This is the flip side of the monthly argument that started here. I suggest that you read it first.

10. Food. When you think about it, there is really nothing so spectacular about Nigerian food that one can’t do without it for a year. Yea, you can call it a case of sour grapes conditioned by inevitability, but this is my story and I’m sticking to it. Give me panini with potato pudding and chicken sauce. On a more serious note, the American continent is filled with a diverse list of amazing cuisines, and I’m glad to share in them.

9. Books. I like the ease with which I can buy books here. It doesn’t make me a fan of paper books over electronic ones, but there are so many paperbacks that are always keepsake materials.

8. People. There is something beautiful in being able to maintain a personal space, individuality, and not worry about a certain crowdiness that is characteristics of so many streets I know. It is a sense of violation from the piercing stares of strangers. I have not had much of that here. There is no pressure to speak to anyone one meets on the road, or share a bus stop with.

7. NEPA. No further comments. #lightupNigeria.

6. Mosquitoes.

5. Family. So many people have gone to great lengths to make me feel so much at home here, and I will definitely miss their warmth and support when it’s time for me to say goodbye.

4. Love. No comments. See #5 above.

3. New Experiences. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine, Winter, Spring, Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King’s Birthday… etc. There are definitely many things to look forward to.

2.  Friends. See 5 above. Plus, it seems that I am closer to many of my Nigerian friends now than when I was back home.

1. Well, it’s called a “home”, not a “house”. Home is in the heart, and it goes where the heart is.

PS: Much of this list is tongue-in-cheek anyway. Next month, I’ll tell you a few hostile experiences that I’ve had in Edwardsville that reminded me of how similar people are all over the world, both in goodness and in not-so-goodness. Happy Halloween. See you in November.

(Picture credits: The Cougar Lake “Lantern”, taken from a photo exhibition of sights of SIUE.)

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