Lagos. And all that it brings…
After all the drama and excitement, I am finally in Lagos, Nigeria. Due to some technical difficulties, I was shunted from the Sunday flight to the Monday evening flight, which was not too bad as I was bumped up to business.
Arrival at the airport was a real welcome to Nigeria. I had my STR visa so I had nothing to be concerned about. Wrong. I collected my passport on the Friday before leaving and it came in a big envelope that had my application forms in it. Problem was that no one told me that those forms are required to present to customs officials when arriving in Lagos. Fail.
The 6’6″ customs official who looked like he grinds bones to make bread told me that without them I cannot enter the country. Some desperate sms’s and 45 minutes later without any change in the situation led me to believe that I would be deported. Then the customs official came up to me, looked me in the eye and said that he would give me the benefit of the doubt. Miracle. Just as well because my wife was in a dizzy fit back in SA!
So I am here now and am staying in Lekki, which is one of the islands surrounding Lagos. The offices are in Victoria island, which can be anything from a 45 minute drive to a 2.5 hour crawl. The hotel is not bad at all. Very comfortable and clean. And so far in the week that I have been here, it has all been quite good. Much better than I had anticipated.
It is easy to get the things that you will typically miss from home here. There is a Park & Shop store two minutes walk from the office and they are well stocked with most expat favourites – cookies, sweets etc. Surrounding our offices are a series of restaurants and take away food places, so for me the ability to walk to go and get some lunch is a huge improvement on where I used to work in Centurion. There are Indian, Lebanese, Mexican, African as well as pizza and pasta places – so we are quite spoiled.
I am sure that it will not be difficult to stay here long term. To be honest, I am actually looking forward to the experience. Whether my wife has the same view will remain to be seen – especially when there is rat for dinner!