So I have been living outside Nigeria for a little while now and with every passing day, there are so many things I wish I could bring with me. There are days when my husband and I would just chill and reminisce about all the little things we took for granted back home that we miss a whole lot right now.
The disparity between Life in Nigeria and life in the abroad is very wide, there are definitely things we don’t miss at all but the things we miss are far much more. It was a little difficult to streamline it all to a list of 10 but I wouldn’t want to make this post unnecessarily lengthy.
So here is my list of things I miss about living in Nigeria
1. Closeness to Family
This is by far the one thing I miss the most and that’s why it’s top of my list. Oh my gosh, I miss my family so much that sometimes after we video chat and all I just keep thinking about them on and on.
A few weeks ago it was my son’s birthday and I just couldn’t stop imagining how much more fun it would have been if we were with our family. We would have ended up having three separate parties because my mother in law would have prepared her delicious pot of Jollof rice and my Mom would have made her Fried rice special. It would have been much more exciting celebrating his birthday with family around but here we just had a little party to celebrate it.
Knowing that you live just two to three buses away from your friends sometimes makes you feel close to them. Even if we don’t see each other every day I miss the fact that I could just burst into any of their houses and catch up with gist and all, we could go out, attend weddings, parties, church programmes and do lots of fun things together but right now all we have is Whatsapp.
Omg! Church in Nigeria cannot be compared to anything else, from the togetherness and love we share to the cooperation when planning programmes, doing a lot of running around together and making sacrifices there’s nothing like it.
The church here is not so bad but I miss the choir back home, I miss the sound messages and teachings, I miss the revival, I miss the need to ask God for everything because here so much is already provided you become more self-reliant than God-reliant. I miss all that so much!
4. Street Food & Any corner availability
From buying Gala and plantain chips in Lagos-Ibadan traffic to branching at Shitta Roundabout to buy Amala or the red-hot jollof rice laced with golden brown dodo at White house Yaba to Iya Ayo’s Amala in Mowe….been there seen it all done that.
I remember those early days in our marriage when hubby and I would both get home late and we would settle for “dundun” (fried potato) with peppered stew and fried fish from our neighbourhood supplier, the taste was so good, I think I’m craving it right now as I’m typing this. The suya from across the street, the Ewa–agoyin from somewhere down the corner, chai! I miss it all so much!
Fruits are readily available everywhere in the abroad but nothing compares to the joys of plucking them from your compound and enjoying the sweet undiluted taste of fresh fruits.
My mind travelled back to sometime last year during the Mango season when my Sisters in law and I took turns climbing the very fertile Mango tree in my Father in law’s compound. From Mango to Guava to plantain, you name it just right there on the tree waiting to be plucked. I miss all that.
Eating fresh vegetables from my Mum’s mini Ugwu and bitter leaf plantation was such a joy! I miss it all so bad! The other day I almost cried when I saw a plate of freshly washed Agbalumo on Ali baba’s Instagram page, it hurt so bad knowing I couldn’t just branch in my local Mowe market to buy #200 worth of one of my favourite fruits
6.Evening Strolls, the heat and moonlight gists
I miss those days when we would take evening strolls and just walk around, we tried to do it once a while here but as soon as the excessive cool of winter came nobody taught us to stay in our heated house and watch tv.
I miss being able to say the heat is too much, It’s supposed to be spring right now but as I type these, kids can’t go to school today coz the weather is 0 degrees out there. The nighttime gists with my mother in law under the moonlight was always a delight, I would laugh my hearts out as one by one each person narrated one funny story or the other to pass time on nights when Nepa refused to show us mercy.
7. Market Runs and pricing
I miss my Saturday or sometimes Sunday market run’s from Balogun Market to Berger market to Magboro market to Mowe market, I miss having to shakara the seller by cutting the exorbitant price they give at first in half, then walk away if they don’t agree then strolling right back to add 100 Naira more and buy the commodity.
Here, the prices are clearly pasted on each item and even your pepper and tomato is weighed so there’s no such thing as “Ejo e bami fi si” (please help me add Jara or extra)
8. Free/Affordable Hairstyles
I miss my sister making my hair and me not having to worry about the price or making a trip to a salon. I miss having access to affordable coconut oil and natural aloe vera from the backyard. Not anymore! Here you have to book appointments to go see a barber or hair stylist, in fact, ehn me I just do my own hair myself. Thank God for wigs too! Ain’t nobody got time for all that drama abeg
9. Agbo Jedi
Back home the moment you eat so many sweet things, my mom or father in law would be handing you a tall glass of Agbo jedi to drink but here it’s so difficult to buy all the root and stems needed to make a proper bottle of Agbo. We settle for things like garlic, ginger and anything close to these, then soak it in water for days and drink. This is definitely not as effective as the ones back home that have enough Kafura pelebe and the likes of it ( if you know you know), I miss my tall glass of Agbo jedi too.
10. Street Music and Movies
Most times on your way back from work you hear music blasting from those small barbing salons, children dancing on the streets, people gathered watching Chinese movies with Yoruba translations on the road and so much more. All these were kind of a nuisance to me back then but strangely I really miss them now
There are so many other things I would have loved to list here but I can’t right now: like knowing your neighbour’s name, the friendliness and brotherliness of them helping you pack your clothes in when it rains. Neighbours welcoming you when you return from work, helping you pick your kids from school or just inviting them over to play, the unity and love that binds us together in Nigeria, watching each other’s back and so much more. It still baffles me that despite living in this house for so long, I still don’t know my neighbour’s name. I just know she speaks Spanish and she has a boyfriend who comes visiting once a week.
Okay, let’s not start gossiping.
Anyway, that’s my list of things I miss about Nigeria, tell me which of them you find weird.
Please leave a comment!
Thanks for reading guys!