by Hadiza Duncan
It is with deep sadness and a sense of bittersweet regret that I board a plane out of Madrid for the last time, at least for now!
Let me start with the things I will not miss… I will not miss seeing some of my fellow Nigerians and having to avoid them because so many of them are involved in “the business that you Nigerians do here”, as one Camerounian girl described her boyfriend’s business to me. Chei! Nigerians, can we not just decide to be different in this generation and not get caught up in all these shady things? There’s always a choice!
I’m definitely looking forward to returning to Nigeria. I’ve missed the hustle and bustle of Lagos; its live vibrancy which you cannot find anywhere else in the world. But in the meantime, I’m going to miss the easy oyibo life I’ve led for the past three months. Good roads, constant electricity, water, internet, good CHEAP public transport (about N200 on the tube in any direction as far as 30 minutes oh), and gentlemanly gentlemen (sorry Naija guys, you don’t open the door for me or let me go first, do you?). And I’ll miss the kisses! Yes I’m certainly going to miss being kissed, especially if the kisser is a hot dude. Even if it is only a greeting, a kiss is a kiss, abi?
I was really getting into the groove of things here, you know. I had dates lined up with hot Spanish amigos, complete conversations in Spanish (even if it was broken Spanish), eating the ham and Spanish omelettes like an old pro, dancing all night and then working the next day like nothing happened (how do they do it, I wonder?) and dancing till breakfast time on the weekends!
Well, I’m returning home with my memories: the memories of being in a foreign land and not being able to communicate until, by sheer force of will, I started speaking the language in three months, finding church (I felt really cool, fellowshipping with ambassadors from different African countries) and losing church the minute church said homosexuality is right with God (let us not lie to ourselves… the world accepts it, but God?) I’ll miss the fabulous Spanish tapas that I’m not going to be able to do by myself at home – except for the ham that I’m taking back with me to Naija, the sangria (authentic style, not Don Simon) which I can now make for myself, and the long long loo-oong Spanish lunches – except that I was not allowed the customary siesta to follow. I’ll miss bonding with other Africans from South Africa, Kenya, Cameroun and Nigeria (with references), our differences all cast aside in a foreign land.
And of course, Spain is a woman’s shopping haven, with designer outlets, huge shopping malls, the very cheap Zara stores and real jewel stones. Did I say I’m going to miss Spain?
Until I return my Espana, Hasta Luego!