Hi guys! ready for the weekend? I am just really happy the weather is changing and going outside feels a whole less deadly than usual in these Houston streets.
So last week I wrote about the “joys” of being Italian, and the oh so silly questions and remarks that came with it. Well today, I am taking the “where are you from” rhetoric to Nigeria.
So, my parents are from there, and every summer as a kid we would go on vacation to Lagos, and hang with cousins and other family members, which is something I have always really enjoyed.
Just so happened that the older I got the least enjoyable people interactions became over time. Apparently being Nigerian but technically being Italian is something worth of ridicule or discussion. Oyinbo (which means white) was often time my nickname, oh the irony, I mean can a girl just live and actually belong somewhere??
So here is a list of the top 5 awesome Nigerian minds at work when talking to me or even better about me.
1.”My sistah what did you bring for me”: said every airport clerk as soon as I pulled out my Italian passport. Apparently being born elsewhere makes for some sort of innate wealth and generosity towards strangers. Boy, were they wrong on both accounts.
2.You don’t look Nigerian…so apparently being all the shades of chocolate put together isn’t a good enougI attribute to “looking Nigerian”, shows you what I know.
3.”You sound like the black people from the movies”…lol that actually cracked me up because it was my grandma’s way of telling me that she didn’t understand my Americanized accent! ( but how cute is she though?!)
4.”Obirin abi okurin ni elei” (spell check required) that is Yoruba for “is that a girl or a boy?” So this one is a double hitter; 1st they just really assumed that I did not speak and or at the very least understood Yoruba ( see point 2 to why that happened), then apparently being that I am an athletic, muscular 6 footer, I did not fit the aesthetic of the 5’5′ curvilishious average Nigerian girl, which of course meant my gender had to be questioned (really??!) –OKAY OKAY I am a lot bigger than everyone else (pictured proof) but COME ON!!!
5. An unsolicited warning of the spiciness of every traditional dish. I get it, I eat pasta…A LOT…but sheesh give my taste buds some credit, if I want pepper soup, I am pretty sure I am aware of the meaning of the word pepper.
I got to say, I love it when I land in Lagos, and smell the tropical air, see the chaos, and feel the heat;
but that love turns into sheer annoyance pretty much a week later. I guess is a love hate relationship meant to go on only on yearly cycles of no longer than 10 days, that gives me time to get as “Nigerian” as possible in between trips. (I am joking!)
Ciao for now!