Tuesday 24 March 2015

Oddities, where else...

There are certain things that could come off as offensive with everyday living in Nigeria, especially to foreigners. Here are just two of some of those oddities which might be peculiar to just us.

Name calling
Oyibo, he called after her...she smiled, then looked at me. I never find people calling me oyibo offensive she said. Instead I feel like there is a certain fondness to it. I was pleased to hear that in some way. Here is someone who has spent just a little over a year in Nigeria, yet she takes the time to understand certain things about her host country, that could so easily be overlooked or judged from a different perspective.
On the other hand, another was called oyibo and he replied 'I am not oyibo'! He is Arab by the way. I explained that here, those people calling names really don't care for distinctions. Once your skin is not brown but more in the shade of milk, you are oyibo! And it is not derogatory, it is simply a slang.

I read someones post, she is of Nigerian origin but lives in the United States. One of the times she visited Nigeria, she was called lepa. She didn't know what it meant but when she found out, she thought it was absolutely rude. Why would random people just call names out at people they did not know?

I was having lunch with colleagues at a café, a school mate I had not seen in years spotted me and walked over to say hi. I was trying to collect my thoughts, but stood up to hug her and one of the first things she said was 'you've become so skinny' and I replied 'you've become so fat'. Then she said 'I am a mother, what can I do?'. My reply was 'that's no excuse'. She agreed with me, then we had a brief chat. Apparently, she and her husband own the place so I would be seeing her a lot as that's one of the closest places to grab a meal, and yes, it is a great place.

Friday 13 March 2015

Calling her out

Two of us were sharing our frustrations about a certain woman who seems to take pleasure in making life difficult for the people she works with. He mentioned how she appears versus the reality and I summed it up. Oh, she is a b***h! He said hmmmm, I was trying to say it in a nicer way, then I said there is no need for that. I didn't think much of it then as we changed the subject and talked about many other things.

A few minutes later, I reflected on what I said earlier and wondered when I started speaking that way. I said such a derogatory word with such ease. I asked myself if this had come with practice because I didn't even realise. Not so long ago, it would have taken a lot to hear such words from me. I made such efforts to keep my 'mouth clean'!