I was born and bred in Nigeria so if there’s anyone who feels the most at home in Nigeria, it’s me. However, I noticed, anytime I am away, whether for a short time or long time, there are a lot of changes and so much need for adjustments in little things. We are gearing up for the festive period. This is basically when people, home and abroad come for the Christmas razzmataz. So just before you start coming here and be forming ‘girl from Am-rika‘, here are the thriving realities of Naija. Buckle up, it’s gonna be a long ride.
- “The Buhari-Economy“: If I had a dollar for everytime I heard this phrase, I’d be taking Oprah on a shopping spree. Honestly, I’ve heard this phrase so much that I’m now using it. Why?…..because the economy is really hard. I don’t know how people have been coping o! For those thinking your dollar has weight, come and buy stuff and see how much you can take home. The inflation is real. You don’t even know where the money’s going. Everytime I make a trip to the market, there’s this song that was always featured on TV in the 80s/90s, that keeps playing in my head. Talking about how cost of living is rising high and I keep wondering whether that man is alive to see Nigeria today. This Christmas, abeg migrate to beans. Na who rice epp?
- The extinction of “Gbogbo Big girls’ taxi trips: I got into an interesting conversation with a cab man. He said he’s restrategizing his pick up system from ‘a-drop’ to ‘one-chance’ transport because people are getting wiser not to spend so much on ‘a-drop’. Just so you are wondering what that is. ‘A-drop’ is like your uber ride. It might not be as sophisticated in terms of protocol and policies but it pretty works for us here. ‘One chance’, is like car pooling but with total strangers. Now I Used to be an ‘a-drop’ addict. My contacts always had a lot of “Taxi John…Taxi George…” because then it was affordable but now, it is too expensive having a cab guy take you around specially. It’s best you have your car, fuel it, hit the road and pray no Road Safety Official use you for Christmas….cos somehow, they just want to find faults in your car or driving. Asides that, you are good. If you don’t have a car, you could use public transport on convenient routes and take special taxis on complex ones or if you are pressed for time. But if you are up for ‘a-drop’ everywhere you go, I feel that’s just a sad way to lose money in this buhari-Economy. Hahhh! I said it again.
- WiFi is not your sister, neither is she your cousin: Don’t come here whinning about internet. Just do the needful and pay for a robust internet package that would serve you the way or almost the way your WiFi serves you. So, factor “internet money” into your budget.
- You don’t greet, you burn!!: At least that’s how I have it interpreted in my head. My parents did this to me growing up, now they are doing it to my kids. Any one that passes by, even at some distance, my toddler is forced to say “Good morning”. If she just doesn’t feel like it, the next thing is “So you cannot greet?”. No, she can greet but at the moment, this sleepy toddler doesn’t feel like it. Aaaand there goes the elders of the house blaming you for ‘spoiling’ your 2 year old. Greeting don turn Government work. So get ready for the constant judging on how you do things especially with kids.
- “All ye highlighters and contourers…”: I always see pictures on social media showing flawless makeup. Well, I’ve not seen any in person since I came. It’s either the Buhari- Economy(Hahh! I said it again) on make up prices or it’s the weather. Plus when rushing out and there is no power, the way you would perspire, even face primer can’t hold down that sweat. lol.
- Power Holding!: The last time I checked the founder of PHCN wasn’t your cousin so just factor in ‘fuel money for generator’ weh weh. Enough said.
- Tis’ the season of gladness, rejoicing and conjuctivitis: Yes dear! Yours truly caught it. Why “apollo” chooses the Christmas period to go viral, I don’t know. A period where you’d be reuniting with families and looking fly, you start telling people how you caught a virus. Even worse, the burn of an electric ant a.k.a ”pah-pah” is on the rise. The virus that causes conjuctivitis is in the air, and as much as I tried limiting contact with those who had it, it struck my daughter and then struck me. Ahhh, the discomfort and pain will never be forgotten. Matter of fact, the image of this post has a bit of my pink eye still showing.
- There is a way of doing things and there is a Naija way of doing things: How could I have forgotten that? I could be so prim and proper when it comes to procedures and protocols but Naija ain’t gat time for that. I was reminded so, when I followed medication procedures on my eye. Oh dear, I told people who asked what medication I was on but they all had their various medic suggestions which apparently was working but I wasn’t ready to take that risk. How can I also forget the self-medication mentality here by most people. I don laugh tire! “He is coughing like that? Give him worm medicine na” “There’s a way his eye is twitching, It’s malaria!” ?What da’ F..anta! Infact, don’t judge these people suggesting this, it would shock you they have a fairly good explanation for their suggestion. Please always seek professional advice before taking medication.
- Weight loss Goals fading away: After anticipating and thinking about how you’d lose or At least maintain your current weight, the gods of the land don’t share same goals with you. My dear, did you just see that smoldering plate of Bole and fish?…Then that canary-yellow African salad never looked sooo good. How about that plate of Afang soup that has that dinstinct Efik taste? Far different from whatever that you were cooking abroad and calling ‘afang soup’. Still clinging to the weightloss goals? Are you stupid????
So now do you still want to come for ‘Krismos’? Please come oh! We need to hear you speak your best american with british accent and block our ears with “In the UK/US, we don’t….”. ??So to those visiting, these cut it for me on trying to figure out ways to adjust. Different people, different challenges but I think these are pretty general issues. Remember, be prudent and live below or within your means as you visit or relocate. This ain’t the time to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and be buying asoebi of 60k, cos in this buhari – economy, even the ‘Joneses’ are broke. Besides, all fingers are not what?…..y’equal!
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