It looks like nostalgia, it feels like nostalgia... is it nostalgia?

Here's a nice song to play while you read today's post. I couldn't figure out how to add music to the blog, so if someone wants to lend me a hand, I'd be really grateful! Siji- Yearning for Home.

For the past week I've been yearning for home, at least I've had this thing that feels like that. I haven't been home in over three years. I've seen my family, but I haven't been home. Whenever I meet non- Nigerians and they drop the usual conversation starters: "Oh you speak such good English, where are you from? Did you grow up here? Oh you must miss home". I normally would  say "I don't miss home, I was away from home for most of my teenage years so I'm used to being alone" or a variant of that. I don't know how true that is anymore and I really don't know what I now miss.

First of all, I was an over sheltered kid. This means that the most I ever saw of my Country were the places I was sent to, escorted to, taken to, driven by... you get the gist. I didn't even learn how to do basic stuff like riding a bike or swimming. My amazing uncle had thought it wise to sit his over 200lb self on a child's bike the week I got it. Well, not surprisingly, the tires got ruined and never got replaced. It was a "sign" that biking wasn't meant for me. This was after I finally made peace with biking only in our compound where the gbomogbomos (kidnappers) or armed robbers would not be able to "attack" me - as though it was everyday that 7 year olds got attacked. I wanted to go swimming because it was what many of my friends did. I had a complimentary membership to a recreation centre, and it would make a great tale for the termly post holiday round tables that we had in boarding school. But somehow I would be the rare case where the life guards, who were always on sight, would be distracted while I drowned. A few other instances went by that way, so I soon gave up on asking to do anything even remotely adventurous. My more daring brother just did it anyway damning the consequences. So I became more of an introvert, seeking pleasure in books and having all my fun in my head and on my bed (absolutely no pun intended).

I know Nigeria in the sense that you don't live in a place for almost two decades and not know the place at least a bit.  The well-known "up NEPA" with which all that had breath praised our power holding company for being gracious enough to restore electricity after however long we'd been in the familiar darkness. I knew that high fences with barbed wires and abokis (security guards) were not uncommon in the city. That  La Casera and Gala are complementary goods and that Agege bread  is divine, and not merely an unsliced loaf of bread. I understand that malaria is thought of as just another excuse to get back home from boarding school, and not necessarily the incredibly life threatening disease that we raised money for in my cell biology class. I remember being stunned as the prof expressed his sympathy for the millions "in Africa" who died of this disease that was as rampant and deadly as AIDS. "Interesting", I thought. I know of the bribes and not so bribes that the oga policemen always found a way to collect. The all too familiar extended family members that forever overstayed their welcome and made promises of goody-goody (a type of candy) that they never remembered to fulfil.

Asides all that, I'm tired of the Canadian cold. It's my fourth winter so why am I suddenly tired, you may ask. I guess it's true that the bleakest moments usually occur at the brim of breakthrough, I'm just tired of everything all together.  There's the part where school got overwhelmingly intense this semester, and there's also the part where I know I can't give up so I look to the future and try to see what I'm stressing myself so much for. But every time I look up some line of work I might want to get into in Nigeria, an area I want to research on about Nigeria, google keeps popping up "did you mean...". No I meant what I typed! Which is not exactly surprising when our oga at the top found it so difficult to tell us what his organization's website was.  I get so frustrated sometimes that I just want to see the thing myself. It's like somehow all the useful organizations forgot to update their websites, and the others just never bothered creating websites. Like we're all supposed to troop into their offices to find out things as little as the organizations' description and goals. It makes planning returning home a thousand times harder.
Our"bus system"
Agege bread and milk that is customized to your thickness preference!

Makes me wonder if I'm even going to survive. Having to describe going back as "surviving" hurts but it's true. I feel like it would be just the way it was when I moved to Canada, except worse. I would be back to managing my phone battery because blackouts are no big deal, back to curtseying to greet anyone that looked older than me, and enduring the bad eye  I'd get from the times I know I'll forget to curtsey. I'll be back to having mighty gate padlocks and fence barb wires and should there be an emergency, I'd be at the mercy of our inexistent rapid response teams of policemen and ambulances. I never took public transport by myself because I really suck at not getting lost, and the bus system didn't make it easier. No more google maps to tell me "your destination is on the right". But on the bright side there'll be unlimited and reasonably priced suya, asun, and Agege bread

 I don't read Nigerian newspapers anymore, except I accidentally stumble on some Sahara Reporters' news and then I decide to view other recent articles. I know I want to go home, but I don't know if I want to go home, what I want to do at home, or even how long it would take for it to feel like home again. I barely knew anything about that was important too. I'm probably being too dramatic, so I'd  like to hear from you. Have you guys considered going home? Has anyone gone home? You don't have to be Nigerian obviously, just an immigrant of some sort. To people who never left, do I just need to shut up and pack my bags once I'm ready to come


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