As I think back to the time when I returned from London after ten years of work experience to settle in Nigeria, I marvel at how much of the local lingo I’ve learnt e.g. To ‘trafficate’ is to indicate with your car pointer which direction you’re going. When I got my first job at a bank in the Ikoyi region of Lagos, I was saddled with the daunting task of driving a 45 minute distance from home in the early hours of the morning. On arrival at the bank premises the security guard welcomed me, I mentioned I was a new staff and he pointed to where I could park my car. Unfortunately it was a bit of a tight corner so I carefully started to steer my car when the security guard said (and I quote), ‘Now cut your hand’.
I looked at him like a deer in headlights. Did I just hear this man correctly? Did he say I should cut my hand? What good is that going to do? I’m trying to park my car without grazing the white concrete wall so what’s my blood got to do with it? The security guard stared right back at me and he looked perplexed.
‘Cut your hand well’, he instructed. At this point I started to ask myself if this man was a member of the occult who had forgotten he was on official duty.
‘I do not wish to cut my hand’, I retorted.
‘But sir, you can’t park well if you don’t cut your hand’
‘Really? Ok, please point me to where I can park without cutting my hand’
He paused and smiled then he asked me to park outside, which was fine by me so long as my veins had escaped the fangs of a powerful daytime-marauding vampire.
To be continued…