Technically, I should be sleeping. I have a debt of more than 24 hours on my body clock. My eyes close by themselves at intervals, yet instead of going to bed, I am here. A few minutes ago, on the way back from a short lunch at one of Lagos’ famous malls, I slept off in the bus and missed my stop. I had to pay something close to a dollar to get back home. Yes, I should sleep now. But not before this short rant of my first culture shock experiences:
1. Private and public vehicles delight in honking their car horns every five seconds, for NO GOOD REASON! I’ve never seen this kind of madness anywhere else. Well, I may not have been to many places, but this must rank as one of the biggest nuisances of Lagos (nay, Nigerian) roads. Gosh!
2. More than half of the trash baskets in the public places are open in the bottom, thus pretty useless. Those that are not are almost full, rendering useless also the concept of a clean and fresh-smelling environment.
3. There is no visible speed limit on the roads. Although I’ve never felt this way before, I suddenly realized that I’m afraid to now commute in Lagos’ public transports anymore. They drive too fast, and too roughly. There is no visible speed limit on the roads. Most of the transport vans don’t have working speedometers, and there are no responsive health workers on the road in case of emergencies.
4. I’ve been prepared for NEPA (the electric power people), but not in this way. I got out of the airplane to discover that the escalator in the airport didn’t work. I had to walk on it like the normal steps. I heard that last week, there was a power outage at the airport, a now regular occurrence, that lasted almost three hours. Question then: how did the captain of my plane successfully land the plane without working satellite guiding devices at the airport that uses electricity?
5. As for the rest, I’ve discovered that the food in restaurants are not as nice as I envisioned them to be. And they’re more expensive than they should be. Heat is unbearable, and I can’t go out topless as I’d have loved to do. They might mistake me for a miscreant. What else is there to do than to come back here and rant?
It’s not really culture shock. It is just seeing things from a better perspective. More sanity can definitely be introduced, especially from the very little things. Welcome to Lagos, traveller. Just wait a few days more, then pack your things and head home to Ibadan. Maybe the heat will abate. And maybe you’ll at least get some sanity in your lush quasi-country/University life. For now, off to bed I go.