Ranking up there on my list of most favorite things in the world are quirks. Quirks of all sorts, shapes, kinds. To me, they are the spice of life, and they are most spectacularly magnificent when traveling in foreign lands. Mind you, some folks might categorize what I perceive to be quirks as what the rest of the world perceives to be pains in the rear. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
In the quirks department, Nigeria did not disappoint, so here we go…
- Somewhere outside of my hotel room door, someone plays Enrique Iglesias’ Hero on repeat everyday. Celine Dion and Bette Midler (seriously?!) come in at times, but Enrique is the one I hear the most. It’s inside the hotel too, not outside. It wouldn’t be so bad except that I’ve been hotel-bound for three days while in-country, and I can’t stand Enrique. I don’t want him to be my hero; I want him to shut up.
- As a greeting, Nigerians say you are welcome. It’s a reversal of our usual thank you, you’re welcome. Here it goes you are welcome, followed by the white girl saying thank you!
- There are security guards everywhere. The entrance to the hotel parking lot, the entrance to the hotel, on my floor at the hotel. The entrance to the office building where we work. The entrance to a store, to the clinic, to the bank. Everywhere. It’s a lot of security. Job security? Security job.
- The shower in my bathroom has a waterfall-type shower head (how lovely), a hand-held shower thing, and jets that shoot directly out at about stomach-level. The first two are nice, the third…I would not describe as nice.
- Nigerian cell phones (or at least the one I was loaned) remind you that you’re wasting energy. How lovely!
- They were a British colony, but they drive on the right side of the road.
- Our hotel keys expire every day. Finally they coded them so they would not expire until we left. I wonder why the daily expiration?
- There is a restaurant in the airport. The international airport of the capital city of Nigeria. On the menu? Rice…cheese sandwich…no, no cheese sandwich. (I drank a coke, ate a sleeve of crackers, and inhaled a Snickers…and took the only photo of me in the country of Nigeria. That smile? It’s my travel grin).