8 months ke?!?

So my friend says to me yesterday "shebi u've been here for 8 months now..." and immediately i yell out NO!! but then I think about it for sec............yeeeeeaaah, i HAVE been here for 8 months. Man, 8 long months in Lagos. Four months less a year, wow. God is good you know and time does fly. I feel like it was just a few months ago not two-thirds of a year. I remember leaving Boston that cold, cold morning in December. It was just myself and my older brother I think. I opened up the door and my neighbour had left me a card and some cookies hung on the doorknob. I smiled cuz I knew I was going to miss the random cookies :o) Hugged my bro, jumped in the cab and off I go!!! I really couldn't understand it either I was just going through the motions. What would the next months bring? How would Lagos be? How would I cope with everything, everyone? and the most recurring question of all, am I turning slightly mad? is this all "spiritual" (like nigerians would say!)?

The road to coming here was quite an experience in itself. The decision itself i think started quite a while ago. While I was in second year, I remember walking and just deciding casually that when I finish school, I was going to comeback. And that was that. So after working a year in Boston and not really feeling like i was on a GREAT career path (alright but just not GREAT), I started to think of my options and my promise to myself came back to me. Then the logistics of it all. So I just started to plan. Prepared a mental checklist of what could make this feasible and started on this journey. I think the most difficult part was really convincing myself I was going to do it because once I was sold then selling others was not only easier but less important. My mother severally tried to dissuade me in her own gentle manner. I think perhaps she was concerned that it WAS spiritual. Hehe....Many people encouraged me in a very faint manner, like a facade of encouragement. Like:

THEM (outloud): wow, what a big step, you're really brave.
THEM (inside): this chick is CRAAAAAAAAAAAZY. ah well, better her than me!
THEM (outloud): great. good luck man
THEM (inside): cuz you sho' gonna need it!

Ah.........those were the days. For those who'd like to know still, got my job through a career service: careers in africa. The largest multinationals participate in this job jair where they come to the UK to recruit african professionals back to african countries. Anybody looking to return should sure try it out. It's very rigorous though, they generally have a 30% employment rate which I consider good enough anyway. It's like an intense job hunt weekend. Some people get interviews scheduled but mostly you have to go there, hustle for interviews, hustle for connections, and work your magic. Usually it's HR Directors, MDs, and senior staff that attend, so really the buck starts or stops with them. Great experience.

Anywho............8 months. wow. Here are some interesting facts off the top of my head I've learned here:
  1. anything can fit on an okada(motorcycle for my non-nigerians). cow, sheep, ladder, planks, an entire family, and today i saw a person carrying a full-sized wheelbarrow with things in it.
  2. just a small drizzle of rain can cause an otherwise free road to become jammed. almost by magic. even the smell of rain can cause a 2 hr traffic jam.
  3. some hausa in the north share their children to prevent evil stepmother syndrome. So if a man has 3 wives, he might give 2 of wife number 3's kids to wife number 1. get it? just learned that 20min ago!
  4. nigerians call any hot substance tea. no matter if it's bournvita, milo, ovaltine, horlicks, theraflu, whatever. as long as it's hot and drinkable, it's called tea.
  5. Posting - leading someone on. e.g: "didn't biodun say the party wasn't jumping? why is he still there" answer: biodun was posting you.
  6. Scenti - learned about this in abuja but it's proved a very popular word in social circles. Term for whenever you're eating something soooo good that you say something utterly stupid and unnecessary. e.g: while eating a fantastic bowl of ukwobi (bowl of spiced meat for my NN) u ask "today's monday abi?" That's scenti.
  7. Most of you know this but reiteration doesn't hurt. If a Nigerian says they are almost there, they are at XYZ. Truth is they're still gisting somewhere. This equation NEVER changes. there's no maybe, sometimes, perhaps this time...........no. They are gisting. so chill.
  8. Chilling - leaving. eg. "i'm chilling" means i'm leaving soon.
  9. Doutch - money. eg. that dude's got doutch.
  10. Do not do La Casa if you're not with a male or if one person out of your group is looking.........woh woh ish(not quite right for my NN).

Woooooooo!!! i'm sure i'll add more on as i remember. But looking at it all. I give all thanks to God the Almighty who keeps me every single day, every single minute. One of my favorite rap lines is by Mos Def goes thus: God is sufficient in disposal of affairs. My people, let's never forget that!


Queen of Procrasti Nation! said...

Ah, I'll always remember Scenti - "one's action as a result of the body's reaction to the food"

apparently doesn't have to be stuff you say only... while having grilled fish, my friend's girlfriend slapped him heavily on the hand and yelled "stay on your own side". Everyone said "SCENTI"!!!

I miss naija already!

Mama Ijebu said...

My one and only sister....I am so proud of you O! Eight months, huh? Time sure flies. And no, i'm not thinking better you than me (okay maybe i am a little) but i'd give almost anything to be where you're at...and not at this plantation! I like your Naija slang primer, i'll try to start working them into my vocab.

Miss ya girlie....love ya loads :) :) and as your mother will forever say, "ranti omo eni ti wo n she!"

Bella Naija said...

wow! congrats on surviving lagos/nigeria for eight months.....that is an achievement especially after x years of sanity abroad....i enjoy readin bout people who 'took the plunge' cause i am/will be on d same boat...luv ur blog girl...ciao
by the way never heard of scenti b4 i thot i was the ultimate naija slangstress...oh well

Anonymous said...

Hi. Today's post is quite loaded, i love it! Can i contribute a little?

You should know "Shawn!", "Aju-wa-yah!" and "Allawi".

You didn't mention "Wor- wor" and "Dewor-wor".

"Atutupuyoyo" - a new born baby that looks like a horror flick.

And a frequent quote (which leonardia can testify to) by the Nigerian Police as they extort you at check-points: "At all at all, na im bad pass!"


yankeenaijachick said...

sup fishbowl, l have been reading your blogs.Very interesting.keep up the work. l can imagine. l hope u chilling in lagos. Stay good.

NB: I can imagine how naija feels like. girl, despite the negative part of naija. you home, home sweet home around ur own people. it sure feels good. stay good.