Have you moved cities before? And if you have, how hard did you find it to settle down, and how did you find it adjusting to the ambiance of the new city?
At the workstation today we were talking about the culture shock one experienced when one moved from Lagos to Abuja or vice-versa. One of our colleagues had moved from Lagos to Abuja, and had intimated us about his experience with settling over here. The entire interaction made for an interesting conversation.
As you may already know, the two most advanced cities in the country are Abuja and Lagos. Despite being two of the most modern cities in Nigeria, the lifestyle and outlook of both cities are polar opposites, and inhabitants of both cities have entirely different experiences with their everyday interactions.
While Abuja is the more serene of the two cities, Lagos roars at you with its chaotic ambiance. The density of the Lagos population and the relatively small land mass means that the traffic is almost always congested, and this has directly influenced every other phase of Lagos life.
Sharing his personal experience with us, our newly arrived colleague had explained some of the weird Lagos rituals he had to wean himself of when he got to Abuja. One of them was having to wake up at 4 a.m. everyday to beat traffic. He explained that in Lagos, one had to wake up early enough to beat the traffic. On his first work day in Abuja he had bolted out of his home at 4 a.m. to realize that the road was deserted and the town was still very much asleep. It took him some weeks to fully readjust.
Secondly, he remarked that the city was better linked than Lagos, and this helps with easing the strain of inter-city movement. For this reason it was easier for him to move from one part of the city to the other without having to worry about traffic or distance.
About rent, he explains that while the rent in Abuja relatively costs more, the standard of living in Abuja is better. That is, while the rent in Abuja may cost more, there is better value for money in terms of security, access to roads and water.
About recreation, he tells us that Lagos offers a wider range of recreational options, as there is an endless list of places you could go for the weekend while Abuja has just limited options.
“In Lagos you have as many as 20 cinemas, beaches, resorts, and possibly thousands of hangout spots where you could spend the weekend but in Abuja you relatively have only very few places you could go during the weekend. You could tour every spot in Abuja in only a couple of months”, he said.
He however admitted that Abuja has a better landscape because of the green outlook of the city. He explained that while Lagos could have had an equally beautiful aesthetic ambiance, the dense human occupation had succeeded in defacing the landscape.
“Abuja is calmer on the eyes”, he concludes.
Have you ever moved across any of both cities? What are your experiences?