Monday, July 18, 2011


It's flood season in Lagos. 24 dead so far. A resident was telling me about it.

"It's the people near the canals who suffer,in the low-income areas. The water channels are not well-drained, so they just get carried away. The Governor is a good man, though. A lawyer, with a good understanding. Where are you staying?"

I told him.

"Aah! Upper class area. You will enjoy."
"I'll lower the tone," I said.
He laughed and shook my hand. He explained that I should be careful. In what way, I asked. "Watch your bags, keep them close. They know who lives there, and who is a tourist… the way you walk, the way you look, the way you move."

He taught me my first Nigerian word (although he warned me there were so many different dialects, all fairly unique. I don't know how it's spelled, but it sounds like "shallafione". It means hello. I like to learn a word or two. It's my way of getting a little immersed in a place. And a mark of respect for my delegates.