On my first day in Abuja, I woke up at 5 A.M. to prepare for a 9 A.M. interview at Central Area. I thought that if I left Gwarimpa early enough, say, before 6 A.M., I would be able to beat the traffic and get to the venue in time. I got to the express by 6 A.M. and everywhere was deserted. Abuja was still asleep, and there was little or no traffic here. The Lagosian in me was shocked to bits.
Like what? Do Abuja folks sleep forever?
Do these people work?
Anyway, I got a cab soon enough and somehow I got to my destination in 30 minutes. I almost didn’t believe it. The trip was so quick, it was almost annoying. That was my first culture shock as a Lagosian who just moved to Abuja; There is no traffic!
As far as the country is concerned, Lagos and Abuja are the two most advanced cities in terms of metropolitan development. However, when it comes to behavioral patterns and general city outlook, these two cities are worlds apart. Moving from any one of these cities to the other for the first time would definitely be a learning process for you, and some of these processes may range from shocking to absolutely hilarious.
I’m Victor Daniel and here are five culture shocks you experience when you move from Lagos to Abuja.
- People Don’t Chase Buses In Abuja: Back in Lagos, the danfo pulls over and only the strong, fit and fast can get in. I mean, we are Lagosians and we’re no slobs. However, in Abuja, people just wait around for taxis and when the cars come, they respectfully file in patiently. Can you imagine that? How can you enter into the car peacefully and organized and still enjoy the ride? Abeg!
- The Sun Will Roast You: You think Lagos is hot right? I mean yeah, there are 23 million folks sharing the air so it has to be hot. But you arrive Abuja and you realize that there is sun, and there is “SUN”. In Abuja, you don’t want to be caught outside at midday. Here you don’t sweat, you steam. You only stand a chance if you have a car, you walk around with an umbrella or you live inside a refrigerator.
- You Can’t Get Cheap Roadside Meals: In Lagos, you could at least be broke enough to walk to iya Gbenro’s roadside shed and buy spaghetti 50 naira, plantain 20 naira, and kpomo 50 naira. Your breakfast is set. In Abuja, even the roadside sheds are bougie. You casually stroll into a shed for breakfast and all of a sudden you have spent your rent. Alright, that’s an exaggeration but you get the point right? Even ewa agoyin is an exotic meal here.
- Recreation is a workout: In Lagos, you could plan a weekend gateway with your girls at the beach and have fun pretending like you’re having the time of your life in the Maldives. In Abuja, you have no beaches or any remotely attractive body of water. Oh don’t get me started on Jabi Lake. The only gift of nature you have here is Dawaki mountain. You can’t even relax here. Any small thing, you’re wearing jungle boots and hiking. Abuja folks are always hiking.
- Abuja folks are polite to death: I know this may sound bizarre to Lagos folks watching this but Abuja people greet themselves when they get into taxis. The first time I experienced this, my Lagos antenna went really fast. Like, why are you being polite to me? Why are you greeting me? Are you trying to steal from me? Also, Abuja drivers almost never cuss in traffic. They just express their grievance in perfectly courteous ways. Very strange.
- Kaftan is the dress-up: In Abuja, men don’t need to worry about their choices of dress. Kaftans got that covered. Over here men wear Kaftans to work, to the gym, to church, to the mosque, to parties, to the pool, and even to nightclubs! I mean, the Lagos in you would feel like wearing a t-shirt and jeans to a chill spot right? Not in Abuja, otherwise you would be the outcast at the venue. Get in touch with your fashion designer folks, you will need those kaftans.
So that’s it guys. All the weird things you would experience if you are a proper Lagosian who just arrived Abuja. I’m sure there are a lot more. I’m sure there are a lot more than these. Do let us know them in the comment box and don’t forget to hit the share button.