Related – Nigeria So Far
As I said in this post, I came back to Nigeria in 2015, after staying in Australia since 2009. I was born in Nigeria, so it’s not like I was never used to Nigeria before. Coming back was one of the saddest moments I have ever experienced, but now its 2017 and I survived! It’s not like Nigeria is such a horrible place, but when I stepped into that plane I was weighed down with uncertainties and a million-and-one questions.
In reminiscing, I just had to do a post on what I miss about Perth, Western Australia. I still get to experience It a bit through the lens of my friends, when they post on Snap Chat. I know I’ll definitely go back to visit someday soon.
Here is what I miss:
- Constant Electricity
In Nigeria, you have constant electricity if you can afford it. Basically, if NEPA (the main electricity providers) ‘take’ the light, then you back it up with generators or solar panels, or a combination of both. Of course, these cost money. Solar panels are expensive, and also expensive to maintain. Generators are what I would say are the most utilized ‘Plan B’ in Nigeria. They need fuel to run, and of course, fuel isn’t cheap! So either way, money must be spent!
Of course, in Australia there are electricity bills. At least, you are getting what you pay for! Unlike some people who pay NEPA bills and still have no constant electricity. It’s just a really annoying situation. I always wonder how could this problem be so persistent? How could this problem have existed for so long? Anybody who knows the nitty-gritty about the NEPA situation in Nigeria (and can explain in layman terms), holla at me!
- Good Sammy’s
Did I ever tell you I love thrift shopping? Oh yeah, I did here. Doesn’t matter! I will always say it! I especially LOVED thrift shopping in Perth. My favourite store in the whole world will always be Good Sammy’s. Good Sammy’s was a big thrifting company which had huge stores that sold everything you could think of! Another awesome thing was that their employees were mostly disabled or elderly people. It was such a cool concept.
Good Sammy’s didn’t just have clothes, they had furniture, cutlery, home décor, art, books, shoes, toys – you name it! And everything was so CHEAP! I feel pangs of hurt whenever I think of the store, and I would go back to Australia just to shop there for a day again! I got so many good pieces.
It was also my meditation place. I can’t explain the amount of calm I felt whenever I went through their endless racks. Even with the oh-so-low prices, they still had sales! If you have an eye for the thrift, you’d cop completely new clothing, which were probably out of season at the big brand stores.
Thrifting also exists in Nigeria, but it’s just not the same. For one, sometimes the vendors won’t leave you in peace to pick, and there are time constraints. I don’t really like the prices also – I stay in Abuja. And most importantly – I don’t know how to price!
Now, let me not paint Nigeria as one completely war-torn place. However, even though we have no major war or anything, freedom is still limited, in my perspective. Maybe it’s because of my parents or something, but I can’t go out as much as I used to. I had so much freedom in Australia!
I went out on so many adventures and wish I did way more! Here for example, I have to escort my sister to birthday parties. Picture me surrounded by tween girls, chai! Imagine, my social life has diminished to a point where I have become an escort for my sister, who is more popular than me! See my life? I also attribute this restraint to the fact I don’t know my way around Abuja as I should. The best way to map Abuja is through public transport in my opinion. I use cabs mostly, so I go straight to where I’m meant to go to. I’ve been trying to adventure lately though.
- ‘Running through the 6 with my woes’ AKA Freedom
It’s not like there’s no such thing as friends in Nigeria. I miss my old buddies, the faces I’d grown so accustomed to. I missed them strongly before, but now I can sit back and appreciate the different lives we’re living. We still keep in touch, and that is a good thing. I made friends here also, but I don’t go out with them as much as I’d like – refer back to point number 3.
My favourite suburb was Fremantle, and the postcode was 6160, hence the choice of words for this sub-title. I remember some good times, like when we all got ready at one of my friends’ house for the high school ball. The song ‘Know Thyself’ was on repeat. It was such a cool experience.
There’s just something about having a functioning system in place. While Nigeria is a great place to build character and survival skills, I miss the stability of the system in Australia. For example, I miss knowing where to go to get what. If I wanted to do something like going to somewhere new, all I had to do was put it into Google maps.
Google Maps works in Nigeria, but in Perth, I would be shown the buses I can take to the place. I would also be shown the different routes, and estimated arrival time. I had my Smartrider, all I had to do was tap to pay my transport fare. If I didn’t have my Smartrider, I simply paid for a ticket through the bus driver or machines at the train station. I knew the times for the buses. Prices were set (the pros of this can be debated though, as It is also nice to be able to negotiate. That is, IF you know how to negotiate!)
The train station had all the maps and estimated arrival times. The streets were clean. There was just some kind of order, some peace that came with knowing where to go for what. I could go to the library, which had free Wi-Fi. A majority of suburbs had the essentials – a shopping center for groceries and clothing, which would be a reasonable walking/driving distance. If I wanted to know the specials at the grocery store, I could go online. If I wanted a job, I knew where to go. I knew how things worked.
I’m still finding my feet here, but I hope one day I’ll figure it out.
I love my country, but I can only hope that one day things become easier! Of course, there are some things which are unique to us and must be retained, but some things just need to GO! As beautiful and functional as Australia is, there are people who may not even enjoy some of the benefits I mentioned. Poverty exists everywhere in the world and it’s a sad reality. To live in Australia also, everything costs money! So, I acknowledge that I probably enjoyed so much because I didn’t pay any bills or have major responsibilities. Either way, it was an amazing experience!
On that note, I have so many countries in mind to visit! I just hope one day I can achieve my dreams!