The year is gradually coming to an end, I mean, March is already 8 days gone.
So I finally got posted to my place of primary assignment where I would work for the next one year- the Ministry of Lands and Survey in Abakaliki. I also went home, saw my family (yayy), rested and ate. There is no place like home. Prior to my service year I was really anticipating this one year away from home. I’ve hardly spent a month here and I am done.
I went shopping yesterday to buy some necessary items and I realized that things suddenly appear expensive when it’s your money that is being used. Adulting is work😭
In the few weeks I have spent in Abakaliki, I have learnt some things;
1. People would always increase the price of goods and services for you when you look like you don’t know where you are going.
Solution…do not look like you don’t know where you’re going. Or ask other passengers in the vehicle the price. And if there’s no one to ask, please haggle as if your life depends on it even if the seller is proving stubborn. I’ve entered a keke napep where the person beside me paid 50naira and I paid 100naira from almost the same pick up point. I refuse to explain how it happened. Just know that this life is just a pot of beans.
2. If you do not know where you are going, either ask Google maps, even though that is not very effective where I am, or ask a human being. Do not be afraid to ask is the moral of this paragraph. However, do not just ask anybody. Calm down and study the people around you before you find who to direct you.
3. Do not go alone to the market for the first time. If you can, please find someone to go with you. Especially someone who speaks the language of the land or is more street than you are. I greatly benefited from this. My friend took me to the market and was like a little angel on my shoulder whispering “say 300naira, say it!”
4. As a corp member, people assume you’re financially buoyant, so everything becomes like two times the normal price.
Solution: Either your reduce the number of places you go on days you have to wear the uniform or like I said earlier, haggle like your life depends on it. Slash the price!!!
5. The NYSC uniform has it’s advantages. People have paid my transport fare, given me free rides because I am a corp member serving my country and generally been of help. So when these situations come and meet you, please grab them with open arms. It would save your money and your time.
6. However, there are the people that also lack home training and as thus think that by calling you corper corper and helping you, but for personal reasons such as collecting your number, calling you and generally being nuisances all in the hopes that you would respond to their advances. Please. Block such people, avoid them and ignore them if you happen to come across them subsequently.
7. Find the shortest and cheapest route to where ever you are going. Kekes are usually your best bet as they are cheaper than motorcycles or okada, although there would be times that these ‘okadas’ would be better.
One keke napep driver had the effrontery to call 500naira from where I stay to where I work some days ago. Maybe there was a sign on my head saying “please dupe me”. Today I found a loophole for my transport to work. I was ecstatic. I saved 100naira while going. I haven’t left the office yet but I am looking forward to finding how to get home for less. I am officially becoming street. 😎
8. Make friends. NYSC is an excuse to talk to people simply because you are serving together. These people would definitely know something you don’t about surviving service year. Remember my Market Angel.
There. I have passed on some worldly wisdom. Sage level unlocked.
I have been settling in going to work and so I have not been to many places. I have been merely searching for the basics. I have been to the Government House, the Federal Secretariat, the Centenary City and almost every other government building in this city, Unity Square, Osborne La-Palm Hotel ( they have really nice pepper chicken there and a swimming pool), Mint Market which is the major market here, the supermarket ( please if you can go to the market go. This place is expensive as seen from the eyes of a government working corp member that has to spend her money). I’ve even found tailors and a salon to braid my hair.
All in all, I look forward to the remaining time I would spend here and to the remaining months of ‘exploring’ I have left. Sorry for the lack of images. I have not been taking pictures as I should.
Till next time,