“People Don’t Randomly Dance On The Roads In India”- Abroad Life

December 18, 2020

The Nigerian experience is physical, emotional and sometimes international. No one knows it better than our features on #TheAbroadLife, a series where we detail and explore Nigerian experiences while living abroad.

Today’s subject on Abroad Life lived in India for almost four years and now, she lives in Ireland. She talks about her experiences in India and the loneliness that comes from living away from home. 

What’s happening in Ireland?

I’m doing my masters. I’ve been here for 11 months. I just want to say that I read the Abroad Life story about gang activity in Ireland and it was very relatable. 

How so?

Many things that happen here that seem gang related. There’s also a lot of shady activity and some police activity around. I haven’t witnessed anything firsthand, but stuff like that definitely happens here.

Why did you choose Ireland?

A lot of Nigerians that are here are people that didn’t make it to Canada, so this is some sort of second choice. 

Was that your situation?

Yes. I tried once and got a visa rejection. I hate rejection, so I didn’t try again. 

How was settling in Ireland?

I live with someone here, and this is the first time ever I’ve had to share a room. It was super weird moving into a new place with someone new, but that was the only weird part for me. 

Not even the fact that it was outside Nigeria?

No. I stayed in India for my Bachelors, then moved to Nigeria for two years before I came back here, so it’s not like it was my first time abroad. 

What was India like?

I have not-so-great memories about the place. I was young and it was difficult being in a country where they didn’t majorly speak English. The first two years were super, super tough, but my final year was better because  I started hanging out with Nigerians and going out to experience the culture.

What language did you have to learn?

Hindi. I went to a language school for three months when I got there, but even now, I can’t speak the language.

Can I ask a question that has been on my mind since you said you stayed in India? 


Do people randomly start dancing together on the road?

You know, I knew that was the question you were going to ask. I get that question a whole lot and I don’t get why people ask it. It makes me laugh. The answer is no, though. People don’t randomly start dancing on the roads.

Haha… Is there anything from Bollywood that translates to Indian reality?

Hmm, let me see… Okay, here’s one. It’s a normal thing to be in a rickshaw — which is like a keke in Nigeria — chilling in traffic and someone riding an elephant just pulls up beside you. The use of elephants as a means of transportation is pretty normal here.

Energy. I love it.

Another thing about India is that they don’t eat cows. I found out after a long time that it was buffalo meat I was eating. 


Oh yes, one day I was heading somewhere, and I saw a group of people holding a wrapped dead body on the road in broad daylight, lifting it, throwing it around and dancing.

Ah, how long were you there for?

Three  years, seven months and ten days. I did a countdown, because I couldn’t wait to leave.

What do you miss about India?

The food. For the first two years, I shut myself out from everything, so I wasn’t eating Indian food. But in my final year, I opened up a bit and I enjoyed the food. It was worth it. 

What’s your favorite Indian food?  

It’s called Chicken Biryani. It’s a mixed rice dish with chicken and a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s really good. 

How did you cope with loneliness?

I didn’t cope; It didn’t leave. I just learnt to live with it. I made friends and all of that, but friends didn’t fill the gap. 

What do you think would have filled that gap?

My family. I always want to be around them. It’s funny, but I wish I could take them with me wherever I went. If they were there with me, it would have made everything complete. It’s still very lonely in Ireland. And it’s because my family is not here. 

Cute. What happens when you have your own family?

Then I’d like to be around my original family and my new family. 

Haha. Would you rather be in Ireland or India?

Ireland, because it’s diverse. I really love Africans, and in Ireland, I get to meet a lot of people from different African countries. In India, the majority of Africans I met were Nigerians like me.

What meaningful experience have you had with Africans in Ireland?

Asides drinking and partying?

Tell me about that.

