I would have done this earlier but the workload here won’t permit. Anyways today I am free so I gat the whole time to share my experience being a newbie in a foreign land. Touching down at Toronto Pearson International Airport from Nigeria was a great life time experience for me, because it was my first flight, first time out of Nigeria. The journey took about 22 hours including a 4 hours transit at Frankfurt before we touched down in Canada.
I had one hotel reserved from Nigeria, so I got into the hotel shinning my 32 in excitement. All what was running through my mind was ‘as I don enter canny now, my people for Nigeria go take’. Little did I know that the smiling go soon turn frustration. The first challenge was opening the door to my room with that electronic card. I struggled with the door for awhile; I had to call the reception to the rescue. I got to my room and saw all gadget switched off. I didn’t know I was meant to insert and swipe the card in an electronic slot on the wall in order put them on automatically. The temperature outside was below 3 degrees and I felt too big to go down the second time because of the trepidation of being labeled a ‘villager’. I had to wither that storm for hours till a Good Samaritan opposite my room came to bail me out.
After such a long journey, a typical human would want to have a shower na so I waka go bathroom sorry washroom lol say make I go bath o. I ran the shower but, the water be freezer water so I had to sleep like that without having my bath. Next day, I ran the tap, same cold water. To cut the long story short sha, I practically didn’t have my bath for two days till a German flat mate arrived and I stylishly asked for his help. I was so happy that I spent almost an hour in the washroom. I remembered the first two weeks, each time I wake up I go rush pick my cloths go iron thinking of nepa lol. Even till now, I still dey hold my phone charger around subconsciously.
The hotel offers free breakfast so I walked into the dining room the first day. They line up mixtures of leaves they called “food” were lined up. I actually taught maybe I mistakenly enter manger ni cos where I come from na goat dey chop raw leaf until I saw one oyinbo man saying good morning what would you like to eat?. As omo naija now I’m not familiar with any of the food so I picked something wey be like doughnut but he no sweet at all!!
I lost some pounds within these few days of arrival as I wasn’t eating well because their food no make sense for my mouth. Infact dem no get food self na snacks them dey call food for here. But when he remain small make hunger commot my eye balls, I ran to a nearby eatery and told the lady I want meat pie, she no sabi wetin meat pie be na so I check the list to see picture of wetin dey familiar. Then I told her chicken and chips she reply with excuse me what do you want?, I repeated myself severally I just look up and point number 9….she laughed hard and said it is fries and wings hehehehehe that’s what they call chicken and chips. I just asked for washroom na dia I take enter ghost mode.
I went to the reception and asked for directions to school from the hotel so I could proceed with registration ishhh. They suggested I use a cab since I be JJC. So I asked the cabman how much he pointed to the counter. As the journey progress my blood pressure kept rising because my full concentration was on the counter. At the same time, I had my fingers on converter and I was automatically converting and calculating the amount I will have to pay him in naira. All the waka wey we waka no pass distance wey I dey use jog for Nigeria yet I paid about 9,000 after conversion chai I con dey reason say how much be Lagos to Abuja self by road na?
Locating buildings in the school na another big milestone. I approached people with the expectations of go straight, turn right turn left naija things now o boiiii na map guys dey show me o….I was like wharris is this na hahahaha. After searching for an hour despite the map, I was able to locate where I was going. The thing be like ultimate search for my face. I remembered opening their doors here….hahahahahahahaha I had to watch people do that severally. There was hardly a time I got to my department without getting lost inside the building. There was a day I entered the building through the normal entrance and got out via underground tunnel hahahahahahha. Consequently, I became so thirsty and I wanted to get a drink from one of the refrigerators in the school. I approached a black guy asking where the sales girl go, he busted into laughter and help me operate the fridge.
My first time in their big bus ehn, I stylishly checked where people are placing their bus pass so entering was easier. The problem was alighting, I observed people were just silent unlike naija wey pple go just dey shout from the back seat Owa, Owa!. I almost called the driver to tell her that I’ll be alighting at the next bus-stop then I discovered a wire at the right upper end of my seat, I don’t even know what the wire stands for, maybe it’s for emergency or anything. I just draw the thing ni no time. Sometimes I go enter wrong bus route hahahahha con dey google my location so I won’t lost. My first week here ehn I tried crossing the road like the normal naija style wey you fit cross anywhere. I didn’t know that zebra crossing is very effective here. I later learnt that all you need do even if there is no zebra crossing in sight is to move close to the traffic light and press the ‘magic’ button on the traffic light to stop the cars while you catwalk to the other side of the road.
Whenever I go to the mall, I always had my currency converter opened and active o. If I see say the tin I wan buy don too much, I drop am no time. Infact I bought wall socket for 5100 naira after conversion because my laptop mouth no enter dia socket I no fit drop that one cause he dey very essential. One last thing I remembered hahahahhaha I wanted to collect my supervisors bag like we do in Nigeria helping our lecturers carry their bags na so some of them wont mark our faces for ‘C’ or outright ‘F’ grade for being rude. The man was just looking at me and wondering what kind of rum I took or if I dey possessed hahaha. I can’t wait to see first timers do some of these things in fall.
Conclusively, it’s been exciting, and educative. I have meet friends like blood here whose counsel keeps me waxing stronger. It’s really an experience of a life time and I am grateful to Jah for giving me this chance. As many who want to experience this kain tin for the fun of it or for whatever reason, just trust God cos he makes things beautiful in his time……hehehehheeh between I am no longer a JJC though *tongue out*