Monday, August 29, 2011


Sorry - had a glitch and had to repost, this was from yesterday, will get today's up later tonight.

Am I in suburbia - kinda. Or at least that is what life is like here where I am staying. This afternoon, Carley took me for a walk around the 'hood to show me around, and honestly, I could be in any southern suburban neighborhood, with their houses that all look the same, cars in the drive way and their manicured yards. We even stopped by the pool and fitness centre (which were empty). Honestly, if you didn't pay attention on your drive in, you would forget that you are in a third world country.

So my impressions/ thoughts of Nigeria so far:

Firstly, India makes this place look rather clean and rich! I am happy that I have that country under my belt as a comparator to, as everywhere seems nicer after you have been there!

Man you should see the vehicles here! At the airport, you would have thought that you were in Calgary, minus the trucks, with all the shiny new BMWs, Mercedes, Lexus, Ford Fusions, etc. I was very surprised at the vehicles. Now don't get me wrong, there are the requisite beat-up minibuses filled to capacity with people hanging out of the open doors. Then there was also the guy who was standing/ riding on the running board of the petrol truck as it was heading down the expressway, but to his credit, he was wearing his safety vest. Or there are the people that just run across the expressway and dodge cars, or the guy who is selling bottled water and other assorted drinks on the side of the road as cars go by. But probably the thing that said "you are in Nigeria now", were the 2 guys pushing a broken down Toyota, in the dark, on the freeway, with no four way flashers on, in a driving lane. Go figure!

Other things that have made me think "I need to blog about that include":

All the no parking signs along the roads at the airport that are clogged with parked cars.

Then guys who have chairs and small tables set up with huge stacks of bills along side the sidewalk at the airport. Gives a whole new meaning to the words currency exchange. Yah, somehow whipping out a few hundred dollars on the sidewalk to a guy with a bag of bills doesn't seem too wise.

At the airport, if you are a guy and you have to pee, you just find the nearest wall outside and pee on it. I saw so many guys do it including the police. I wonder what they would have thought if I went and squatted?

No McDonalds or Starbucks here but there is KFC. Am I surprised - Starbucks no, McDonalds yes, KFC no.

Immigration at the airport doesn't apply to everyone. If you have someone meeting you, like a local meeting a foreigner, those people seemed to just walk around the immigration desk without being checked. But not me, I got experience the whole Nigerian experience of "efficiency". On my immigration card it asked for my occupation and my employer and me thinking ahead figured that it was much easier to be a homemaker rather than say who I work for- we aren't loved here. :-). So now that is my job. All in all from the time I landed to the time I got to Carly and David's, it was about 2 hours - so not bad at all.

Tomorrow Carley is taking me to the "mall" - am looking forward to this experience and seeing Lagos in the light, as it started to get dark shortly after I left the airport. I will also get the opportunity to experience more "I am in Nigeria" now types of things.

Well, I am off to bed as I would like to be up at a more normal hour tomorrow, compared to my 12:13pm I woke up at today - good houseguest eh?!

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