Saturday, March 24, 2007

Back in the City of Chaos

I thoroughly enjoyed my week in Abuja. I felt 10 years rolling off me and generally felt a calm that tends to elude me in Lagos.

I went for a conference. My colleague and I were manning a booth and I had under-estimated the amount of hard work that it could be - talking up your work and repeating the same spiel countless times. At times, my mouth actually hurt from talking so much. Many of the other exhibitors complained about this year's poor turn-out and the lack of traffic on the exhibition floor. I don't know since this was the first time I was attending, but our table got a lot of inquiries.

On my last night I had dinner at a Thai restaurant called Thai Chi. The food was good, though not quite as good as Bangkok Restaurant I thought. When we left, they gave us calendars as a parting gift, which was filled with what I'm guessing are Thai sayings e.g. "Everything in moderation, including moderation" and "What we think we become." My favourite was "Do not speak - unless it improves on silence."

On my return trip to Lagos I felt my newly-acquired calm slowly dissipate. My Virgin Nigeria flight left an hour late. The flight was quite turbulent in parts and one particular dip had me clutching my stomach desperately for fear that its contents would spew upwards. When we arrived at Murtala Muhammed Airport, we were told that the conveyor belt was not working and that our luggage would be manually distributed. All the passengers crowded around the airport official doing the distributing and a little chaos ensued as everyone wanted to push their way to the front. When my suitcase came out, the handle broke off. Luckily though, it's a pull along and I was able to maneuver it out of the crowd. The drive home took forever on account of the traffic and on getting home I found that there had been fighting in Ajah for the last 2 days and (as a result?) the traffic on the island had been hellish. Ah, home sweet home.


Anonymous said...

I feel you. I'll relish any opportunity to be outta lagos for a few days/weeks too.

uknaija said...

welcome home ;-)

Ayo Adene said...

...Hi Ore.I'm doing a BlogTrot of people who've returned to naija and what they've seen.Most of the posts I've read are negative.One Elly,Dutch,puts a photo of bullet holes in her car as her only memory of Wakkis,a popular Chinese restaurant in Abuja.But Wakkis has an ambience you can't beat anywhere else.Not to mention the food.Elly didnt remember that.My friend Jennifer just returned to Canada last night after 20 years away from Nigeria.She had a ball and she's not hiding it.You can read about her on my blog, Meanwhile,keep blogging, and have a ball yourself.