In many ways, my life in Nigeria has been more vibrant and challenging than life in the United States ever was. A friend of mine once described living in Nigeria as “life in Technicolor,” and I have to agree.
Life in the US, has its share of difficulties, but every day, my country surprises me with some nugget of insight into human behaviour and the wild variety of motivations that shape it. It has certainly improved my writing and fired my imagination. And so, with the New Year high still in place, I thought I would share some of the lessons I learned in 2010:
1. Never leave your house without looking your very best. You will be judged entirely on your looks.
2. Cell phone credit is far too expensive to waste on small talk. Get to the point and don’t bother with goodbyes.
3. Traffic lanes and speed limits are only suggestions. And the biggest car always has right of way.
4. Stand up straight. No matter how broke you are, great posture is free.
5. Patience is not a virtue, it’s a necessity. But if you have money, it’s for suckers.
6. Everything is negotiable, so don’t hesitate to bargain.
7. Be nice to everyone; you never know when they’ll pop up again.
8. There is no such thing as personal space.
9. A little yelling goes a long way. We call it “halla.”
10. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the wallet is mightier still.