Tales About Naij - Part 1
Thanks again guys for reading the Tales From Naij series. I received another volunteer from someone who spent time in Nigeria, the focus in these series is more about the lengths Nigerians go to, to show a certain kind of life that is usually far from the truth. so here is Part 1 of Tales About Naij
It's actually really easy to develop a 'twitter crush.' A fine avatar pops in your mentions on twitter, they tweet something witty, and before you know it, DM's turn to bbm's, then feelings grow based on mostly written words. This is exactly what happened to me. I found myself deeply in like with a man I had met from Naijatwitterland.
In our "getting to know each other stages," I found out from him that he was 6'1, he played soccer a lot so he's fit, and he had just moved back to Lagos from England where he studied law. Listen, all that meant to me was that he was tall enough, with a nice body that I could possibly carry a conversation with. Call me superficial, but I was down! Plus I knew I would be in naij soon and would be there for a while, so I definitely didn't mind getting to know him. We started off by messaging each other, then every few days we would speak very briefly on the phone. We would tweet subliminal inside jokes and discuss them later on bbm. Most of our communication was done via bbm and I didn't mind. I loved waking up to pictures from him, sweet messages, and voice notes with his lovely accent.
Things were going well and a few months later, it was time for me to finally leave for Nigeria. I couldn't wait to see him in person! I felt like we had a connection and I wanted things to be more between us. But I also always had it in mind that I'll have to see him in person to really know how things would be between us. Arrangements were made for him to meet me at my place so that we could go out to eat later that evening. I couldn't have him come get me from the airport smelling like airplane fumes and remnants of an airplane blanket. I had to freshen up!
I got ready and he called me saying that I should meet him downstairs. This was it! This was the moment I had been waiting for. We had often discussed what the moment would be like when we finally get to see in person, and now the moment was finally here. I went downstairs, walked outside the gate, and didn't see him. A black Range Rover approached and wound down the window, I smiled really big watching that window go down only for the guy to be another one of my friends passing through my street. I greeted him and sharply sent him off on his way. Still no sign of my guy. I called his phone and he told me that he was just a few seconds away that I don't need to go back upstairs. So I waited, and sure enough, about 30 seconds later, here comes my guy, on foot, smiling from ear to ear, strolling right towards me.
To be honest, I didn't even know it was him at first. He looked like a slight remix of everything he had said. His 6'1 looked more like a 5'10 with an elongated forehead that might have reached 6'0 at the pointed apex tip of his head. His baritone accent from the voice notes and phone calls was clearly his phone voice because his voice in real life was about 2 octaves higher. I was underwhelmed. He didn't look bad, he just wasn't who I envisioned him to be. Especially compared to the pictures that he used to send to me. But our convos were always on point so I was still happy that we could go to dinner and gist. But there was one problem: the only form of transportation I saw him with, were his own two legs. How the heck are we getting to dinner? I just decide that I was going to follow his lead. After all, it was his town, not mine.
He hailed down 3 different taxis and sent them all away. He was telling them that he wanted to pay 800 naira to go from Victoria Island to the Palms in Oniru. The taxi drivers were saying 'last last' 1200, my guy sent them away. Finally, a raggedy, no a/c having, yellow cab came down my street and my guy flagged the thing down. He negotiated price and motioned for me to enter. Now this cab was literally doing azonto on the street and was clearly a death trap. But I figured, my guy knows what he's doing, I won't say anything.
I get in the cab and we take off. He notices immediately that I am not comfortable. He leans in, kisses me on the cheek, tells me that everything will be fine, and holds my hand. For a brief moment, I believe him. Car ride is over and we walk hand in hand into The Palms. Now, there are enough nice restaurants in this Palms, but where does my guy take me? He takes me to KFC. KFC. KFC that they have in America, that's where he took me. Even when we got there he was complaining to the hostess that the 'chips' were too expensive. What really pissed me off, was when he asked, "how much last last for the Zinger Shrimps?" And he was serious.
I decided that I would stick our situation out for one week and see how I felt afterward. He was still someone I could speak to which I liked, he was also a tad awkward in social settings, but I felt that I could deal with that. I would help him pay the bill on our dates, or I would pay it myself, and I would pay for his taxi to come take me out. I didn't exactly mind doing those things, but I just wish I had some kind of warning. The height was when we were in the back seat of a taxi after buying ice cream. Without any warning, my guy rubs his ice cream on my face and starts to try to lick it off. I was like what are you doing?! The taxi driver then turned around and said, "eh oga mi? why u dey try lick madam nostril nah?" I was so embarrassed.
I avoided him for the rest of my trip. He blew up my phone, every time I tweeted he would DM me, I let things happen like this until months later I finally picked his call and told him that I just wasn't interested anymore. I would look at his tweets and compare it to the person that I had experienced in real life and I just couldn't understand it. He wasn't necessarily lying to people on twitter. I mean, its not like I expected him to say, "hey twitter, my forehead gives me height, I'm a bit low on cash sometimes, and I like to rub ice cream on girls faces inside raggedy taxis." But it just makes me wonder, who all is faking the funk on social media? You have to be really careful because some of these internet people are not the same people you meet in real life. Especially... if they live in Nigeria.