Update on my sister’s life in Nigeria

Eko Hotel

I haven’t updated you much on my sister (Tayters—that’s my nickname for her, not just a blog nickname) aside from details of her engagement ceremony and wedding. She’s been living in Lagos with her husband (TT) since April and she doesn’t seem to be in a rush to come back to Canada. Who can blame her: she’s with her husband and you know what newlyweds are like! It’s a slower-paced life so far because she’s not working yet, so she’s had time to read, watch a tv series or two, set up her new home, and learn to cook Nigerian dishes! I’m impressed by how much she’s increased her Nigerian cooking repertoire through phone calls to my mom and YouTube. Continue reading

Thankful: July 2013

A lot has been happening in my family and with my friends, so I have plenty to be thankful for:

  1. My youngest brother got a job in the big city (5 hours away!) last month (so I should have mentioned it in June’s thankful post) and he moved to the big city earlier this month. This brother of mine is very impulsive, so he didn’t arrange for housing before he moved. I thought he would stay with his best friend of almost 20 years temporarily, but I was sad to learn that this friend didn’t offer him temporary lodging, nor did he offer to help him find a safe and affordable place to stay on a more permanent basis. I’m so thankful, however, for the Nigerian network and how Nigerian hospitality saved the day yet again: the son of a local family friend lives in the big city and even though he had never met my brother, he allowed my brother to stay with him for 12 days, and helped him find a room to rent in a decent area. I’m thankful that my brother is settling in and adjusting well to being on his own and working in his first “career” job.
  2. My mother celebrated her birthday this month, on July 10. I’m so thankful for her life, her exuberance, her loving heart, and her generosity. May she never tire (as a Yoruba expression goes). Continue reading

Embracing the bargaining gene


If you spent a significant amount of time in Nigeria you’re probably quite good at bargaining because opportunities to bargain abound: go to the market, the hairdresser, or the tailor and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a deal before you know it. It’s part of our culture as far as I’m concerned: if you walked up to someone selling something and just gave them their asking price, the salesperson would probably feel like he or she was cheated from engaging in the back-and forth of bargaining, even though he or she had just been overpaid (or maybe I’m naive and they’d just take the money and run!). Nigerians don’t hold the monopoly on bargaining though, many other countries have excellent bargainers, and I’ve run into people from other parts of the world in my quest for a good deal. Continue reading

Information for singles from Are you with the right mate?

(I found this unfinished post from January 2012(!). I really did enjoy the article so I want to share the completed post with you.) I made time to visit the local bookstore last weekend to flip through a few magazines (one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to stop buying magazines). I grabbed a few of my usual home decor magazines and as I was walking to the seating area, the title Are You with the Right Mate? on the cover of Psychology Today (a magazine I have never read) caught my attention, and I added the magazine to the pile. The article appears to be available online here if you’d like to read or skim it. Some gems from the article: What to do when the initial attraction sours? “I call it the first day of your real marriage,” Real says. It’s not a sign that you’ve chosen the … Continue reading

My one-year stint on a local Nigerian association

I was on the Board of Directors of a local Nigerian association (one of several in the city) for a year and two months and many of my fears about joining the Board came to pass: things were disorganized and every meeting started late. It got to a point where I would get a headache and be anxious before each Board meeting, so I resigned before completing my three-year term. Some of the red flags for me during my one year plus term: at one Board meeting, a couple of the Board members came to blows, every Board meeting involved members yelling at the top of their lungs (I did too: it got to the point where you had to yell to be heard and that is not good), it wasn’t unusual for someone to storm off in anger during a meeting, a third of the Board members resigned within … Continue reading

Save me from the male ego!

If you’ve been reading for a while you know that I haven’t had much success in the romance department. I thought I’d found love with a guy I started talking to long distance in late 2009 but that ended last year and sparked the Love and Learn series. Since then, things have not gone well with other guys I’ve talked to. Because I’m a chronic over-thinker, it has occurred to me that maybe I’m the problem. Since I’m the common denominator in those situations I need to examine my habits and patterns very carefully. I like to be straightforward, especially when it comes to romantic relationships, because I don’t ever want a guy to feel like a breakup came out of nowhere. I let him know how I am feeling, even if it could hurt his feelings (but not because I want to hurt his feelings—there is a difference!). So … Continue reading