This article was written on my Blogger blog, but since I have ported to WordPress I thought to also import the post! The original date was September 13, 2016.
I returned to Nigeria in November 2015 and I have to say it was one of the saddest, most painful things I’ve ever done. I was leaving all I’d known behind, my very close friends who I’d hung out with practically almost everyday for the past 5 years! I was returning back to my country, and though there were a lot of tears shed the situation did not change and I knew I would have to accept my fate. I had so many questions on my mind: how would I survive? How would I accustom myself to the crowded environment once again? Which university was I going to?
When I thought of Nigeria, I thought about the crazy hustle and bustle in the streets. I thought about noise, hawkers, yellow buses with loud conductors, and of course non interrupted access to all the delicacies missed while in Australia.
Fastforward to now, September 2016 and honestly this year has been crazy!
I’ve been in a state of shock since enveloped in pure humidity after stepping off the plane into Murtala Muhammed Airport. In December 2016 I travelled from Lagos to Umuahia, Umuahia to Port Harcourt and then Port Harcourt to Abuja, where I currently am now. Listed below are things that have shocked me and things that I love about coming back!
Food has always been and always be close to my heart. The thing I love about being in Nigeria is that all the types of Nigerian food are very accessible and are in practically every market. Be it ready made food or the ingredients to make the food, its all here! Instead of paying $10 for a measly bag of garri you can get a huge amount for that same price. Food is good, food is great! I’ve made Jollof rice so many times it’s great, and even made Banga Soup.
Honestly the most interesting part of my mundane existence in Abuja! I go to RCCG and my church is honestly the best. My pastor is a great person and the church as a whole is awesome. I have tried to go to Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday services and all the others but not really been consistent. Nigerian churches IN Nigeria are honestly so lively and full of colour! I remember my first Thanksgiving Sunday. I looked so basic while everyone was decked out in the most amazing attire. Church is seriously awesome, and then the church has a youth group which alleviates my boredom. I still have no friends though..
Getting Hit On
Oh lord! I have so many weird stories! Let me just say first of all that I am in NO WAY an extrovert, only when I get comfortable with people in a group setting. When I’m alone, I’m completely silent! So anyway now you know I’m an introvert, you should also know I never really thought myself to be attractive. I just saw myself as an awkward, long legged thing with pimples all over, lips too big and a cursed right side of my face. So you can imagine my shock when I started getting guys approaching me! Then again, it wasn’t anyone close my age (18) which was extra creepy! I have 3 creepy/funny experiences:
- A guy followed me around the market when I was minding my business trying to get ingredients for Banga Soup. He first talked to me like he knew me and I looked at him weird so he was like “oh, sorry, I thought you were someone I knew.” That was fine with me, but then he came back! He introduced himself and asked for my name then said I should wait a bit for him to get something so we could talk. Obviously I fled, but he found me again! He told me things like his occupation and then kept asking for my phone number. I reluctantly gave him my number and BAILED. That was scary but entertaining somewhat. He hasn’t ever contacted me, so thank God I guess lol
- I was leaving my sewing class (more on that later) and then a car rolled up next to me and honked and me being the awkward chicken I am ran back inside my sewing class (a building). A guy came out of the car while I was peeking to see if the coast was clear and he was like “I found youuuuu” which made me die inside. What kind of life is this lmao
- I jejely went to do some academic stuff at a nearby internet cafe (since they have scanners) and then one guy there started asking for my number. I was like no and I escaped (quick walked) immediately.. or so I thought. Turns out what I wanted to scan didn’t really appear on my nonsense corrupt USB so I made my shameful return to the cafe. The guy asked for my number again and I smiled and walked away (quickly again). You can imagine my shock when this guy texted me at like midnight! I went to scan an application form for a university and he got my number off there! What followed was several months of him being like “can i see you pls” and me being like “nah”. In the end I blocked his number. It’s savage but I’m trying to save myself from getting into trouble with the person who owns the house I stay in. I just hope I don’t end up running into him again lol because that would be awkward trying to explain why I suddenly went M.I.A.
It’s not like I’m trying to brag or anything, these situations were quite overwhelming for me when I was in them. Looking back, I can laugh and share the stories. I’m not a mean person, I’m just very shy..
Nigerian Customer Service
I went to a bank for the first time not too long ago and I have to say, people can be so rude! Like its bad enough that you’re new to the whole process without adding a frustrated looking, rude person to the mix. Maybe I did something to make them mad but still, they should try to attend to people better. Some of them will be looking like you just spat on them when you’re just trying to get some help! I feel like a lot of businesses need basic training on customer service and being approachable to customers.
Markets are a pro and a shock! Pros of markets are that they’re so huge and have such variety, and there are no fixed prices unless you get a hard hearted salesman/woman. The pricing thing is a shock for me, not because I didn’t know you could price prior to coming back but because I don’t know how to price. I’m still trying to get the hang of things when it comes to pricing. A thing I dislike about the markets is the fact I have no money, but thats another story for another day! With markets also come Ankara, and Ankara is honestly the best. I’ve really used Ankara this year, and It’s been mostly great (that will be in a separate post).
So there you have it, that so far is what I’ve gone through. I’ve gone through a whole lot more but these ones stand out the most. I wonder what university is going to be like considering I’ve experienced all these things without having friends or going out much!