How Tos, Lists, Off The Grid Nov 27, 2009 Its almost that time again when people head “home” for the Christmas and New year holiday. So I figured I’ll put together a list of how to “survive” while you go “home.” In this case, I’ll use Nigeria, for obvious reasons. Some of these tips might apply to other places, like say, Ghana.
Hope they are helpful. And don’t forget to add yours in the comment area, as I’m sure am missing some tips.
DITCH YOUR YANKEE ACCENT AND BLEND IN WITH THE CROWD
When you are in Rome, act like a roman. Remember you are “janded” and the prices quoted to you will be tripled (Big up the fish sellers trying to get a piece of your money). When buying things or interacting with people who want to sell you goods or services, speak to them in an accent that does not sound too westernized. If you can speak Pidgin English, “you no get problem, just talk ya pidgin”. Go on and do so. By blending in with the crowd you avoid been overcharged by desperate sellers who want to make a quick buck.
ONLY SPEND WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
It’s very tempting to want to spend money in Nigeria because its $1 to N180, but the reality of the situation is that some things are more expensive in Nigeria than in America. And as we know, you are not Yaradua’s son who came home to spend Nigeria’s money” So Rather than holding loads of cash and thrift spending, why don’t you have an ATM card with you and withdraw money only when you need it. But saying this it is also important to note that withdrawing money from ATM machines is not free. You get charged a minimum of N50 for each time you use your card. Remember it’s just a holiday and you have bills to pay after the NIGERIAN XMAS HOLIDAY!
RATHER THAN GIVE MONEY GIVE PEOPLE GIFTS
If you “dash” someone 200k they’ll stone you with it!! You think we Nigerians are that hungry? Just joking! If you keep giving people money like you are Santa Claus, the money will run out before you know it, there are so many things you’ll pay for you won’t really be able to account for your expenses. Best advice is don’t try to please everyone. Your holiday is about YOU, Your family and those you consider important in your life. A good way to show appreciation to the ones you love is to buy them gifts instead of giving them money. Sometimes gifts are more appreciated than money.
ONE RECHARGE CARD AT A TIME
No thanks to expensive telecommunication system, in Nigeria, it is possible to spend N10, 000 on phone credit in day. The reality of the situation is that communication in Nigeria is more expensive than most western countries, so be aware of this. Also stay away from friends that use your phone as their personal phone booth. Some of these losers can use your phone to call girls they have not spoken to in years and why not? After all, you phone is always topped up. Always make sure your phone is in your possession and avoid helping people top up their phone credit. I am sure they could top up their credit before you arrived from wherever you came from.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A RETURN TICKET OR MONEY TO BUY A RETURN TICKET
I have heard stories of people that bought a one way ticket to Nigeria and forgot to reserve money to buy a return ticket. Unless you plan on permanently relocating to Nigeria, make sure you have money to cover a return fare to wherever you came from.
STAY AWAY FROM STRANGE WOMEN (for guys)
To all my Allen Avenue 10pm customers this is for you. I understand that for young chaps, meeting women is the norm when they go to Nigeria but we have heard endless stories about men who pick up women and end up getting robbed or swindled. Be careful the company of women you keep, it would be embarrassing make a trip home with just boxer shorts because you spent the night in a hotel with a stranger and he/she (depending on your sexuality ) made away with all your valuables.
Finally don’t flash money and jewellery in places that have been deemed unsafe and unsecure. You are bound to attract attention to yourself if you are trying to show off. If you are going to Nigeria on a Holiday this December, I wish you a safe flight to and fro. Have a wonderful stay in Nigeria.