Today was a peculiar day, I wouldn’t know how to describe it, words fail me, however in this case, I must find the right words. We are told that amazement awaits us at every corner. A friend of mine came home from America after a ten year absence, and was going to stay with me for the ten days. Before she arrived I had an AC installed, not that the AC will work during her stay. My ‘I better pass my neighbour’ generator cannot power the AC, nor is there any chance of NEPA/PHCN/ECN ( I don’t even know what to call them) they had removed our transformer for the past six months, yet to be returned.
It’s not that I am keeping up appearances but I need to let her know that we are not doing badly in Nigeria. Let’s just say I spent a lot of money getting the place ready, I picked her up from the Airport, and we stopped to have KFC at Shoprite before heading home.
When we got home, she looked around , I think she was impressed, she then proceeded to bring out things she bought, when I saw her phone, I thought she was having a laugh, I soon realised it was the real thing. I told her the phone was a no-no, even the security guard would not be seen with that type of phone. Ten years away from Naija is not a good thing o. I soon realised that my Calvin Klein or Anne Klein watch was not going to manifest itself. Out of the blue she asked if I liked tea, I then brought the PG tips I had in the house. Apparently she wanted to surprise me; my people guess what happened next, she brought a box of PG tips and handed it to me as my gift after ten years absence, simply PG tea.
I quickly went into the kitchen and hid my Eva bottles and brought out the Pure Water Sachets, the Eva bottles would never be for her consumption. She then went on to lock her suitcase, I informed her nobody else lived in the house but she wanted to be safe.
‘Ahyayaya’ who is the thief here, she now brought out a velvet trouser suit, mama America brought out ‘Aposhe’. I went on to inform her that dogs will bark, and that velvet materials were used for furniture in Nigeria but she did not listen to my advice. I stylishly tried to show her my wardrobe, to give her a glimpse that we are not in the ‘Dark Ages.’
She wanted to borrow naira from me as she had not changed her money, have we not heard that type of story before. I quickly called Ahmed to bring Naira that was ‘Bureau de change’ at your finger tips. My friend brought out her $200 her total spend for two weeks, this includes travelling cost, parents, siblings, return taxi or probably okada to the airport.
I lent myself my brain, I was not going to spend more money on this friend, I began to ask myself, is this the same America that I read about, this was not the definition of the American dream o. Ten years, $200. I think I want to roughen it out in Naija, even if I am eating beans.
One thing I left with her is the ability to drink water from a sachet, tearing the sides at an angle and positioning the sachet in your mouth to avoid spills. It was a nice image.