So, about three years ago I made the move from Lagos to Abuja and boy was it hard?
Maybe it was really difficult for me because it was the first time in my entire life (except for a brief stint in Benin) I was going to be living anywhere other than Lagos so the idea of it was really scary.
Let’s just say love took me to the nation’s capital and as the romantic I am I figured love was enough to help me transition smoothly… I was completely wrong but that’s a story for another day.
I was only moving cities and not countries I consoled myself. It just couldn’t be that bad, right? Wrong. There were a few things that were totally different from life in Lagos and while they are not life shattering changes, they are just amusing – to me at least.
First off, people expect you to give them rides.
While I didn’t have a car immediately I got to Abuja I noticed whenever I hitched a ride with the “hubstar” some passers-by would stop walking and stretch their arms out to ask for a lift. Some wouldn’t even bother gesticulating the nationally accepted motion for stopping a car, they would just try to catch your eye and then use their magical powers to force you into stopping – he never did.
A few months later though while making the long walk from my house to the estate gate in search of a taxi, two ladies pulled over.
“Where are you going?” They asked while one made to open the back door. My Lagos senses immediately began to kick in and I almost declined but there was something so ordinary about the ladies and I guess my insatiable curiosity made me get in – albeit reluctantly. They dropped me where I needed to go, didn’t ask for a dime and now I pay it forward every chance I get.
Life Starts at 7
See, when I lived in Lagos, 4 am might be considered late to set out from the mainland to the island on a weekday if you hope to get to work before 8 am. In Abuja however, that struggle is non-existent. Yes there are pockets of traffic here and there in the city but it’s never that serious that you need to set out before the day breaks.
Casual Fridays are Everyday
So you know how in Lagos you wait till the last day of the week to unleash your nicely tailored Ankara? Here, that’s pretty much everyday of the week. A lot of people dress in traditional attire to work, well, mostly civil servants anyway. Not that there’s anything wrong with honouring our respective cultures but considering where I was coming from, it just seemed, well… odd.
My Tailor won’t touch me
Now this one had me rather upset. I needed to get a dress amended and so like I would normally do in Lagos I waited to hear the clicking sound mobile tailors popularly called “obioma” in some parts of Nigeria make to alert potential customers. I beckoned to this particular tailor and he came into my compound. After I explained what I needed him to amend, he swiftly handed me his measuring tape. Huh??? To do what I asked? You can imagine I was beyond confused. He went on to explain that he could not measure me because he is a Muslim and he doesn’t want to accidentally touch me. Needless to say that was the end of that transaction.
Everybody Wears Gold
Okay, I am exaggerating a little but a lot of Northerners including little babies are almost always adorned with gold. Not Brazilian Gold, but Gold Gold. It’s amazing how the rate of street crime isn’t on the rise. Imagine passing the Oshodi I left behind a few years ago in broad daylight brandishing your new set of expensive assets on your ears with your window cracked down and stuck in traffic.
The likelihood that you will have your ear assaulted and split in two is pretty high. Hopefully Governor Ambode is doing something about that.
Relocate recently and have a funny story to share? Hit the comment section and let’s have some fun.