Hi everyone! I realise if you're reading this you will most likely be my family and friends (and therefore obliged to) but just in case......I am a volunteer for VSO and this is a blog about my experiences of life in Nigeria, first I was briefly in Calabar and now I'm in Abuja the capital city. You may also find some random references to uses I find for the tools on my Swiss army knife as well as my reflections on my everyday life as a VSO volunteer, just go with it.
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
A few weird things have happened this week which makes me wonder if I’ve slipped into a parallel Abuja…. On Monday which is always the worst day of the week just because it’s Monday I didn’t have to haggle for either of my taxis. Now this might not seem like much to any of you but the whole haggling for a taxi every time you want to go somewhere is really annoying, there isn’t much choice for transport round our way and you have to haggle EVERY time you get a car anywhere. Anyway both drivers to and from work just waved me in when I said “It’s 250” there I was all ready to haggle as I do every other time but no not today Oyibo.
Had I magically found a way to make it clear with my tone that 250 was all I was willing to pay? Did they just know by looking at me that they were never going to win? Had I passed some special Taxi haggling test after nearly three months of living here that meant I never had to do it again? Apparently not all back to normal on Tuesday, looks like I Just managed to find the only two drivers in Abuja who couldn’t bothered with the hassle, it was Monday after all.
The second bout of weirdness came this morning in the office when I found myself talking to the giant cockroach climbing the wall behind me. Weird because I didn’t even flinch when I spotted him. Now I’m not frightened of cockroaches like I am some other beasties but they are especially gross and up until now they have tended to make me shudder and/or yelp, usually just as I am eradicating them with a well-aimed jet of Raid which sends them into a frenzy ending with them squirming on their backs for up to a day before they finally die, poor blighters. Anyway I didn’t yelp, or shudder or even move in fact I got my camera out (god knows why) and then started to talk to it, well no one else was around to talk to.
I was asking Mr. Roach where he’d been, what he was doing now and telling him that I could still hear him when he hid behind the filing cabinet. Then he came out of his hiding place and my colleague walked in and took his shoe off and thwacked him. Goodbye Mr. Roach. I have a feeling you aren’t supposed to thwack cockroaches though, something about if they are lady roaches they carry their eggs inside them and you just disperse them or maybe that’s a myth. Or maybe I’ll come in tomorrow and have lots of conversations with lots of baby roaches. Oh dear I think I may have inhaled too much raid or something.
The final weird thing is that I think I might finally be starting to, wait for it…….Tan. Having spent the first 29 years of my life lily white and freckly this is a strange concept indeed, so far this miraculous occurrence is limited to my arms and face. The tan on my feet keeps turning out to be dirt that washes off in the shower (despite this being a city it’s still very dusty here).I don’t think I’m ever going to be brown but I do seem to have ceased glowing in a fashion that causes people to shield their eyes when they look directly at my skin. It is possible that my freckles are just merging of course. I hasten to add that I have been very good with sun cream and have only had one incident of sunburn since I’ve been here which is pretty good going really. I have no desire to look like a piece of shammy leather when I’m older but it is quite a novelty for me to have a bit of colour. Let’s face it one week back in blighty and I’ll be glowing again.