I start my days doing a number of things: 1.Exercising – which is usually my first attempt at getting up from bed. A sit up is a sit up, okay? 2. Setting social media restrictions for the day: I like to keep my interactions to a max one- hour for the whole day. That this hour is routinely multiplied by 6 is completely irrelevant. 3. Creating checklists to keep my activities for the day guided.
For the most part, things usually go as planned; but I have noticed a number of lost, unaccountable hours recently. Some of it, I’ve realised is spent binge-watching Mad Men at interminable hours; but the majority of it is actually just me fantasising about the day I get to send my thoughts and prayers for whatever new mess Nigeria has found herself in, from my newly leased condo in the abroad.
To properly account for my now very time-consuming habit, I decided to keep a little record of all the times the spirit fell upon me to leave the country, starting from Sunday.
Sunday (April 14th) – what started off as a rather tame day, took a turn for the worst, with a three-hour-long session spent reminiscing on the possibilities of leaving Nigeria for the US. What kicked this off you might ask? Well, this news report said the US was warning its citizens against coming to Nigeria, owed to its record of terrorism and kidnappings. Then I started thinking, well, no one really warned Nigerians against coming to the US. Before I knew it, I was spending hours imagining a land with minimal mosquitoes and sensible people that don’t make two- lane roads into five at the first sign of traffic.
Also, Nigeria’s cursed slow internet didn’t let me stream Game of Thrones in peace, I wanted to off-shirt.
Monday (April 15th): after spending 17 minutes in traffic for my otherwise 5-minute commute to work, I couldn’t help but wonder what the weather in Amalfi must feel like at this time of the year. Of course I spent at least 40 minutes on borrowed work time researching this topic (April and October are the peak periods to visit, by the way, you’re welcome).
Later in the day, while hopping on a Skype Call, a power cut in the middle of negotiations, had me asking potential clients about the welfare structures in Switzerland at this time of year, and if their countries granted asylum to frustrated Nigerians. They got a little confused with that second part, but I did my research regardless (24 minutes of it), they don’t grant asylum on grounds of frustration, sadly. The search continues.
Tuesday (April 16th): despite having a relatively content day with my status as a Nigerian resident, all of that came crashing down when President Muhammadu Buhari, commiserated with France over the loss of parts of the Notre Dame structure.
Now, while it’s definitely great to offer condolences, the fact that the majority of Nigeria’s relics are in perpetual states of neglect and have been largely forgotten by the government, saw me in front of my laptop with two tabs open — the first being how to overthrow a government peacefully, and the other being ‘tips on winning the US Visa Lottery’. Friends, that was how I spent the remainder of my time between 4 and 11 pm researching.
Wednesday(April 17th): completely unprovoked, I spent an hour wondering what daily life in a country that didn’t try to kill you with stress must feel like. To actually be able to walk up to a policeman to ask for help without fearing for dear life, and having a real shot at employment, post-University without needing to know five people related to the Governor.
It is now Thursday (April 18th), I can’t really be angry because well, we’re getting two public holidays in quick succession. But can you imagine spending those two working days in Canada, complete with a visa and working permit?
Somebody please check on me in an hour’s time.