Friday, 2 December 2011

day 12 in nigeria - end times



it's going on for 3pm. I have about 9 more hours on nigerian soil, to bask and bake and be whoever it is when i'm out here - some kind of hybrid of my usual self, overlaid with the slightly more boisterous, bolshier bit of me that, along with an undercurrent of custom, seems to be released a little more when i speak yoruba and hang out with *nigerian* nigerians.

the day has been spent so far packing and repacking, my mum's prediction this morning that we might not use up all our baggage allowance (2 x 23kg each…) proved just a little too optimistic after all. i'm just hoping there's no bother at customs, what with all the food and other stuff that we're bringing back. buying and selling is in my mum's blood - my grandma was a trader, and my mum has been doing it since she was small.  the entrepreneurial spirit seems to have resolutely skipped me though - perhaps that's my own rebellion, my disregard for commerce and a tidy profit margin, no matter how modest.

in the living room, my cousins have just finished picking efirin leaves.  my cousin has gone to town to go buy some more stuff for us to take back.  i've stopped trying to protest at any of it - i know from years of experience it makes little difference.  and it wouldn't be a proper trip home if we didn't go back laden with half the wares of lagos' market.

james blake is pulsing from the speakers, and my cousins argue about boko haram and goodluck jonathan.  the copier repair man is repairing, and outside a couple of workmen are working on the well.  my mum wanders in and out of the room, slightly distracted, i guess, by leaving home and family to go back to a country she's never fully embraced, but can now never fully leave.

the heat… god, the heat.

someone asked me last night why i could never live in nigeria.  i found it difficult to articulate it in a way that could be easily understood.  i love so many things about being here, but… it would be like being regressed to childhood again, having to learn the basics all over, and learn also to accept the way things are done - those that i accept wholeheartedly, and others less so.  i'll just have to accept the in-between solution - feel at home when i'm here, but understand that part of that feeling is linked to the temporary nature of my stay. (hmmm - current song - limit to your love)

right. i think that's it from here - i should go interact with my family before i won't see them again for another half a dozen years. or maybe just go doze in the heat. or take another cold shower. whatever. i'm off to take my leave.

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