmates will warm soup and palm oil from the soup will spill and cover the base of the microwave, and they’ll leave it like that and go their merry way. No consideration for whoever might need to use the microwave after them. When I need to use it (because perhaps I need to warm a croissant* and I don’t care to marinate it in ogbono-flavored palm oil before eating it) and I grumble and clean it, you hear comments like “you’re doing the work of the cleaners”. Excuse me, but if you think cleaning up after yourself and being considerate of others is the work of stewards, you’re a fucking idiot. Oh and, I don’t mind people using my stuff, but please clean it up and return it immediately after use because I might want to use it too. It’s part of being considerate, and that’s what I do on the rare occasion that I use people’s stuff. My flatmates and their visitors don’t seem to have gotten this memo though. I’d want to use my tumbler (I have just one) and it’s either missing or dirty. My fork is missing, and it’s just a fork, but this is annoying. I try to ignore these things and not say anything so that I’m not a pain in the ass, but I also feel like I grew up with one set of rules and these people grew up with another and now I don’t know how to adjust. Sigh. I have my own bathroom though, THANK GOD FOR THAT!



*The store near my house makes the best croissants, seriously! I need to buy their baker a drink. They’re are so expensive though, at N400 per croissant 😦


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