Home sweet home
on Hysteria in Nigeria (Nigeria), 03/Aug/2012 09:10, 34 days ago
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I’ve said it before; Nigeria is like marmite. People either seemed to love it or hate it. I loved it (on the whole!). And now I’ve ended my placement I’ve been thinking about all of the things that I will miss now I’m home. Some examples:The way people interact with each other. Wherever you are, people are laughing and talking (loudly), and gesturing with their hands. There’s a vibrancy to social interactions that I know I’m really going to miss. The noise. I’ve been back almost a week now and I still can’t get used to how quiet it is. My office: I was lucky enough to be placed with a really brilliant organisation, filled with lots of really brilliant people. And I will miss working there a lot. I will especially miss working in a place where babies come to the office. The food– I NEVER thought I would say that. I will miss the food I could buy so easily from the street – akara, fried yam and masa to name a few. The music. I have grown to LOVE Nigerian music. And with the recent release of Oliver Twist in the UK, it seems at least the UK is hopefully catching onto this as well. Harp. Oh Harp, my best friend in Nigeria. I was never a beer drinker before I went to Nigeria, and I will probably never drink beer again at home. But when I was there, it helped fix many many things. All of the“sit outs” or local parks where you can just go and sit outside and have a beer, order food, and listen to music. All of the advertising flyers / leaflets that I was given during my time there. They never failed to cheer me up. The weather. Whilst I was sweating 90% of the time, I am still far happier living in a hot climate. This has been proven even more since coming home– it is FREEZING and I find it very depressing to be walking around in winter clothes in August!! My work life balance– overall my placement was very busy, but I still found I had a lot more time to myself, and I was far less stressed than I used to be – it’s hard to get stressed about things and timelines when no one else is. And when you know that really, it’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t get done that day.And I suppose I should balance this list out with some things that I won’t miss:The corruption: I’ve given enough examples of this in other blog posts, and I don’t want to dwell on it. It makes me sick to my stomach and I truly hope at some point in the very very very very near future the government will do its job and start cracking down on some of the awful things that happen on a daily basis. Oyibo prices: I will not miss having to haggle for absolutely everything, and people thinking I should pay more just because I’m white. I get it, a lot of expats who live there have a lot of money. I was not one of them! I haggled out of necessity, not just to try and cheat people out of a few extra naira. Flushing the toilet with a bucket (and a general lack of running water) Washing sheets and towels in a bucket. I can handle clothes, I got used to it. Sheets and towels still make me never want to use bedding or towels again.