So I am finally through with camp, getting accepted at my PPA and awaiting permit to travel. I think it is time for me to write down my thoughts and first impressions about the town which gave its name to a brand of rice that is to be my home for the next year.
Seventy percent of the cars here are Mercedes benz with over niety percent being the 200 or 230 regular. I have actually seen the old school Volkswagen beetle being driven. Not as many cars or new cars, should I say. Lots of old, beat – up cars ready to obscure your vision should you find yourself behind them.
The main means of transport and the number of privately owned to commercial are equal. I sometimes made the mistake of calling a privately owned one. Someone has suggested I check their footwear first but it doesn’t seem to be working. Lots of women ride okadas here too.
There is a lot of dust here even though it’s rainy season and since I’m wearing my crested vest a lot, I’m doing a lot of washing. I now know why some people call it the dust of the nation…
The next day after arrival was S’s birthday and we went out to Crunchies, a beautiful place along Afikpo road. Quite nice in terms of variety, quality of food and pricing. We will be going back soon. There is a Mr. Bigg’s at a roundabout but I have condemned it to NTBE (Never To Be Eaten At). I think there is a flavours’ outlet somewhere but I haven’t seen it.
- Offices and Industries
The town is not an industrial centre and most offices are government parastatals. Quite a few banks. But little else.
- Other stuff
The people here retire early. Shops start closing as from 6 p.m and okada riders get off the roads at 7 p.m. Okada here is relatively cheap. The first time I took one I thought – in my Lagos mind – that either the guy heard the wrong amount or he was trying to kidnap me.