So I think I went through all five stages of Grieving, recently when I travelled back to my home country for holidays, I guess you know them already Denial, Anger, Bargaining , Depression and Acceptance..On the air just before the flight landed, the hair hostess announced to us that there are some strange gases in the air, which she assured was not “very” dangerous, but for women who were pregnant and kids, they advised to wear a mask...I was sure that yeah we were in my country..Where even the air is hazardous (lol)
we got out from the plane and moved into the airport, all things considered except the Heat that greeted, kissed and hugged our bodies as we stepped into the main airport, I would say the airport was “Ok” and I use that term loosely, , At this point Lucy who was coming back home for the 1st time in four years, was astonished, babor.. She called “is it possible to change the return date on my flight ticket to an earlier date? Because from what I am seeing, Naija na wa”... Little did we know that the journey had just begun
As we got to the Immigration check point, the Line that had foreigners, seemed to move faster than the ones Nigerian Citizens were in, but I didn’t complain too much, at least we were been hospitable to foreigners, even though they not always hospitable to us. The female Immigration officer, when I finally got attended to did not fail to ask for “something make we take chop, Even if na dollar sef” In her own words, I told her I didn’t have dollar on me, “Nothing? What of Naira na?” To which I responded with no again, she grew tired and grudgingly let me through..haa at last, I sighed, Thinking that we had gone through the hardest part…Boy…was I wrong!
1.Denial---Waiting for our bags was war, we stood there for such a long time, that I began to Deny that I was actually in my country, everyone was so restless that sounds of grumbling from travelers at this point reached high heavens, “na wa oh, see as this oyibo just taya , the guy just weak for us, Oyibo nor vex ehn Na naija we dey” someone said jokingly referring to a white man who seemed visibly speechless and shaken at the drama unfolding, Lucy again asked “haba ..Are you sure we would get our bags today so” to which Ellas another of our traveling buddies responded with words of prophesies, “Don’t worry the lord is with us, He will not leave us now, I believe ...” I couldn’t help laughing out loud, I mean if the “Oyibo” had asked, I would almost certainly had denied my country on the spot.
2. Anger—we left the airport after we got our bags, and the darkness that greeted us was almost palpable, plus the heat, Combined with so many questions from hustlers just at the entrance into Lagos made me mad. Bros welcome oh, You need Taxi?, what of Okada?, you want drop?, let me help you carry ur load na?, Oga find something for the boys na, who you dey wait for? You want good hotel?..I go go anywhere where u wan go... Etc, we were been bombarded from every corner, I don’t know about others but this led to Frustration and of course anger naturally followed..I was Mad for Nothing. 3. Bargaining and 4.Depression came and went--- thankfully these stages didn’t last long.
5. Acceptance---I really didn’t have a choice though, did I? I mean I got used to the constant power outage, slow internet, annoying roads, flooded streets, and those mosquitoes, which seemed to somehow have the lock to my house, when I Lived with chike my Dr friend, Even the rigors of my clinical elective course which initially shocked me didn’t seem like such a big deal anymore, moreover fussing and complaining, never actually accomplished anything in my experience. So Yes I Came to accept things for what they where.
Nevertheless it’s the little things about my country that I appreciate the most, friends and family who never seem to be fazed by surroundings and are really quite genuinely happy with life, a joy that is contagious, the relative ease with transporting from one place to another using bike (okada), or your own car if you prefer. Those hot Nigerian songs that can move anyone even kings to the Dance floor. The countless dramas that randomly occur on the streets, Sure Nigeria has its issues, but what country doesn’t? I personally will contribute to making it the envy of nations. Indeed Nigeria is truly blessed and wonderful. Oh yes, Nigeria! I hail thee!!