Top 10 things Nigerians say on a visit abroad for the very first time
Some may want to embark on this adventure as a form of displaying a touch of class, others would yearn for it just to get out of their comfort zone and see what the other side looks like.
File Photo of some Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
In the light of this, some would love to travel to other countries for holidays to build confidence among foreigners despite language barriers, develop cultural sensitivity, adapt to globalization, and create every opportunity to network for business and or professional purposes.
When people travel to foreign countries perhaps for a tour, they encounter various experiences both from the expected and the unexpected. This piece recalls ten of the many statements Nigerians make on their visits abroad.
1. These people are racists
Many a time, you hear people tell stories about their travels and travails abroad and how they had been humiliated. At the point of entry before the immigration for instance, you are already suspected that you would run away once you are allowed into the country of your destination. You must have to prove yourself worthy if not, back you go to your country.
The questionings and treatments you are given would make you conclude that these people are racists.
A colleague once told me a story of how he was treated spitefully at a restaurant on his first trip to China. But then, who do you blame? Many people have been to other countries from Nigeria and failed to return. The media too have contributed in exaggerating issues of public importance which become highly detrimental to Nigeria and Nigerians.
Thus, when people like you go into a foreign country with good intentions, you are still seen as those for whose sake the country has been painted black. Even in your own fellow African country, Morocco, as far as you are a black man getting into the country, you are a suspect. If peradventure you begin to live in any of these foreign countries as a legal resident, you’d still find love among their people.
2. Is this the obodoyibo (abroad)?
I remember the very first time I went to London on a professional training, the first rhetorical question I had asked my colleagues upon exiting Heathrow International Airport was: “is this the almighty London we’ve heard about?”—To me, I was not impressed with what I had seen against the many hypes. I did not feel that aura of obodoyibo. This I guess may have been experienced by many.
3. Nigeria has a long way to go!
Having stayed in places like the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and some other countries, you may now begin to see the very reasons why they call these countries ‘developed nations’ and your own country as developing or underdeveloped, as the case may be. From the very first mental development, a friend narrated an encounter with a danfo bus driver in Lagos.
She was about to cross a road using the zebra crossing around Excellence Hotel at Aguda in Ogba when a bus approached speedily. She asked: “didn’t you see the zebra crossing?” then the driver replied asking her if she was a zebra. But in other countries, once you stand on the zebra crossing lines, every driver assumes you want to cross the road. They slow down and stop. This is because lives are insured.
Nigerians in America
Many people don’t take cognizance of the laws of traffic in Nigeria. How many people have health insurance? Why won’t drivers hit people and go scot-free?
When you see other things like the infrastructural development and human and national security approaches, you wouldn’t help but say Nigeria has a long way to go.
4. I miss Nigerian food here
When a Nigerian finds his local delicacies abroad, he is happy. This is one of the most concurrent statements Nigerians across the globe would always say. But business people have tried to make these food stuffs available for those residing abroad. These food stuffs are basically not for a tourist who is in a hotel because he has no means of cooking them.
5. You people work too much here!
Why not? How will they pay their bills? Because of bills, people abroad have been saturated in their various jobs and are ready to forfeit anything just to go to work. I attended a wake keep recently in Annapolis, before the programme could start, some people had already started leaving, why? They were off to night shift. The hall became empty. A husband and his wife may hardly see themselves on daily basis, all for their jobs.
6. OMG! Things are expensive here!
Upon a visit abroad, the first point of expenses is taxi or train fare. A taxi from Heathrow Airport to Dagenham Heathway will cost you nothing less than £70 or you use the train which will require buying the Oyster travel card and loading it with not less than £25 depending on the zones you travel through in one week. A taxi from John F. Kennedy International Airport to 5th Avenue in New York will cost you about $55. It is from this point an average Nigerian will say that things are very expensive even before he visits the mall.
7. How much is exchange rate?
The statement of ‘things are very expensive’ increases when they begin shopping as the price of everything being bought will first be converted to Naira to have an idea of what it costs.
8. The tax abroad is too much!
In everything you buy, you are paying for tax as well! This is not what he experiences back home at retail markets, Oshodi, Alaba, or even computer village, except maybe at Shoprite and other places at Ikeja Mall.
9. Too many rules
As a first time or even regular visitor abroad, you can attest that there are many rules that not even all residents have been able to keep up with. If care is not taken, even as you may have been allowed entry, you may overstep your bounds and the result may not be liked.
Nigeria has laws and there are everyday rules. Those who are meant to maintain these rules are the chief violators, thus how would the followers keep them up? Because of the ignorant attitude towards these Nigerian laws, when we find ourselves abroad, we say the rules are too much.
10. I still prefer Nigeria
Despite the luxurious life abroad, many Nigerians resident in foreign land would always say they still prefer Nigeria. A man who visits for tourism purpose would also be of that opinion. There are things you can do and get away with in Nigeria. Such a person is someone who has all it takes to live in Nigeria. He does not remember whether PHCN exists, he can afford his children school fees abroad, he can travel abroad anytime. So, Nigerians abroad still love Nigeria.