Last year I put on my big girl pants and travelled overseas to a new country. It’s been almost four months since I moved to the UK and I have been asked “how are you doing” many times these months than I have ever been asked (low key a lie but, well that is to say that I have people who care duh!). Although, if I’m being honest, I’m not entirely feeling it because WE ARE IN A FLIPPING PANDEMICCC!
Imagine the life of a Tier 4 resident, the accessibility to explore, meeting new people and experiencing a new environment is almost non-existence and at this point, my tired is exhausted (I need all the virtual hugs available).
Within my short time here as an immigrant from Nigeria, however, I have experienced a few ‘e shock me’ moments, ones which normal people would refer to as “cultural shocks”. Before my move, I had anticipated these shocks but they don’t hit you until it becomes reality. So even with Covid being immature, these shocks were inevitable.
Firstly, it’s the left-hand-side driving. Coming from a country that drives on the right, I found this weird and confusing (actually still do). I don’t drive which is one confusion off my shoulder yet when I have to cross the road wahala. The roads are pretty much straightforward but most times with a bending road, there is almost like a sixth sense you have when you see the driver and you know what direction he is heading at even without the indicator and here I am still looking at the right side of the car trying to figure out the driver and ending up moving in the wrong direction. Now, I just act like a 10-year-old crossing the road, looking left and right on a one-way road because I didn’t travel across oceans to be run over by a car.
Secondly, finding out that your eggs, chicken, meat have expiry dates. When I was told this, I was shook! And when I saw these dates on the product I was even more bewildered. Meaning I cannot buy chicken and just leave it in the freezer until whenever I need it? I grew up in a household where foodstuffs were mainly bought in bulk, coupled with my laziness? Naa I wasn’t going to be about that life of periodical food shopping so I found myself a solution. I decided to give no care in the world for the expiry date and I can tell from my many experiences that even after the expiry dates they still come out perfect. You just have to freeze it up babes. Good riddance.
Google Maps would be the third for me. This is not exactly a cultural shock because it’s not uncommon in Nigeria but here in the UK, it is an ACTUAL thing. In Nigeria, most times when you are going somewhere unfamiliar (well speaking personally) you either call someone to tell you the bus stops to drop at or bus drivers or you ask our very own ‘okada men’ (because maps have nothing on them) as opposed to the UK, people barely know directions to places by heart; I got lost once (a story for another day) and decided to ask someone for direction and the first thing he did was check his google maps. I haven’t seen anyone not use google maps while they drive and that was really amusing to find out.
Lastly, coins have been another shock I am still struggling with. Unlike notes which are easier to tell the amount, coins are a bit tricky and on the account of not wanting to seem like a JJC (newcomer) when I am at a store trying to figure out what coin is what I just end up not spending the coins. Although, I have been told an easy way to crack this confusion is to study the different shapes and colour of each coin denomination.
*As at the time of editing this post, I think I have cracked the code
‘New Beginnings are scary but New Beginnings are needed’ wise words from @mmelanindaj
I have come to learn that with a new challenge or experience comes with its unique “shocks” and honestly, I have been scared shitless (still am) but knowing I am right for where I am and no one belongs here more than I do has been enough motivation.
Until next time invest in Bitcoin