søndag 24. august 2008

Una just landet?

We arrived in Lagos Wednesday 13. of August in the evening. As arranged, we were picked up at the airport and escorted to our flat. A home made Pizza and two freshly baked bread (whole wheat) the kinds Scandinavians like, were waiting for us. The steward had been in the flat and prepared everything for us. It was just what we needed after a long travel.

The traffic down here is probably worth writing a book about, but I guess for those who have not experienced it - they would not believe it. I would never dare drive a car here by myself. People walking in the streets alongside the cars to sell you water, stamps, or pens, Okadas driving around the cars like angry little flies, cars driving in opposite directions to take short cuts, drivers honking their horn so you could wonder if they got paid per honk. I am pretty sure that if I had to drive myself I would have ended up abondoning the car and started to walk instead. We are lucky and are assigned a steady driver who takes Sofie to school and pick her up.

Of some strange reason, nobody ever describes me as a patient person. But I do believe that living here for a year will strengthen that side of me, eventually. It took 4 working days to get my ID card fixed, Two times they took my passport photos but they disappeared somewhere between the reception area in the building and the security offices 20 meters away. So then, when I pressed them a little they ended up searching the whole area and finally found the photos.

We brought only our youngest daughter Sofie with us to Lagos, and she seems to settle in nicely at the American International School of Lagos. She has already made two friends and gotten to know a couple of other kids. Her schedule has become more rigid than in Norway, but she is adapting to getting up 06:00 in the morning, leaving the flat at 06:45 being picked up at school at 14:10. So far, the most challenging issue with the school has been getting the right sized school materials (3 ring binders, not 2 rings etc)

Otherwise I have found myself getting fascinating by the local lingo. They have so many cool expressions.

The first expression confused me even more than the "How y'all doing?" that we met in Texas. I was asked by the passport photographer "Una just landet? "I had absolutely no idea what the man was asking about, so I politely asked if he could repeat the question "did you just arrive in Lagos" he then asked. Since then I have heard the phrase several times.

Otherwise they have a nice expression for walking. "Pick leg for road" or "Put leg for road".

And Sofie's swim teacher was introduced as "He know book, he went to University but he like swimming" . I later found out that "Know book" is a positive description for someone who are clever, or well educated.

In the corridor where my office is hidden away, Betty is working. She is not taller than our 8 year old, but broader. Happy, smiling and funny. She brings coffee and water to the different offices and remember exactly how we want our coffee done. But she thinks I am crazy starting work as early as seven o clock. I heard her telling one of the security guys "Maam come to work so early laik her head no correct" . And after noticing this fun phrase I heard one of the stewards ask the other "Why you dress laik you head no correct?" all he had done was - buttoned his shirt wrong.

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