Friday, January 23, 2009

Pretty / ugly

Compared with my first week in India, I've taken very few pictures so far in Lagos. I'm sure its partly due to aesthetics -- whereas India was run-down in a sort of weather-beaten, ancient, faded-kodachrome way, Lagos is just run down. Lots of brown dirt and grey-brown buildings. Thank god for the bright dresses the women wear -- otherwise there would be no color here at all. Here's a video of the busy corner where I catch the bus downtown.

Africa is also more familiar to me -- in part because I spent time here 10 years ago. And I know that I will be here for six months, so I have time to get to know the people, instead of just snapping their photos and running off.

Anyway, I didn't come to Lagos for the scenery. The people have really been wonderful. Today I took the bus downtown, where I did some wandering and tried to get my bearings. I have no goals for this first week other than to settle in. I asked at a stall for some shaving cream, where they didn't have any (they had "shaving powder": any guesses on what I do with that?) but where I met Joy (below), who led me through the narrow market stalls to a place where they did.

Joy told me a unfortunate story: in 2005, she won the visa lottery to immigrate to the U.S., but she didn't update her address, and by the time she got the letter with the good news, the deadline for submitting her paperwork had passed. How many people must have stories like Joy? She took me to a stall where they sell fruit wholesale to the smaller vendors. I took note - if I can ever find it again, I'll go back. I wandered by the High Court of Nigeria, through the Nigerian national cricket grounds, and back to the bus stop, where 120 naira (about 75 cents) got me the bus back to Ikeja easily by dark.


  1. Miss you my friend ;*

    I see that everything is okey with you ;*

    Im happy ;* be careful ;*


  2. Hi Paulina. Don't worry, I am being very careful over here.

  3. I liked the video. I saw few nice dresses and fabrics :-)