NYSC DIARY: [Port Harcourt Girl] Frustrated!!!

I’m tired of Lagos, very tired. I want to go home. Living in rural Lagos is getting on my nerves big time. There are no cool places nearby to visit. Going into town is hard work because I’m so far away. Power supply is epileptic and there are no cafes nearby for charging my devices. We only get electricity at night somedays and I have to get up and iron what I need for the next day- I’m done wearing ironed clothes until I move out of here. I just want to rant for hours non stop but no be una born me.

Beginning to wish I influenced my posting, a lot of people influenced theirs’ – these things still happen. Change is a mirage. If i had influenced my posting, I would be in my room in my father’s house in Urban Port Harcourt .

Everybody here is nice enough but I still want to go home- too late for redeployment. Everyone is super polite , I’m the problem not the people around me.

Almost had an emotional melt down at the saloon where I went to braid my hair on Thursday. The stylist doesn’t understand English, every conversation had to translated by a girl who was obviously struggling with English. The ladies in the saloon kept telling me “well seated” every few minutes. What is that, i kept asking. At a point, I got so frustrated, started crying and began to yell “That is not what I told you to do”
“Start my braids from the back”
“You’re using too much of the kinky braids”.

I think I scared them as they cowered. I kept yelling until my cousin’s wife came to calm me and explain in English that the woman usually starts the braid from the back but she’s good at it. Their price was so cheap and i left a tip for my bad behaviour.

The culture here is very different from everything I’m used to know. Yes, I’ve always known that Yorubas prostrate to greet adults but it feels weird witnessing it first hand . I can’t stop staring when I see girls bend to ground or boys bend to touch their knees on the road while greeting an elderly person. The only time i ever prostrate before an adult is when i kneel before my father for prayers.

My cousin’s son is also a wonder to me. He greets me warmly every morning and always run to me whenever i get home from wherever. He prostrates before me and collects my bag. He’s the same age as my baby brother but he’s so matured. My baby brother at 8 is a big baby. He never runs to me when I get home except he spots extra bags containing what may be goodies for him. My baby brother throws greetings meant for me at the wind. I’m teaching him manners when next I visit Port Harcourt.

I’m so far away from all my friends. I have to keep track of them through BBM and WhatsApp. We talk about everything and nothing. Teddy bear like guy has gotten a new PPA. The chic that shares a variation of my name got a super crappy room from her PPA.

My friends serving outside Lagos are doing well. One of them in Osun claims he just rented a 2-bedroom flat for 60k. Another friend in Niger got a good apartment from her PPA.

I’ve been forced to do my financials. Calculated what I need for rent, transportation and feeding. Computed it against expected income. This Lagos no easy o. Change no go even dey to send money give village people.

Somebody whom I must not mention before I’m permanently barred from Port Harcourt wants me to get a room mate. I’m so frigging upset. Can’t a baby girl get rent money and live alone in peace?. May soon be going to Eti-osa LG secretariat to post “ roommate needed in Lekki-Ajah axis because I’m so desperate. @ese thinks it’s a good idea, that chic does not like me at all.

Went to Ajah on Friday. The place is not worth the hype. If you know Woji in Rivers state then you’ll understand Ajah. The area is a blend of high and low cost buildings with terrible traffic on its route. Why do people keep recommending it? . Went back to my PPA to fill their ears with my complains, I’m tired of Lagos.

Feeling really down right now but I try to see the good in everything. I know I should be grateful I got posted to Lagos without stress. Got a good PPA with wonderful people as colleagues even though they would not hug me. I’m confused as to why I’m getting no hugs, body odour or are they just afraid of fine girls? . I’m small and snugly, Everybody loves hugging me…why are you guys doing somehow? .

Eh, back to my pep talk about Lagos. A lot of corp members got posted to private companies without stress, some were accepted , a few were rejected. We should be grateful to Lagos for giving us opportunities be grateful we’re not in a classroom. Be grateful for an opportunity to get actual work experience while serving Nigeria, be grateful that the private companies don’t mind paying corp members.

