Sunday, December 19, 2010

Y’ello from Nigeria!

Posted by Varun | Sunday, December 19, 2010 | Category: , , , , , |

It has been a long time since I updated my blog about anything and it might come as a surprise to you that I am updating it from Nigeria. I came here last Sunday and will be here for another 11 weeks. The journey so far has been pleasing and I am hoping it will continue to be the same for next few weeks and months.

Thanks to my organization, I’m living in Lagos (Pronounced as Lay-gos by people out here) and in one of the posh localities of the city.

What strikes me the most in this city/country is the stark contrast between rich and poor! Person here will either own a Toyota Land Cruiser or an Audi or a BMW or will own nothing. Middle class seems to be non-existent.

I will write more about the city as and when I visit it. The only places I have visited so far are my office, a grocery store and a night club facing back waters of the Atlantic Ocean. There is no real threat to life but then we have been advised not to venture out alone.It will be some time before I start visiting places out here.

To give you an example of the life I am leading here, I share an air conditioned 2750 sq ft apartment with my team mate. It has 3 huge rooms, an awesome drawing room and a decent dining hall. And kitchen is any cook’s dream kitchen. Spacious and with all amenities! Wait! I am not done yet! We also have a chauffeur driven black Kia Rio car and a maid/cook :-). Royal treatment Eh!!?

 I don’t remember when, but I was once asked by a British guy as to why we all Indians look alike!? I had no answers back then and since he was a friend, I had told him he must have gone mad! But now I know why he asked me that question. From the day I have landed here, every person looks the same to me. I was actually worried if I will be able to distinguish between the pop singer on TV and my driver. Even though I managed it by second day I call every singer on TV as Hakim now. That is btw my driver’s name.  

Every person out here is friendly and tries to help. If you are out walking about a mile, you’ll end up wishing/greeting at least 10 unknown people along the way. They know that we are scared to even walk alone and try to make our lives as comfortable as possible. Had people not scared me so much, I would have preferred to walk to office every single day. Wondering what changed the lazy guys’ preference? It is traffic jam that has changed it all!! Jams here are the worst jams I have ever seen. Beats Bangalore traffic jams hollow. It took us 1 hour to drive a mile few days back. Weather is quite hot and humid but then that doesn’t really stop us from walking and being Indians, we are used to such heat and humidity.

Coming to food, we get all sorts of veggies and meat. You name it, we get it. It is probably a south Indians’ dream city as we get coconuts :-). Nice fresh ones for cooking! If a Malyali ever decides to migrate from Dubai, this is the city he/she should come to!

The only thing that I am not really happy about is the Internet speed. Feels as though I have gone back 10 years in time. To simply give you an idea about the speeds here, I tried to download a movie last night. The estimated time remaining was 11 weeks and 8 hours. I canceled the download because I might as well reach Bangalore by then and download it in 1 hour. I am not really complaining about the place though. I know every place comes with its set of pros and cons and I am happy as long as I am able to connect to the world!
Pictures and more details in my next post and now that I have time, I’ll post regularly!

Cya later Alligator ( Picked it up from my nephew Archith :-D)

PS: Flight to Nigeria was great. Emirates gets thumbs up from me! and here's the meaning of Y'ello for you!
Y’ello - A super hybrid form of both yo and hello, making a super greeting. Used extensively in Nigeria!

Currently have 20 comments:

  1. Hello Varun, It was good reading your blog - the first from Nigeria.You have done a great job giving an excellent picture of the city and the country.What is important is you are enjoying your stay.All the best and keep us updated - as promised.Love

  2. Thanks Appa. Will surely keep everyone posted through phone calls and blogs :)

  3. Wow... nice.. :) Glad to know one other place where the traffic jam is worse than Bangalore!!! But sure the people seem to be friendly..and not mention.. enjoy your 5 star treatment and tell us more about place and people. I can literally create picture of the place in my mind now.. :). Have fun!!!

  4. When I saw your comment mentioning Nigeria in my post, for a second i thought it must be some other Varun :) so i followed your comment to reach here and voila its the same Varun. Nigeria of all places? As is evident from your post you are enjoying your tenure as of now. Hope you have more pleasent experience and have a great time there. Stay safe and show us some pics :)

  5. @Harsh - That is a lovely comment. Thanks so much! Am glad you could create a picture of the place in your mind. Keep watching the space. Everything about this place is interesting!

  6. @Smita - Ya Ya...It is the same old Varun who keeps disappearing every now and then! :)

    Will start clicking pictures from tomorrow. My camera is all set and ready to capture Nigeria :D

  7. Lovely description!Happy to know that you are enjoying your stay.

  8. Thanks so much Chaiti :) Am having a great time.

  9. Wow, Nigeria...Sounds like you are enjoying the high life. The apartment sounds bigger than the average house. Kia Rio!! That's what we have. Hoping to here of your excursions. Take care

  10. Nice yaar.. good to see.. you added a third country outside of India to your lived in list .. enjoy full maga...;)

  11. Hey this is great, I had a wrong thought about Nigeria when few of of my colleagues shared their experience. I guess its also important to love the place where you stay may be temporary or permanent.. anyway have a great time there.. :)

  12. Hey Varun,really nice to read through your blog and that gives an insight of how Nigeria is..but jams hmm,am surprised we have other places worst than blore...and infrastructure poor than us?????Hmm,great so we can feel happy for a while.:):) ..So live your royal life and keep ur blog updated :)

  13. I initially got confused reading the "Y'ello" term (got caught up in my mind as Yellow!)... ;)
    Glad you liked the place...! Enjoy your royal life in there...! :)

  14. @Devi - Good to know that you have a Kia Rio too :) Don't know about other countries but apartment is way bigger than any apartment I have seen in Bangalore :)

  15. @Akshat - I know! And that too a country not frequented by many people :) Will surely enjoy.. Thanks

  16. @Pooja - You have hit the nail on the head! It is extremely important to love the place where you stay! And extremely important to love what you do! Thanks for the wishes :)

  17. @Anita - There are jams everywhere. We try and avoid peak hour traffic in the morning by coming late to office :D but get stuck almost everyday while going back! Infrastructure wise they are certainly improving!

  18. @Sam - Will surely have a ball :) The word Y'ello was written to confuse people and am glad you got confused! :D

  19. Good one. How is your work going there ? So once return you would serve for the same client from offshore or is there anything else planned ?

  20. Good to know that you are enjoying your stay!!! Have fun being treated like a royally!!!