More Nappy TalkI'm definitely starting to see a lot more women with natural hair now. You can tell that this has really been bothering me....
On Saturday, at the Silverbird Galleria, I saw a handful of women with locs (in one store alone!!!!!!). I've also caught sight of women with locs several places about Lagos. Of all the natural hair styling options, locs are the last one I would expect to see, because the Nigerian society is a conservative one, where Euro-centric ideals of beauty (i.e. straight, in-its-place hair) is still very much the norm. I have also seen a few Nigerian models sporting the very short and almost bald look. Wow! I feel suddenly not alone.
I haven't seen anyone with long natural hair that isn't worn in locs though, so in that way I still get a lot of stares, but not as many as I expected to get. When my sister and I left the Silverbird Galleria and were getting into our car, there were two ladies in the taxi which had stalled alongside our car. As I got out of the car to give the gateman of the building in front of which we had parked some money (If you're not Nigerian, you probably won't understand why I had to give him any money. Actually, even I don't understand why I gave him any money, afterall he didn't do anything. Anyway, the tipping habits of Nigerians is another story). The lady in the front seat stared at me as I got out of the car and as I walked back to the car. I cannot stand it when people just stare at me- especially when I'm not sure it's out of admiration or anything like that. Then she asked me if that was all my hair, to which I replied "Yes, it is." "It's so lovely, it's so beautiful" she said.
Blush, blush. :-) Unexpected compliments are so nice.
I start work on Tuesday (Monday is a public holiday) and I think I'm just going to braid my hair with extensions. I've worn my hair out (i.e. in afros, afro puffs, twist outs) for the last two months and I need a break from my hair. Sorry, beloved hair. And so much for taking a stand for natural hair right off the bat. I'll have to do that later.
********* *********** ************ **********
East, West, Home is Best, But......Being home has been great! They say there's nowhere like home and I have to agree. I feel so comfortable here, even though there are so many societal norms that are no longer normal to me and which I have to get used to. However, I occasionally miss the States- not as much as I thought I would, surprisingly enough, but I still get pangs of 'second home sickness.'
- Television. The new season of programs would be starting about now and there are so many shows, which I was hooked on and will miss seeing: The Apprentice; America's Next Top Model; CSI. There are brand new shows, which I'd love to see: The Apprentice- Martha Stewart, Everybody Hates Chris. I was such a homebody in Boston, and especially in the winter, there was nothing I loved more than dashing home from work and cuddling up to an evening of good shows. Sniff.
- Stop and Shop and other chain supermarkets. You can get (literally) everything you need under one roof. No having to check one store ("Drat! They don't have what I need") and jump in your car to drive 35 minutes to another store (really it should be a 10-minute journey, but what with traffic and all......)
- Online Shopping. The older I've gotten, the less patience I've had for shopping in stores, but the more I've gotten to adore shopping online.
Amazon.com was my favourite home away from home. I'd be listening to NPR or BBC at work (more about this later) and hear about a book or an author, and next thing you know, I'd be off to Amazon to check out said book or author. From there, I'd read the readers' reviews, check out what people who bought that book also bought and before you know it I'd have ordered 4 books. I had a wishlist all set up and loved seeing "Hello Oreoluwa" whenever I logged in to MY special page made up of all my most recent purchases or searches.
- Online Radio. Everyone at my last job knew that I loved NPR and BBC. I was always listening to one of the two stations and now I don't know if I can work without accompanying sound. (Okay, I have no choice. I'll have to get used to it somehow). But, it was a great way to catch up on the day's news and listen to interviews with interesting people.
- Surfing the Web in front of the TV. This was one of my favourite ways to spend an evening (If you didn't know it before, I'm sure that you are definitely getting the sense that I am not the world's greatest partier). I had dial-up internet connection, but it was fast compared to what we have here at home in Lagos and I'd spend many a merry evening AND entire weekends visiting my online hang-out spots: Nappturality.com, Television Without Pity, BBC News, googling my name.....
There are a few other things I miss- I miss my friends a lot. I literally have two friends here. I hope this will change with time though.