Life in arrghland

A blog about the life of an alien in a little town in Ireland…


September 2015

Impressions of poverty

Our national epic has yet to be written – James Joyce If you’ve ever listened to the song Running to Stand Still from U2’s Joshua Tree album you will have heard about the Irish town of Ballymun in the lyric “I see seven towers but I only see one way out.” Located on the northern periphery of Dublin […]


What It’s Like Not Being White

I received the above opening line on Tinder last week. I quickly posted it to Facebook with the comment “Just so we are all clear, “you don’t strike me as English” is not an acceptable chat-up line”. My initial reaction was shock and disbelief along with a weary resignation. Amongst the 60-odd likes on were […]

A Rural Idyll in Steady Decline

The people of that plainly built farming town led simple lives and were proud of the hardship and forfeiture rural existence assumed of them. They knew their place in that world and – as is customary in such isolated surroundings – they conducted themselves with the same sheltered constancy as so many of their forebears had done for generations before.

A Long Time Coming (Home)

I went back home to Lagos after a long hiatus for my Dad’s 70th birthday celebration. It was an emotional homecoming for me because I had really been homesick for the last 2 years. I did not realize how much I missed my friends and extended family!

As expected there were good and bad bits to this trip. I’ll start with the bad so I can end on a good note. 

The bad and ugly:  

Bullies. My old bully came around and started with her old tricks. I know she doesn’t like me and years ago I let her know that I didn’t care for her either. But she keeps up appearances in public and especially when my parents are around. The funny thing is she gets in well and is very gracious to my other siblings but me? Well, she can’t quite get herself to be civil. And these hurtful jabs at me are done with a pasty sacharine smile that makes you want to give her a dirty slap. For example if anyone should compliment an achievement of mine, she will be sure to let me know in a fee words how not so special it was. At her first visit to my parents and having not seen me in 7 yrs, she proceeds to rave about how lovely my sister’ hair looked (we had just had our hair braided) and then asked me why I didn’t have mine done. The fake shock when I revealed that yes i had just had it done and by the same person. Oh she replied how nobody could tell that i had braided my hair on same day as my sister. Although i’m used to her barbed tongue, it never stops hurting. Alas I am not the one that stole her spiritual husband so i’ll leave her to her bitterness. Smh. 

Not so bad

Weather was so so. June-August is the best time to visit Lagos if not used to the heat. Why? Rain season! Even with the cool breeze and consistent(ish) electricity, I’d never sweated that much except in a steam room. It was hot, humid and tropical. The misquitoes would have really dealt with me if not for insect repellant sprays and wipes. I still managed to catch Malaria when I returned to Ireland but thanks to an anti malaria medicine i took in Nigeria, it was a mild version (Thank you Jesus!). 

Opportunists who came around to steal, scavange and decieve. By the way these are people known to the family. People who call themselves friends and consider themselves religious but have little moral compass. In their world, it is right to grab from people you think are better off from you. Afterall they won’t miss it. And if they do and try to hold you accountable for your actions, why, they are just being greedy and selfish! Yeah, I’m not bitter at all!

The good: My favourite bits

Family was awesome. I connected with old cousins,uncles, aunts, friends and what not that I felt full all the time. Good company has a way of making you feel better, reminds you of who you are and what really matters. Living abroad can be very lonely. You gain friends for sure but they usually only know a part of you. Friends who know you from your awkward teenage years or even toddler years will bring out your old swag lol. Being around my family made me realize who I was, what I came from and what I should be. I’ve been sleeping for the last 5yrs. I forgot and have been trying to make myself fit into my new life. Trying to dull my shine so I don’t stick out. Not anymore! For that awakening, I’m grateful. 

Me and Baby Sis    
Victoria Garden City

Me and Siblings

Mom and Sister from another Mama  
Mom and Sis

Ikeja City Mall


Mum and Dad


Well I thought I ate a lot on this trip so imagine my surprise when I returned to Ireland a few pounds lighter (woohoo!). I ate pretty much anything I knew I couldn’t get abroad. My Mum did not disappoint haha. 

Eba and gbure/ugwu stew

Nigerian peanuts (the best)

 Ikokore (grated wateryam dumplings and more spinach stew)

The Ikeja city Mall saved my life and intermittent boredom. I basically lived in the Woodin store (i’m a fabric hoarder) and Shoprite grocery store (bakery counter hello). 

All in all, great trip! Next time, I hope to go sightseeing in the West of Nigeria and Ghana. I can’t wait!

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