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|Two Worlds Meet At The Lagos Oriental Hotel. by Dvea(f): 5:14pm On Dec 18, 2019|
[center]Two worlds meet at the Lagos Oriental Hotel. [/center]
I arrived at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, to meet an Italian pen friend, Francesca, who had come to Nigeria for a personal trip. It was her last day here and I came along with Nkiruka, a primary school friend of mine who had never been away from her village in South-East Nigeria, to meet her.
“Agatha, are we in heaven?” Nkiruka asked as our car rode into the Lagos Oriental Hotel.
“No, it‘s a hotel.” I answered
“No, on earth”
“On earth, that is in heaven?”
“Nkiru, we are nowhere near heaven. Let’s just go in and find my friend.”
“Hello, welcome to The Lagos Oriental Hotel”, https://hotels.ng/hotel/46585-lagos-oriental-hotel-lagos. Said the receptionist.
“Hello ma’am, how are you?” Nkiru asked
“Very well, thank you and you ma’am?” Replied the receptionist
“I am fine o, this your hotel is heavenly.”
“We are looking for someone, Francesca Perroni”, I said, cutting them short.
“Please hold on.”
I turned to Nkiru and found her waving and greeting everyone who passed by the reception.
“What are you doing?”
“Greeting people, what else?”
“Don’t you know that you should greet big men when you see them?”
“And how do you know they are all big men?”
“Anybody who can come to this heaven is a big man.”
“Okay. Whatever you say.”
We were directed to Francesca’s room and as we walked, Nkiruka continued her greeting and waving. We got to her room and she was just as her pictures had portrayed; slim and slender, average-heighted with shoulder-length dirty blond hair. I noticed all those but Nkiruka noticed only that she was in a bikini. She was heading down to the pool and she invited us to join her.
“Aunty sorry o, we can wait until you get dressed to talk.” Nkiruka said
“But I’m dressed.”
“How?” Nkiruka asked
“It’s called a bikini Nkiru”, I immediately chipped in, “and it’s a normal outfit for the pool”.
“But she is naked”. She exclaimed, shocked to the last cell in her body.
“Nkiru…” I was going to reprimand her but Francesca cut me off.
“Let her speak Agatha, it’s fine, I would like to learn about the Nigerian lifestyle.”
We ended up not going to the pool and Nkiruka educating her on everything Nigerian. We had room service bring in Jollof rice for us three. Francesca picked up her cutlery and Nkiruka educated her otherwise.
“Aunty Francesca Jollof rice can never be eaten with fork and knife, it is a taboo. Spoon is what we use.”
“But I can’t use a spoon to eat the chicken.”
“Of course not, you will use your hand. Let me show you how it works. Your right hand is for the spoon, so you can eat rice, and your left hand is for the meat, so you can chew it.”
To my amazement Francesca followed Nkiruka immediately. Surprisingly, I was less amazed by Nkiruka’s attitude than by how readily Francesca followed her instructions. Before we left, Francesca said to me that she was delightfully fascinated by Nkiruka and was thankful that I had brought her along. On the other hand Nkiruka was fully prepared to narrate to the last detail her experience with an Oyinbo woman to those in the village.
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