Monday, August 26, 2013

First impressions

There's nothing like a first impression. That moment when something is new, and you're uber observant and trying to store mental images of everything.

I last wrote from Paris where I felt as comfortable as being at home, but the moment that changed was when I headed for my gate and realized I was the only person with white skin. For someone who's always been able to blend in with the crowd, I can't anymore. For the first time I've actually realized I'm the minority.

So, let me list some first impressions, (since I will have a load of work to do to get my room in order before bed):

1. Here you will find many different smells, and I'm not talking about sweet aromas, just smelly smells.
(For instance, I was next to a man in the Lagos airport that smelled as if he hadn't showered in days. Now in the states, that's probably because that person is too poor to afford a shower, but not so here. It ended up that this man was some important looking person, because as soon as we entered the airport, several men in uniform as well as several armed guards came to meet him. )

2. Red dirt is everywhere. 

3. Speaking of dirt, most of the roads are made out of it. Which means that you will always have a bumpy ride since there are many pot holes. 

4. There are absolutely no "rules of the road"... Or at least none that I can find. If you want to drive on the opposite side of the road because traffic is going too slow for you, go right ahead!

5. Either there is no AC, or you have a unit in 1 room and crank it to where it's so cold, you can't stand it. (I was freezing last night, so I slept without it)

6. People like to yell at one another, but their demeanor can change in an instant. 
We (several of the other girls and I) were waiting for our driver to pick us up from the airport and we got to watch the chaos of people trying to pick up their loved ones, while the airport security attempted to bring some order to the chaos. If the car was not parked exactly in the spot that they were satisfied with, they would start shouting at the driver, until he did what they wanted. 

One of these guards was getting ready to shout when this older stopped woman stopped him by saying " oh no, don't get upset, you need to smile. Look it is me, grandma, you smile for grandma. See look how happy you are, you look nice with smile. " and sure enough her words were able to put a giant smile on his face. He turned to me after she left and said "did you see that? Funny lady, I like her!" Still chuckling to himself. Of course the next second he was back to yelling at another car. 

There are so many other things I want I write about, but another time. I need to unpack, because I changed rooms with someone. I was in the basement at first, but there was a lot of mould and I kept sneezing, plus the room was connected with another girl's room by a door with a curtain over it, and being a very light sleeper, I didn't get much last night. So I will show pictures of my room, I'll have to take some in the daylight cause you can't see much. 

I'll end with a couple of pictures from my shopping excursion today 
Most of the time people yell if you try to take a picture at the markets, but the onion seller was nice and let me take one. 

There's not too much at the "supermarket"
You buy the un-refrigerated milk that's been pasteurized and sealed. 
And lastly a view if my art class...still a ways to go before school starts next week, but we'll get there!

God Bless,


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