They say you can tell a Nigerian from a crowd. Well, I don’t know how. Probably for our loud behaviour and fashion sense. I call it, ‘ The show yourself syndrome’. lol. I really don’t know how people can spot a Nigerian. Airports are one of my favorite places to feed the eyes. I do some things to while away time at international airports and one of such activities is spotting a Nigerian amongst other Africans. I think the average Nigerian looks well-fed, has mocha-brown skin and has a decent to over the top dress style. Other nationalities seem a bit laidback, slender, with relatively darker skin or fairer skin, more natural looking, cute and sometimes with curly hair. Anyway I keep finding out my yardstick for spotting one is wrong because anytime I see ‘one’ from afar, they give me this “u b my naija sista” smile and I smile back. Then they open their mouth and the next thing I hear is “S’il vous plait, vous savez…xxthsdvsjjsb”. Huh! All my Naija solidarity black panther-ish hailing went to another African. lol. So I gave up spotting one. However one thing I know about Nigerians, is that we have trust issues. I was just reminiscing all my “truly Naija” moments, I exhibited here in KSA. If you are my Facebook friend, I’ve once narrated one of these stories on my page.
- Look what the cat dragged
inout: For some reasons unknown, there are a lot of stray cats in KSA. Some of them just sit at your doorpost and meouw. My neighbours of other nationalities are like “awww, kitty kitty”, they stroke their head and they serve them food and I’m like…One day, I opened my door and saw this cat by surprise. I banged the hell out of my door shouting “Jisos! Jisos!”. Looking for broom to throw at it. Poor cat! He should have known better not to sit on a Naija woman’s porch. The cat ran for his life. Would you blame him? I found out that another neighbour of ours who’s Nigerian, reacted the same way I did.?. We gat no chill mehhnn! We don’t trust that cat. It’s a ‘winsh‘.
- My ATM…what?: About to go grocery shopping and needed to use the ATM but this particular machine was in arabic. The cab guy (a good elderly muslim) that transports me around when hubby is busy, asked for the atm pin so he can help me punch it in arabic. Say what now? I took some seconds and a deep breath, channeled in my little Arabic knowledge and risked punching wrong keys to get my money out. Where in Nigeria, do you tell a third party your ATM pin number? The man looked at me in disbelief, I smiled back. That smile wasn’t a courteous one. It was a smile just trying to cover up my fear, knowing he saw me punching in those numbers. And yes, I counted my money from the ATM, I also don’t trust the machine.?
- “Anything for the boys?” gone wrong: On one of my grocery shopping trips, the attendant saw I had a full cart and my daughter. So he helped push it to the parking lot and unloaded the cart into the car. I was so thankful, I decided to “push” money into his hands. The guy had this surprised look and refused to take it. I looked and felt so stupid. Well, I dreaded the Naija “anything for your boys?” request so I went ahead of this situation to give him a tip without his boss knowing. Gush, I still feel stupid thinking about it. He won’t understand. In Naija we don’t trust that people do things for free.
- Everyone is a suspect: I went to a convenience store near a hotel we stayed in. After getting stuff, the shop attendant carried the bag, seeing my hands were full with the kids. On reaching the hotel, he asked for the room number so he can go ahead and drop it at the door. I didn’t tell him. I told him to drop it at the lobby that my hubby would come and assist me. But being too kind he insisted to take it to my room door. So I, ‘being kind’, let him carry them, I pressed the lift button to the 2nd floor and as we got off, I told him to leave the bag there. Ain’t nobody gat time for that? I was very appreciative, I told him thanks over and over again but Room number? Hian! As he left, I carried the bags myself. And oh no, that wasn’t the right floor….on purpose. I got back on the lift to my own floor.?. We always feel people are after us. The Poor guy was only helping. Didn’t you hear me well? I said I’m Naija!
Like I always say, the residents and citizens of KSA are genuinely good and amazing people but as a Nigerian, I just keep my guard up. Probably, it will take me 10 Mountain of Fire sessions and a pilgrimage to wash that blood out. Am I the only ‘diasporan’ who thinks like this?
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