How has it been? I know I am a shameful and bad blogger who doesn’t stay faithful to updating the diaries. I really have no valid reasons except not too much new stuff is happening with work and nysc and it would suck to come here and whine about work or whatever so I have been in hiding. However, I thought to do something different with this part and do a walk-through of sorts of the progress through the 8 plus months I have been in the country and the best and worst parts of being here. Since I am giddy right now, let’s start with the best parts.
BEST: in no particular order:
FOOD: anybody who knows me (which is very few on this blog I know) knows how much I LOVEEEEE food! As in I no dey play when it comes to food and I am always willing to try something new. I also like outside food a bit too much. So you can imagine the first few weeks after I arrived, I was trying to eat everything. I was sick almost everyday back then. But mehn, the food is on point. Isi ewu, suya, asun, sharwama, all kinds of fruits that I haven’t had in a while – agbalumo (or udara), sugar cane, proper roasted corn from the side of the road, booli, mangoes; the restaurants, the joints, even the gardens! I have even been to bukas and such in search of good food and I swear, fancy is nice and all but seriously, for me, the best foods are just the no frills or fuss one! I love the traditional food much more than the over-fancified ones but hey, that’s just me.
MEN: ok ok ok this is where I will eat crow and admit I was partially wrong with some comments I made in part 2 of this diaries saying I could not mess with naija men because they are not as progressively thinking as others. Like I said, I am partially wrong. Men in this country are quite nice sha. And they know how to appreciate the amount of beauty God has surrounded them with in this country. They are also very generous when they want to be and want to impress. I have been lucky to meet some very amazing guys in the time I have been here (some horrendous ones too sha but that’s a story for later). It is said that naija guys are not as romantic as other guys but they no dey carry last sha. Sometimes, even going way overboard than necessary but then it seems as if naija girls have higher expectations from their men that I am used to. Anywho, I enjoy the attention, the compliments, the gifts and everything else. It is quite fun actually. There are times that I am completely broke and by making just a call, I get whatever I am in need of… this is still even though these guys know I am not looking to get into anything with them (well I guess they are hopeful), but definitely more generous and giving than my yankee brothers (I am not passing judgment on yall yankee bros ooo, just making observations before yall crucify me! I know say una hustle no easy)
CLUBS – Na for naija I enter club, dance till I no fit anymore, drank a bit, ran to the bathroom to touch up and back to the dance floor for the whole night. The clubs are amazing, the music is almost always on point and you can keep dancing literarily all night unless you just don’t want to. Also, I can go to the club with nothing on me and still be good on a steady round of drinks and snacks as I want. Best example of that was my birthday weekend. We had heard about this relatively new club called Taboo and wanted to check it out. Immediately we entered (7 girls and a guy who’s like big bro/bodyguard/arm candy), we got space cleared for us and guys who came through asking what we wanted to drink while scoping our bro to see which one of the girls was his and which they could talk to. There was an inflow of drinks all though and more than enough shots to be taken and we only paid for one round of those drinks!
HAIR – I do my hair whenever I want to. It is so ridiculously cheap! People were in shock when I told them I kept a weave in for about 6 weeks in the US. They don’t realize that hair is not as cheap there as it is for them here. These days, I carry hair for 2-3 weeks and take it off and I am still saving money as opposed to the 6-8weeks hair kept over there. Also there are so many style options that I just get to experiment as much as I want to. There is the downside to it though that they don’t know what to do with natural hair most places, so I am left to braids and weaves most times (ps if anyone knows a good salon in Abuja where they aren’t afraid of natural hair, please give a shout-out).
WEATHER – need I say more? Even right now in the rainy season, the weather is still on point. Seriously, there’s not much to say here. Only person who would hate the weather is someone who just loves cold weather like that!
Overall, there is so much to love about being here. I was talking to a friend (who is also thinking about coming to serve) the other day and I was just telling her that life here just seems chiller. I couldn’t explain myself satisfactorily but to be honest, I am just chiller and more relaxed being here than I have been in a long time. Of course there are times I want to pull my hair out in frustration but all things considered, I am pretty good ooo.
WORST – in no particular order
MEN – yeah yeah, I know I was just eating crow but dang homie! Naija men are on some other levels. First they are so damn persistent and don’t understand the concept of NO and that it doesn’t actually mean try harder, I really am not interested in you! At all! And being persistent is going to make me want to choke your ass, not to fall deeper for you! Also, the amount of married or engaged or obviously-in-a-relationship men who have tried to ask girls out is ridiculous. They have no shame whatsoever. It is a common sight to see a man, meet his wife today and the next day see him with his girlfriend. It is a topic that has been beaten to death but it is something that irks me so I can’t help but to mention it. Would turn into a weary suspicious person if I was dating a naija man here, especially as I am to go back after service and I suck at long distance (it is based solely on trust and most naija men can’t be trusted – no vex my naija men, I am just telling it as I see it, still love yall sha :*).
UNAVAILABLE AMENITIES – I miss my car!!!! Thinking about having to take drop everywhere sometimes makes me just stay in and chill. I can’t have a cake craving at midnight and drive somewhere to go get it! I miss fast internet, youtube, all my shows in the US (I am a show junkie btw). I miss 24 hours light without the endless drone of the generator. I miss unlimited minutes and texts, I miss living alone and being able to go out whenever I want and come back whenever I want (this is probably good though cos naija ain’t safe enough for that). I miss a whole lot of things that make me want to go back instantly but like I said, there’s still so much I love about being here that make up for what I miss.
MAKEUP – Naija girls wear too much make-up, fullstop! As in, if you put 10 girls together, it is hard to find one that is not made-up and very easy to find at least 3 who are over made-up! I found out that I was wearing more and more makeup since I’ve been here than I have done ever in my life. I was the person who went to class without a lick of makeup. I just dabbed white powder and lip gloss and I would be good to go. Now I spend extra time on makeup every single day. I finally had to realize what was happening and tone it down. But I go out and see some people with so much makeup on their face it is like they iced a cake. As in how can you even walk around with that on your face! And the colors!!! Where do I begin? Color combinations are supposed to compliment each other but then when you put metallic blue, red, purple and green together at the same time on the same face, girl, you are just doing too much! Not saying I know it all with makeup but many ladies really need to take classes on right application of makeup!
All in all, with any experience, there will always be the good and the bad. I am about to start talking to my bank about retention but I myself don’t know if I want them to retain me. I think I would prefer to get a letter from them in which they say I can come back after I finish my masters and work with them then. Advice please, would that even be possible to do and is it the best idea? I know if they retain me now, the pay wouldn’t be that good and I am seriously not sure if I want to stay in Naija another one or two years while postponing my masters. What should I do?
Ps – Shoutout to my batch B corps members who are passing out tomorrow (I wrote this Wednesday, June 15). I am so happy yall are being released from your sentence lol. Celebrations all around tomorrow and all through this weekend! See why I love naija again :D.