"If life has beaten you severely and your face is swollen, smile and act like a fat man." - Nigerian proverb
I do not doubt that I currently prefer life in Lagos to London. However, that does not mean that there are some things that I sincerely miss from my birthplace. Here are the top three things that I miss the most:
It is no mistake that Amazon is the favourite business for millions of people worldwide. It is still the most valuable brand globally for a good reason; they sell convenience. When I was in London, I ordered items before midday and got them before 6 pm. The things you buy online are sometimes cheaper than the price you would pay in the store, and there is nothing you need that you cannot find on Amazon. However, it would help if you drastically changed your expectations when you get to Nigeria. Firstly, there is Jumia and Konga in Lagos to order goods from. However, they certainly do not have 50% of the things that you may need, and even if they do, you may have to wait up to a week for it. We will get there; we are just not there yet.
2. Friends and Family
This goes without saying. I missed my brothers every single day. It didn’t help that we were all poor communicators and spoke few and far between. If you are the only one moving back home, I suggest scheduling a set time to speak every week with family; otherwise, the hustle and bustle of life can pass you by. Also, even though I had a highly active social life in Lagos, I still missed my crazy London friends. Creating time to catch up with them regularly helped my mental health tremendously, and they helped me solve issues I was facing a lot faster than if I had stayed quiet.
Driving in Lagos is hell. I cannot speak for other African cities, but aside from traffic issues, you better be on alert in Lagos every second. You need to be an expert on defensive driving here because it seems to be an abomination to drive in a straight line. If you are not dodging another car or human in the street, you will be dodging the terror that is Nigerian police. When driving late at night, be prepared for police at the checkpoints to “Madam, how far?” you into giving them cash to proceed. I hope you don’t get caught doing any minor driving offence or with anything inappropriate in your car, as in some areas, they are not afraid to put their hands on you or empty your bank account. Driving in London was not fun either. The roads were littered with cameras, and they had their fair share of potholes too, but you could rely on other drivers to have sense over 50% of the time.
All in all, even though I miss these things. I still believe I made the right decision to move back. In fifteen months, I only think I missed London on two days. I’m genuinely enjoying my time in Lagos, despite the pitfalls.