Saturday, March 15, 2008
Posted this on Thursday the 15th of February last year. Thought I'd revisit.
laspapi's signs you've been away from Naija too long.
1) You stay in hotels when you come home because you suspect your welcome has worn thin with friends and your distant relatives.
2) You come on holiday and walk down the street you grew up on. No one recognizes you apart from the neighbourhood freeloader who spends an hour telling a sob-story so he can sponge off you. You finally give him some money and he asks whether he can get it in dollars.
3) After he’s gone, you find your wallet is missing.
4) You call your Nigerian ‘home-boy’ and his P.A. always picks the phone. You use a number he does not know and home boy picks up the phone himself. You suspect he’s tired of your 58-minute thrice-a-week marathon conversations.
5) You wear a fanny pack everywhere when on holiday.
6) You don’t know the bus-stops.
7) You don’t know the black spots. You attempt to take a stroll down the Marina at 8pm- fanny pack, camera and gold wristwatch in full view.
8) A policeman slaps some poor chap around. You interfere saying “Nigeria is for all of us”.
9) The policeman points his gun at you. You laugh at him with your ‘janded/yankee’ accent, saying “you’re joking, of course”. When he slaps you too, you shout, “I want to speak to your superior”.
10) Every time you see beggars at the beginning of the street, you throw a wad of notes at them. You are surprised when a band of amputees trail you home and wave guns and knives in your face yelling, “where is d dollas, where is d U-ros?”
11) You think ‘Silverbird Galleria’ is a place where they keep exotic birds.
12) You think “Ben Bruce” is a new perfume.
13) You think MBGN stands for a new type of machine gun
14) You tell strangers you catch in conversation on the streets, “your vote counts”.
15) You trustingly tell taxi drivers and all who enquire-“I’m here on holiday”
16) You attempt to look out of the window when you hear gunfire raging on the streets.
17) When you see cars ahead of you doing U-turns on the 3rd Mainland Bridge, tyres screeching and their drivers yelling warnings of “Ole” (thieves), you tell your driver to “…go on. One must never run without knowing what is pursuing one”.
You are surprised when he jumps out of the car and takes off in the opposite direction. You are even more surprised that he has taken the car keys with him. Your jaw drops in astonishment when the robbing posse saunters over to where you sit petrified in the car and say- “We are international armed robbers. Co-operate with us and there’ll be no trouble”. You wonder why the lead man gives you a black eye when you say “we are one”.