Lol I find this topic very amusing each time my friends and I gather together and rehash our experiences in the first few months of out arrival to the States. Luckily for me, my parents resided in the country side so the embarrassment was concealed. However, my bush girl sides had been explored and manifested right from the airport.
As we took we landed in Amsterdam, I was pretty much lost as people were coming and going with their overbearing luggage. The TV screams showed times, gate numbers and destinations in all rainbow colors but lil’ol me had the most difficult time comprehending anything. In an attempt to be less static, I decided to open my mouth and ask for a gate number that connects to the U.S flight, the guys did not hear a word of my generic American english. then my Nigerian accent automatically kicked it but this man could still not understand. I just waved him goodbye as his was useless to me at that point. So i decided to walk to a cop, but soon as i saw his dog, who by the was as tall as me, omo, na so i waka commot before dog bite me (I walked away to avoid an unwarranted dog bite). Anyways, i decided to use the restroom and believe me this was another obstacle for me. As I went to relief my bladder, the toilet refused to flush. My blood pressure started racing to the hills, after waving effortlessly towards the censor, giving up seemed like the logic thing to do. On my way out of the stall, the loud flushing sound followed and I almost died of a panic attack. Oyinbo man will not kill me with technology. Hand washing time and had no idea where to get the soap. Checked the bathroom stall again to make sure the soap was not hiding somewhere with the tissue. Luckily, I observes a lady wash her hands and that of her child. My copycat-ness was activated instantly!. My stress level this time had skyrocketed to Mars, so I decided to have a sit to rest my small tired shoulders.
Suddenly i heard a familiar language. Iya mi, mo ti de america oh!!!! (My mom, i’m in America now!!!!). I felt half way relived as I proceeded towards this man in hopes of at least asking him the direction. Soon as he got off the phone, I kindly asked him in yoruba where the gate to my connect flight was.The look on his face was that of thief, caught red-handed. Asides from the fact that i just heard him lie to his mother, he was stunned when he learnt I’m a Yoruba girl. Apparently, I looked Ghanaian. I still cannot comprehend his racial conclusion about me, but that was the least of my problem at the time. We both made our way towards the gate and found out we had three more hours to burn. We began talking and getting to know each other, where he was going, his reasons for travelling and so on. As a typical Nigerian guy, he asked for my name and my phone number. Well at the time, giving your number out had no significant meaning attached to the purpose so I gave him the home phone. Three hours later we were in the same plane but different seat. We separated in Atlanta and both took off for our various destination. To be honest, this guys was deleted off my memory very quickly.
Once I landed in Dulles, I saw my mother with teary eyes. I jumped for this woman and we both nearly fell. She held onto my tiny hands like i was a broomstick. Are you sure you ate anything in Nigeria, what happened, you look so pale. I was just too excited to reciprocate. On the highway home, the journey seemed like eternity. I could not stop asking what seems like foolish questions now. Where is the white house? Are white people nice? Do you get arrested for noise pollution? Is it true NEPA are against lights out here? Are you rich? When can we eat burger?….My excitement was unconfined. Here I am in American, making shakara oh!