Flight to Lagos
As I boarded my British Airways flight to Lagos, Nigeria.I noticed that it very busy and completely full. This is not unusual and even though I had been away for six months, I was reassured that some things never change.
Flights to Lagos are always full. There is always so much hand luggage and people are perpetually trying to squeeze bags into every corner of the aircraft.
In as much as Lagos can be challenging, hard, stressful it is also buzzing, happening and exciting all at once. You never know what’s going to happen next.
On the journey, I start to feel my levels of anticipation rising and a little nervous. What surprises will the airport hold, Will I clear passport control quietly.
Will I get my luggage on time (then I remembered I made the brave decision to travel light) Will the driver be waiting to pick me at the airport? Will I find him easily? Will my phone work?
I may be Irish but I love my Nigerian Passport only when I get to that immigration desk. I could hear the conversations from the immigration desk where the “Oyinbos” white people/foreigners had queued.
They always sound so authoritarian as they ask for Vaccination cards and visas. It’s the Nigerian way. Uniforms and authority make us excited.
As I handed over my passport, I was surprised to get back my landing card the steward on the plane had made such a fuss about. “Everybody must fill these cards including Nigerians” so what was the big deal. I now had my card to take home with me, what a pointless exercise.
Welcome to Lagos. It’s full of surprises and I love it.
Could I find the driver? Of course not. Did my phone work? Of Course not. I was besieged by “Madam you need a taxi” “Aunty do you need a taxi”
I was tempted and thought “Amanda jolly well follow your own advice” You just cannot go with someone you don’t know especially as I am an “Oyibo “woman myself. That is until I open my mouth to speak.
I stood near the exit looking for Godspower. Of course, he was nowhere to be found. In a distance, I saw a sea of people just standing waiting to meet passengers. Time was going and it was getting dark and the time I would have spent waiting for luggage I now spent looking for Godspower.
While I was wondering what to do I could see in a distance a crowd of people. I noticed them because the woman had a very bright yellow outfit, it was bright and happy. Then I noticed the man next to her with the white streak of grey hair in his big afro.
That’s my family! Cousins, aunty and uncle. Here was my ride home I thought. Godspower has done his worst to me. As we hugged and greeted each other. Godspower comes out of the woodwork. “Hello ma,” he says.
I was home for sure. This is how Lagos rolls. It doesn’t work but it works fine. As they say, just keep Calm and Eat Suya.