It must be love. The fact that you bothered to stop by today, despite my not so frequent postings, it must be love and I love you too!
Having said that, I just got back from my sister’s wedding in Nigeria and it was an adventure. The day before my trip, I literally couldn’t sleep. I don’t remember a time when I was that excited. I was actually sleepy but I remember getting up and making a cup of coffee because I wanted to be out the door to catch my flight to New York at dawn.
Eventually I made it to New York and then I got on my flight to Lagos, for someone who is always traumatized by flying, I could care less about the turbulence and the long dreary flight, only one thing mattered: I WAS GOING HOME! Finally we got to Lagos and I was actually quite impressed by the reception I got at the airport. For starters the ACs were up and running and the custom officers were brisk and quite professional. After a not so brief wait, my mum came to get me and the joy in my heart knew no bounds. Words cannot describe the joy on my father’s face when I walked through the door, he literally couldn’t finish his breakfast afterwards because he had no clue I was coming home. Seeing my siblings that morning was one of the happiest moments I have ever had and to top off an already amazing morning, I ate the most luscious, delicious agege bread and akara and all was right with the world. Let me try as much as possible to summarize my three weeks at home in this one post.
NO LIGHT! Let me just be really honest and say I never thought I would be one of those people who complain so much when they come back home after spending a couple of years abroad. I love my country dearly but my poor body had a hard time adjusting to the stifling heat. I had just left intense cold and so I was genuinely distressed. This is a heartfelt shout out to my mother, for letting me run the generator even in the face of the fuel scarcity, you’re the real MVP mum!, and my friend Odogwu for giving me all that fuel as my birthday gift, (btw best birthday gift ever!)
FOOD! Ah!!! The food was awesome; I ate every single thing I had craved while I was away: sheri mango, udara, amala and efo, gala and lacasera, dry fish stew, roasted yam and plantains, I could go on and on. Sitting here writing this post, I am hungry all over again, the food just doesn’t taste the same over here.
FUEL SCARCITY! Throughout my stay, fuel was nowhere to be found and we had to resort to buying from the black market dealers. Safe to say it was a nightmare. Suddenly, every hike in price was linked to the fuel situation, transport fares went up, water, and even food. I went to buy dried fish from my customer and the following conversation ensued: “Me: madam, how much be your fish? Her: ah na 1,000 Naira oh, you know say dollar don go up and fuel no dey so fish don add money” I laughed but I had to buy the fish because she was my only option and I really wanted that fish.
The funniest thing that happened to me though, was when a guy tried to steal my phone and my wallet. I had gone to the mall with my friend to buy stuff for my sister’s bridal shower and this guy was just walking real close to me. At first it seemed like nothing and I kept on walking and talking until he started to literally bump into me. In that instant, all the years of practice I have had protecting my handbag when I stop at Oshodi bus stop late at night kicked in, and I clenched my wallet with my arm as hard I could, yelled at him and he quickly scurried away.
I had a very memorable trip and though it was short and I didn’t get to do so many things, I relished every single moment and leaving again was super hard. There really is no place like home, the camaraderie, the friendships and the sense of oneness is such that cannot be found in many places.
“There’s no place like home. And I do miss my home”- Malala Yousafzai