After spending a couple of days and the euphoria of being in a new environment had subsided, I began to miss Motherland with an intensity I never imagined possible. Little things I used to take for granted came to the forefront and homesickness became the order of the day. It started when I was sleeping on my third night here; I realized that a certain winged creature a.k.a mosquito was missing in the scheme of things. I miss the wonderful buzzing noises the mosquito used to make in my ears, the wonderful lullabies it used to sing to me and of course I miss the erotic bites and caresses I received from it daily.
I miss being an irritant and pest to my friends who I used to daily disturb with my dry wit and humour; something I am sure they are sure missing right now too. I miss seeing household livestock like fowls and goats walk the roads, miss having to step on my brakes anytime they majestically cross the road, miss watching a horny cockerel chase a hen for copulation. Over here, it’s just the finished products you see and it could be quite depressing. I hate the psychological impact which sitting on the passenger side of the car here makes me feel, I can’t always help but press an imaginary brake or clutch since I always think I was sitting in the driver’s side of the vehicle. I miss the verbal gymnastics and insults thrown on the roads of Nigeria like Were, Oloshi, Ko ni da fun e, O ni fe te or if you are lucky actually experience a fist-fight. Over here, politeness is the order of the day and it is extremely boring. Worse still, I miss the tension inside the commercial buses in Lagos, the insults traded with conductors, the shouting of O wa o! when you get to your preferred destination. Over here, it’s so damn civil and you have to press a bell thingy when you get to your stop although I would very much prefer to bellow O wa o from the depth of my soul but then I would be arrested and charged for being a public nuisance.
I miss seeing ladies who are enormously endowed with booties and bosoms walking the streets or on okadas. Back then, my side and rear-view mirrors were my greatest assets especially if Miss Nizzle was sitting in the car beside me and didn’t want her to know I was scoping the lady. Well, Pa Nizzle was instrumental in teaching me that particular skill, learnt it from him since I was little. I miss not being able to lie on network failure if I forgot or didn’t call someone which I used to frequently do when I was in Lagos. Also, I miss not being able to use traffic as an alibi anytime I failed to turn up for an appointment on time. I miss the cacophony of blaring vehicle horns when I am stuck in traffic; over here it is so silent you could almost hear a pin drop. I miss hearing sounds from Dee Jays who have illegal stalls by the road play extremely loud music, over here; my ear-phones are my only salvation.
I miss the mental tasks my brain is forced to do like remembering to charge my phone, laptop, rechargeable lamp, iron my clothes because of NEPA/PHCN. I miss pouring fuel into the generator and pulling it, lighting up a stove, pumping water. I miss the dirty black uniform of the Nigerian Police, the dexterity they exhibit when palming those N20 notes.
Here, the police are so neat you actually wonder if they can catch a criminal with their fancy uniform. I miss being a ‘thousandnaire’ that is having thousands of bills in my wallet just for the fun of it. Here, if you can afford to have thousands in your wallet everyday then please give me your number and let’s be friends.
I hate listening to lonely love songs and automatically assume they are assuming to Miss Nizzle and I. ‘Long Distance’ by Brandy tops my list. I miss having to eat like a pre-historic man that is eating with my fingers and cracking bones. I miss Iya Basira, Iya Tunde, Iya Bola, in fact all the ‘Iyas’ that used to provide me sumptuous meals. I miss using my student ID card to watch movies at Galleria even though I have ceased being a student for almost 2 years. I used to do it so that I would pay N500 instead of N1, 500.
I miss sweating. Here, I am yet to see a droplet of sweat on my body. Anywhere I go, I have to have nothing less than 3 to 4 layers of clothing and shoes of course. Whatever happened to me going barefoot and wearing boxers to buy pure water? With all these ‘missing’ thoughts in my head, I bolted away from my room before loneliness overtook me. I ran away from the room faster than the day Miss Nizzle’s dad came home unannounced and unexpectedly from an outing. Before I could be sighted, I took the kitchen exit almost forgetting my shoes. Ah! Those were the days.
I headed out towards school, hugging my jacket tighter prepared for another intellectual adventure in class…