Look, I swore to myself that there would be no ‘Hello from Amurika’ blog posts. There would be no ‘Oh look, forced-culture-shock’ posts or ‘I-am-immigrant’ posts because, let’s face it, they are boring and award-bait-y and I have visited the country several times before now. Besides, I have never seen anywhere I did not simultaneously belong to and yet be estranged from, even when I was growing up in Awka. I already belong here. I just have to get used to saying ‘Restrooms’ instead of ‘Loos’ so that people will stop looking at me strangely.
Bhet look eh, I am sorry because this one thing in Amurika ate my mouth and allow me to gist my story because it is an egwu of a something.
In London, I remember once running for the bus in heels, running so hard that breathing sounded like trying to suck akamu with a straw through my nostrils. My chest hurt, my calves pulled tight and yet I ran, exposing my ‘predicament’ as my dress blew up in the wind.
“Wait!” I shouted, hand raised. At least I thought I was shouting but seeing as I couldn’t breathe, it might have all been in my head. My bag slid off my shoulder and I clawed at it. Just as I was getting to the first set of doors and with the last passenger still beseeching the driver on my behalf, the doors shut and the driver pulled away.
That was the day I swore by Amadioha for the first time. What kind of wickedness was this? A guy at the bus stop smirked at me. I wanted to cry. He’d seen my ‘predicament’ – my pink predicament under my dress, possibly my belly button too – and now I was going to be left alone with him until the next bus arrived.
A few years later, I saw this advert and realised that London bus drivers were collectively Legion, the spawns of Satan. It is known.
Fast forward to Amurika, the day before yesterday on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston, MA and my family and I were across the road when the bus we needed pulled up and loaded. My heart skipped a beat. The red hand flashed red. We couldn’t cross. I stamped my feet and waited. The lights changed. I dashed across the road, signalling the driver. He waited….and waited…my heart fell. I knew he was going to pull away once I got to him.
HE DID NOT. The driver jejely opened the door and let us all in. And what’s more important, none of the passengers hissed, cursed, sighed or shouted at the driver. He even bid us a good evening as we entered his air conditioned kingdom. HALLELUJA SOMBORRI!
Amurika is sweeth. It might not be beans but it is certainly moi-moi and I shall eat it up, nyum nyum nyummy.