I remember writing here, at a much earlier date, that early on in my time on this continent, it was easy to come up with things to write about because every experience was new and different. When life started becoming just normal, not exactly noteworthy, at some point during my time in Uganda, the impulse to write sort of faded away.
Well, I've been inspired to start this blog back up again by a move to yet another country, as well as my friend Timothy, who has been blogging daily since he too arrived in Nigeria (though very sadly, in an entirely different city, state and region from me).
Nigeria, while it has some similarities with my other African countries of residence, is quite different in many ways and and Abuja is very much different from the other cities I've lived in or visited. The city has a reputation for being boring but I really haven't found it to be and I thought I would try and do my little part to help it shake it's reputation.
However, what I wanted to write about first is a phenomenon that I think exists in nearly every part of this country, a phenomenon I'm going to call the This is Nigeria (TIN) complex. I have lost count of the number of times someone has informed me "This is Nigeria," in an attempt to tell me that things, people, the way things work, are totally different from absolutely anywhere else on earth. I would say that about 75% of the time, this phrase is invoked to tell the listener that things here are worse than elsewhere - corruption for example. As if corruption exists only in Nigeria. Ok, I know that right up there, in the paragraph before this one, I did indeed say that things are different here, and they are but probably not nearly to the extent that the people who say this constantly think. This complex is also just one of the things that my new home shares with my original home - though I must say that This is America complex and the idea that we are somehow special or better than other people, probably trumps TIN complex in obnoxiousness.
The photos were taken just outside Abuja, returning from a Hash House Harriers run, just before and then during a storm.