There’s always a reason to drink in Ireland. Everything you’ve heard about the drinking culture in Ireland is true. One weekday afternoon, I was chilling alone in my room and my Kenyan friend texted me to ask if I was busy. When I said no, she texted me a room number and told me to go there. I got there and there was a wild drinking party. There wasn’t even space for me to enter. As I stood at the door, I asked someone what was happening and they said, “Oh nothing. We just feel like drinking and partying.”

What’s your social life like?

I resumed school late in February and I stay on campus, a few minutes from my class so there aren’t a lot of reasons for me to go outside or around.  My school also gives a lot of assignments, so I don’t have all the time in the world to go out. Then there was a lockdown too which made things worse. The lockdown was lifted on December 1, so basically, I haven’t had a lot of time for socialising since I got here. 

Did that affect the loneliness?

Absolutely. During the lockdown, we had a four-month break where I stayed at home all day and did nothing. That was the all-time high for my loneliness. I fell into depression. It was terrible. 

Sorry about that. Are you better now?

Yes, and I think it’s because I’m busy.  I have deadlines and assignments now so there’s no time to think about loneliness and depression.

How long will you stay in Ireland?

I’m finishing school in November. I was thinking of moving to Canada, but the euro is stronger than the Canadian Dollar, so I’ll probably just stay here.

What are employment opportunities there like?

It’s very easy to get a student or per-time job and you can work for as long as you want to, but I don’t know how easy it is to get full-time jobs.

Of all the three places you’ve lived in, where would you rather be?

Nigeria. Because family is there. 

Want more Abroad Life? Check in every Friday at 12 PM (WAT) for a new episode. Until then, read every story of the series here.

David Odunlami

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

April 14, 2020

In a rare sighting, our now grounded travel vlogger president addressed the country read from a sheet of paper and gave Nigerians updates concerning the coronavirus. The address told us a bunch of things we already suspected. The lockdown would be extended for another two weeks, its extension is a matter of life and death […]


Now on Zikoko

May 14, 2021

Bolanle Austen-Peters Production, in collaboration with the MTN Foundation, is bringing the story and characters of Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman to the Terra Kulture stage on May 13 to 16 in eight performances. The story, which is inspired by true events, is about a king’s horseman who is prevented from committing ritual […]

May 14, 2021

Spiderman has been seen doing a ton of questionable things on the TL lately — dancing at parties for food, twerking for coins and passing out at nightclubs. We can’t tell if it’s the economy or he took the wrong covid vaccine, but something is seriously wrong with that man. So, inspired by these shenanigans, […]

The Worst Thing A Friend Has Done
May 14, 2021

Friendships can be tricky. Sometimes, friends hurt each other and it’s hard to get past that. In this article, we asked seven Nigerian women to share the worst thing a friend has done to them.  Ibinabo, 24 I had this roommate when I was doing my diploma in Ibadan. I was a new student but […]

Recommended Quizzes

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

November 15, 2019

There are two types of people in Nigeria right now: those who are proud Marlians, and those who are still in denial about stanning the divisive star. So, for those who proudly wear the Marlian tag, we made a quiz to test how well you really know Naira Marley. If you get more than 6 […]

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz: 11 Timed Quizzes For […]

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

More from Citizen

May 4, 2021

What Is #Greenfielduniversity about? On April 20, 2020, 22 students and one staff member of Greenfield University, Kaduna state, were kidnapped by unidentified bandits, in what has been a recent spike in cases of abduction and killings in the country. On April 23, three days after this incident, three of those students were killed, with […]

April 30, 2021

The subject of today’s #AbroadLife is a 22-year-old man who left Nigeria immediately after secondary school. He talks about  being lonely in Canada and why he wants to come back home but can’t just yet.  When did you decide that you wanted to leave Nigeria? I didn’t make the decision. My parents made the decision […]

April 2, 2021

Today’s subject on Abroad Life started her process to leave Nigeria for the USA for school in 2017 and didn’t leave until two months ago. She talks about how money, COVID and visa problems delayed her travel plans. She also talks about arriving in the USA in the middle of a polar vortex and having […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.