Some people will never be grateful despite my preaching. Saw a girl at the secretariat few days ago lamenting that she was posted to a private company when she wanted a school.

Me: why do you want a school?
Girl: I don’t want to stress myself for anybody, just want to rest this year. You know if they send you to school, you can arrange with the principal and not show up.
Me: rest is for dead.

Won’t be surprise to see her complaining next year after youth service when companies demand actual work experience from intending employees. No be swear o, na just yarn.

In camp, “If you drop it, you flush” told us that Lagos swallows the weak. I’m not weak and I have no intentions of being swallowed but this accommodation Wahala is killing me.

Got home really late on Friday because I left Lekki late. I’m always reluctant to return to Ikorodu whenever I step out. Everyone was so worried about me being out so late. According to them Ikorodu is not safe . They also worried that I may not just get hurt but lose some properties – I had my laptop, Samsung tablet, BlackBerry and Android phones on Me. My laptop stuck out of my unzipped handbag like a sore thumb.

I held my bag closely all through the journey back home. When I got to Iyanoworo I noticed that an agbero was following me non-stop. While I was searching for an Ikorodu bus he followed me everywhere, almost as if we were heading towards the same direction. Tired of being followed, I turned around and said – ‘bros I dey owe you?’ . He pretended not to have heard me and walked away.

A man beside me said “that’s how they behave, he’ll pick stuff from your bag when your not watching”.

I got to Ikorodu Garage without hassle. My family called non stop- I refused to pick. Let them worry . Nobody is taking me seriously when I complain about the distance between Ikorodu and the Island.

Going from Ikorodu garage to my last stop wasn’t easy. Almost got lost as the area was pitch black. Had earlier told the keke driver where I was stopping; he either forgot or wanted to take me elsewhere as he almost drove past the point. My saving grace was the only other passenger in the Keke who wanted to stop at the same place. I heard him call the name of the place just as the keke man wanted to speed past. I quickly came down and paid my fare. Everywhere was pitch black, no electric light in sight. I had to stay by the junction and call someone to pick me up because I was certain I could never trace the road in that darkness.

“stand where nobody will notice you”, they begged.

Within minutes I was home and being fussed over by my cousin and his sweet wife. Barely touched my supper, who wants food when they have bigger issues? .

Since I left camp, I always wake up by 3am scared. It’s the same nightmare everyday. I’m in a thick bush trying to find my way out. It seems my village people have followed me to Ikorodu, lol. My professors in school would disagree. Dreams to them – pleasant or nightmarish are simply rapid eye movement experienced as a result of a restlessness.

Woke up sweating on Saturday morning. There had been no electricity on Friday night and the family I’m staying with does not own a generator because according to them power supply is usually constant around the area.

Saturday was better. After waking up by 3am, I had early breakfast and went back to sleep. I never get the nightmares during daylight; I’m grateful for that.

When I woke up again, my elder sister is around. It’s nice to see her, I’m happy to moan non-stop while she listens. I’m complaining about how rumpled my clothes are, my lack of work shoes because I forgot to pack some when I left Port Harcourt for camp. I also complain about my ugly toe nails. Wearing shoes everyday day in Camp messed up my toe nails big time.

“Let’s go shopping “, my sister suggests.

I love shopping, who doesn’t?. We spend 3 hours at garage market Ikorodu. I love bargaining, it doesn’t matter than the wares were already very cheap. 3 hours later, we left the market with 4 shoes, 2 dresses and colourful nail polish.

I spent the rest of Saturday in bed and out of touch with the world.

I’m a damsel in distress, someone please rescue me. I’m Rapunzel-only without longhair- stuck in a tower.

 

Source: Nigerian Bulletin

To share your NYSC experience email nyscdiaries[at]corperwee.com.ng

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