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Saturday, October 29, 2005

getting to the Hill

On the 13th of august last year, I made my way from the Dulles airport to Howard university where I was to begin my new adventure as a communications major. I was coming in to the United States for the first time and after enduring a flight that took almost two days and passing through the paranoid scrutiny of the US airport officials, I arrived on U.S soil, hungry (I refused to eat the nonsense I was served on my KLM flight), dirty (it had been two days and a girl does tend to feel sticky) and pissed( how dare they rummage through my things like that).
The drive to DC from what I later found out was Virginia was uneventful. Shared the 'super shuttle' with six other people; three whites and three blacks and was introduced to my first sign of colour seperation. the whites sat at the back and launched into some conversation that revolved around the heat and SPF of sunscreen. The blacks were talking about 'family reunions'. I was tired and a bit nauseous. Our driver was from Ethiopia.
"Your first time here in the United States?" He asked me in heavily accented English. I jerked out of my misery. I was missing my family and making such a long trip into unknown lands by myself and arriving hungry did not do much for my countenance.
'Sir?" I answered in what I hoped was my best immitation of american English. Not that many syllables to make a difference but I was willing to try.
"I asked if this was your first time in the states?" he repeated.
"Yes, Sir."
The convesations around me seized.
"Where're you from?" The huge african american lady who was taking up two seats with her bulk asked me.
"Nigeria." I replied.
"I know a man from Nigeria. He is a doctor." The man who appeared to be her husband, told me.
I smiled my 'oh' but said nothing.
"Isn't Lafonda's man from Nigeria too?" the big woman asked again.
'That's right." The man replied with a look of utmost surprise like he had just discovered quantum mechanics.
I realised that a conversation was about to ensue and I immediately began to rack my brain for the most polite way to ask them to shut up and leave me alone.


D said...
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atticus said...

that was a funny read. you should write a novel. :)

Rayo said...

lol...interesting experience.