Sunday, June 20, 2010
This Nigerian in Paris
So I am in Paris. This Nigerian is in Paris. I know that sounds ridiculous, calling myself or considering myself a Nigerian but please listen to my reasons.
1. I have not been to the US for over year.
2. When I plug my laptop/phone/camera battery into the wall I still freak out because I don't have a stabilizer.
3. I am wearing a fleece and coat in 70+degree Fahrenheit weather.
4. I look at everything with amazement, wonder and awe.
5. I keep wondering when the power is gonna go out.
6. I downloaded my usual seven podcasts in less than a minute, something that can take up to SEVEN hours in Yola. And looked at my computer screen as if there was something seriously wrong happening. I clicked play on "savage love" immediately because I thought it must be a mistake!
This list could go on and on.
It's also a play on my blog title, my favorite radioshow "This American Life" and one of their episodes that is one of my top ten faves "Americans in Paris." I am both an American in Paris and a Nigerian in Paris. Now, the Nigerians out their, if this offends you, please, I am sorry, but meet me and you just might gladly accept me giving myself the title of Nigerian.
So, I must say, leaving Nigeria was quite pleasant. I had a lovely time in the Lagos airport and the trip from one to the other. I know everyone dreads the Lagos airport, but I much rather liked it. It was clean. There was soap, towels, cleanliness, good customer service (Airfrance), customs was great and immigration, and the treatment was great everywhere I went. I kept getting referred to as "sexy" instead of Bature/Baturiya/Oyinbo. I'll take 'sexy' over white anyday. Seriously, what's so bad about this airport peeps? Anyway, I think I'd seriously, given the chance, live in Lagos for a short while. The only complaint I have is they allow smoking in too many places and no where to plug in laptops/cell phones. By the way, Lagos has a 4g network!!!
The flight was good coming into Paris. I landed at 5:30 am. This was my immigration experience. I handed my passport to immigration. I said "Good Morning." They looked at me. Stamped my passport. Handed it back to me. No words said. I walk into Paris. Seriously. I was dumbfounded. After deciding I couldn't figure out the trains at 6:30am in a foreign country I lugged all my kaya (stuff) to the taxi stand. 90 minutes later (rush hour work traffic) I was in the heart of Paris. The hotel I hoped to stay at was booked solid. My wonderful cabbie allowed me to use his crackberry to try and call others. We drove round till I found something. I ended up at the Ramada for two reasons. One, they had a room and two, they were willilng to make change for me. David Sedaris said in "Americans in Paris" I think or maybe it was in "Me talk pretty one day" not sure, but he said that the French refuse to make change. This is so true. I've experienced this sooooo much since I've been here. Since my credit card is still not working, this sucks something terrible! :( My room was great. I slept for a few hours and woke up and wandered in search of food and a sim card for my mobile phone. I ate at McDonald's. It was wonderful. But man, I was jetlagged. Look at my face in the pics!
I took it easy on day one in Paris.