Saturday, April 22, 2006

What a Small City Lagos Is

I almost feel the claustrophobia setting in. Okay, not quite, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

I had an appointment at an oil company today. I was to pick up a package and had to wait in the reception area while it was being prepared for me. As I sat, many people passed through the reception on their way in or out of the office complex. I didn't realise just how many people I now know. This is amazing considering I just moved back last August and felt like I knew next to nobody (outside of my family and very old friends). In the 20 or so minutes in which I sat there, I felt like I either knew or recognised every other person who passed by. Some I had met at work, others I had just seen around town and one was an old family friend.

Now I understand how everyone seems to know each other or know of each other. When I was younger, I assumed that my parents were just incredibly popular people as they seemed to know everybody. Now I realise that, yes they are popular. LOL!!!! But, if you spend enough time in Lagos, you too will find yourself stopping every 5 minutes to greet people you know.


Nkem said...

Argh! I hate to say this, but even though Nigerians are social animals, I reckon the whole recognition phenom is a metropolitan elite myth where social class and phyisical location determine who you interact with. I used to think I knew many Nigerians in London until I moved to a different part of the city, and worked in a different kind of job. That said, the world, much less Lagos, is tiny.

Ore said...

I see what you mean, Nkem, and I actually thought about that after I published that blog entry. But then, many people tend to have multiple spheres of interaction and not all of them determined by class (ok, physical distance will always be an issue, though probably less so in somewhere like Lagos).

For instance, my work (as a training coordinator at a consultancy) means that I meet all sorts of people from the engineers we train, the execs in their companies, tradespeople (who we buy furniture, office equipment, etc from), printers who make our brochures, uni graduates who we interview on behalf of clients, etc. Outside work, I meet people at church, the gym, the occasional Salsa class, family, family friends, NYSC friends and staff and the list goes on.

Everchange said...

Sigh. Ore, if only my life were as sweet as yours. Work, gym, salsa class, friends...How come I was bored senile in Lagos?

Ore said...

Hmmm, I don't know that it is that sweet. I feel that so much of my life is routine, but then who's isn't?

Well, there is quite a lot to do in Lagos, though I guess it all depends on what you're interested in. Let me know when next you're in town.