Thursday, May 19, 2016

Traveling to the Motherland

I spent 2 weeks with my boyfriend, Steve, in Nigeria - visiting his parents and the places where he grew up. I plan to take the next few days to walk you through our experience. I hope you enjoy...

Day 0

I felt like I was finally done packing. All the little things were in their rightful place. I was ready. Time to step out for the last minute errands – you know, my eyebrows, snacks for the airplane, and Chipotle. As soon as the door closed behind me I realized my mistake: in my effort to be thorough, I had already taken my apartment key off of my keychain and tucked it inside the bag I would be carrying on the plane with me – my apartment key was locked inside my apartment. Dear Lord Jesus. Now what? My roommate works in Tyson’s, so I can drive and get the key from her, or I can have Steve meet her on his way to my place (I’m closer to the airport, and Tyson’s is in the middle of our apartments). I texted him. He agreed he could scoped the key. I texted Brittany, she provided me the address to her office building and promised to leave the key at the desk downstairs. Huge crisis, averted. I can breathe again.

My eyebrows look great. I then grabbed popcorn from Safeway and 2 burritos for the price of 1 with my fabulous Chipotle coupon. As I was wrapping up my order, Steve called to say he was at the apartment: perfect timing.

Here’s to hoping, that this is the only crisis we have on this trip.

Day 1

I tried to sleep, but my tummy wouldn’t let me. 6 hours on a plane – at some point you must use the restroom and I needed to go #2. I got up, handled my business and washed my hands with the lovely soap. Got back to my seat and realized I had not packed hand lotion in my carry on. Y’all know how I feel about lip gloss and hand lotion. Ugh! I eventually ignored my drying hands and went to sleep.

Woke up some time later. My hands are still dry, so, so dry.

We land in Amsterdam. My booty is sore and this layover is for 6 hours. Dear Jesus, help me. After finding our gate, Steve and I left his brother with our luggage and we decided to explore the airport a little. Lots of expensive stores – a fancy Johnny Walker, Hermes, fine chocolates, upscale lotions…. We stopped at a bar and found out that the “herb” shops open in the Netherlands around 9am (no, there were none in the airport) and that bars are open around that time as well. Thankfully, I had told my bank I would be traveling (Steve didn’t think this was necessary), so while the price of most things were listed in European pounds, we were able to pay for things with my credit card – some registers in the airport would give me the options of paying in euros or in dollars. I spent about $8 for 2 bottles of water, and $14 for 2 beers.

After some time we made our way back to our luggage. Steve slept on my lap for a good portion of the layover; though I was tired, I couldn’t fall asleep. Eventually, it was time to board our second plane: this is when I learned that Nigerians have no concept of a line (or a queue, as they call it). Once the parents with small children and the elderly were permitted to board the plane there was an onslaught of people pushing forward to hand over their boarding passes – like we all didn’t have assigned seats, like we all weren’t going to the same place. But I digress.

Movies on this flight were free: so I scrolled through and found “Joy,” I settled in to watch and within minutes my eyelids grew heavy….

They fed us several times on this flight: Snack. Dinner. Dessert. Breakfast. I thought it was interesting how the flight attendants described the Dessert foods. The options were either a cinnamon bun or quiche: Some attendants would simply say “Sweet or savory?” Another offered, “Cinnamon stick or cheese pie?” – That was my favorite.

When we were about an hour out from our destination, an announcement comes over the PA system, “in order to comply with….” Nigerian something something…. Basically, the attendants then walked through the cabin of the airplane and sprayed something into the air… idk what it was supposed to do or kill; I was just glad that it smelled nice.

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