Sort of about the upcoming trip

Ok, it’s been over a week and it’s not because I didn’t want to blog. Work is busy and I have some work-related training going on too so I’ve been spending my time on that. And all through it I’ve been wondering when I would find time to blog. I’m tempted to expand on my entry about greedy relatives but I’ll save that for when we return from Nigeria because perhaps I will have a totally different experience this time around. My mom is begging me to have an open mind and not assume the worst of my relatives and I think that’s wonderful advice. When it comes to helping your relatives though, it’s important to have a balance between generosity and foolishness with one’s money and possessions: give when you can and if you can, and do have a heart that is geared towards others in general, BUT don’t allow yourself to be taken in by false protestations by relatives insisting that they really need help.

I received an email today from a stranger, a Nigerian living outside of the country. He must have found my email address on this blog. He described his situation in some detail and if everything he said was true (we have to be careful right?), I feel for him and for his situation. It’s nothing different from what many people deal with, but you don’t like to hear of someone struggling or suffering.

Unfortunately, I can’t help him in the way he hinted at, and I told him that much in my email. All I can do is pray for him, and I will. So, I’d like you too to remember O.F. in your prayers.

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I have an oyinbo coworker who’s 26 and who went to Europe for a number of weeks or months last year, went to Jamaica this past January and is going to Munich in a couple of weeks. She’s quite the world traveler and the sort of person who always has a current passport and a willingness to pack her bags and jump on a plane if a good seat sale comes up.

Me, I’m quite the opposite. The only flying I’ve done in the last 14 years has been due to my job, and that was just flying within the country. I haven’t had a valid passport for over ten years and I’ve been quite fine with that, thank you very much. However, this won’t sit well with Canadian and Nigerian immigration, so I’ve been running around to take care of those little details.

Canada is now very strict about the rules for appropriate passport photos—no smiling or frowning, nothing that gives off a glare (earrings, necklace and glasses if you can’t adjust them in such a way to avoid glare) and the edges of both sides of the face must be visible, and your eye colour must be clearly verifiable too. Maybe this is the same in other countries sha, I wouldn’t know.

And now for my Nigerian documentation. I thought all I had to do was go to the Nigerian embassy and get a visitor’s visa since I was not born in Nigeria and am therefore not a Nigerian citizen, right?

Wrong!

I learned that if your parents were born in Nigeria, as their child you inherit this citizenship. This fact and the fact that a visitors visa costs more than a passport (I know I shouldn’t be shopping for bargains while getting a passport but what can I say? It’s a part of me) made up my mind for me and I get to take some more passport photos fill out more forms. The easy part will be getting my passports. The hard part will be making sure I don’t lose them during the trip.

21 thoughts on “Sort of about the upcoming trip

  1. That was some good advice for dealing with relatives…

    O.F. is covered in our prayers…

    You are really preparing for this trip oh…D-day should come…

  2. You can bargain for the passport fee in some Nigeria Embassy i can assure you. Getting your Canadian passport lost….(i do not want to say stolen by friends of your relations visiting) watch that. I am a frequent traveller to Naija compared to you.

    Get a Nigerian passport it is more important than you know now..it is also your right.

    Dont tell us the correct day or the airport will be paralysed by thousands of your blog fans and admirers.may be with a pair of bad intentioned friends..

  3. A nigerian passport is very important cos then even the naija immigration will let you be….plus its cheaper and u can use it till the plenty years expires…

    Have fun in naija dear…

  4. Hmmmn girl…if you plan it well, I can guarantee you'll have a good time in naija…top tip…always have a plan B…i.e in naija o! cos you never know…pple mess up atimes!BEWARE of DODGY relatives who just want to line there pocket…was in naija recently and when diff pple ask me what I brought for them bla bla bla! my response was always: what did you leave/remain for me…period! it usually works…but when I see a serious case of need, then I actually sometimes go out of my way to help…but don't over do it cos naija peops can smell a mugu from 100km away!

  5. wow…i love planning trips!

    Not sure if this works in canada but i think u can get a right of abode on your naija passport, such that you don't have to carry your canadian passport around…i think they do it in the UK…

    N.B- your mum's advice is WISE..but keep shinning your eyes :D

  6. Lol @ u shopping for a bargain.

    Since i put my email addy on my blog, I have been getting a lot of emails asking for my help. I dont bother reading them.

    Enjoy ur trip to 9ja.

  7. OH i am so excited for you on your trip. Once filling out a visa form, the photographer put rolled up paper behind my ears so that my ears would look like a monkey in the name of me showing my ears??? weird right..every place has their craziness.

    As for relatives…i always tell them when they asked me what i brought back..i say "Alaafia" as in wellness..they laugh and im off the hook. I think i rather teach a man to fish than give him fish everyday.

  8. lol. i hear ya on the 9ja visa wahala. Try getting a 9ja passport when u go home this time around. save u money on ur next trip!

    take loads of pics. to post, that is! :-)

  9. Who says you can't shop for a bargain? Ask them if they do 'BUY ONE PASSPORT AND GET ANOTHER ONE FREE' lol. I know you won't need two passports, but since you've hinted @ possibly losing one passport, why don't you go ahead and get two?? Haha

  10. I'm confused. So is this guy getting a Canadian passport or not? I suggest that he does, because if he doesn't and gets into trouble in Nigeria, Ottawa won't do anything to help him. He'd be considered Nigerian, not Canadian.

  11. as far as i am concerned, you are a citizen of nigeria. period! u didn't think i will dash you to the canadians. get the green passport o, and experience how foreign immigration treat 'that' passport's holder and come blog about it

  12. lol @ the passport being cheaper than the visitor's visa. i guess the decision has been made for you then!

    lol@ Femi B, that is just hilarious!

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