Well I’ve been home for almost a week now and I’ve already forgotten how lovely it feels when you walk outside and the sunshine hits your skin. I am so over being cold already! Rain was interesting though, having not seen any in over two months it was rather novel to go outside and find myself getting wet from this stuff that was falling from the sky above.
The journey home itself is all a bit of a blur now, I left in such a hurry not knowing when I was going to be flying then suddenly late on the Wednesday afternoon finding out I was flying out of Abuja on the Friday morning. The one thing I will probably always remember about coming out of Abuja airport is having my umbrella confiscated. There are a ridiculous number of security checks you have go through at Abuja airport, I lost count of them all but the weirdest is having you and your hand luggage searched in the departure lounge. I had various (carefully wrapped) things pulled out of my hand luggage and each time I was told I should’ve checked this into my hold luggage. So I stated that their rules and regulations said nothing about not being able to take this kind of thing in your hand luggage and how could I possibly put it into in my hold baggage now as surely it was already on the plane? After managing to successfully keep hold of numerous items I was getting to the come on you’re taking the piss stage now, so when they asked me ‘What’s this?’ holding up my umbrella and I told them it was indeed an umbrella, I was not actually that surprised when I was told I wouldn’t be allowed to keep it. Why not? Well because it’s a potential weapon of course. We’re not talking great big golf umbrella with a metal spike on the end but teeny tiny fold up light weight brolly. Anyway I gave up at that point told them fine, keep the umbrella and as I was walking away to repack my bag one of the other searchers tried to call me back because I’d forgotten something, so I told him I wasn’t allowed to keep my umbrella because it was a weapon and he looked at me like I was barking mad. I think I could’ve done more damage with my laptop but maybe they’d heard about the ‘Whitley Bay Umbrella Incident’ (just ask my mum).
Thankfully no more drama and although somewhat late I made it out of Abuja and back to Heathrow without further confiscations of potential weapons. It seemed to take ages to get out of the airport but my mum was waiting with a new umbrella (I’d text her the tale in departures!) and we were soon on the road home. I found it VERY odd that the other drivers were a) not constantly honking their horns, b) following the rules of the road by keeping to the lanes and such like and c) that none of the cars had cracked windscreens or multiple dints in them and generally looked roadworthy.
It has been a lovely few days since I’ve been back, seeing the family and catching up with friends. I’ve loved the small things like water straight from the tap, hot showers and just how brilliant my own bed is. I have revelled in my anonymity, it’s so nice not to be stared at everywhere you go and to enjoy the peace (!) of the passing traffic when out walking because you aren’t constantly being beeped at, but I have found things a bit bewildering as well I’m sure that will soon pass. I’m off to the supermarket with my mum shortly, I haven’t been in one yet since I’ve been back it was weird enough going to the shopping centre and having so much choice but I’m not sure how I’ll react faced with 8 different types of everything, I might make her buy one of each just because we can. I’d best put a few layers on though it looks bloody freezing out there!