Thursday, 18 June 2015

Becoming an Americanah

I first went to the States, two years ago (yes, I know some of you were born there, duh!) after I'd just read Americanah. I was going to write a post : Becoming an Americanah which would have been my experience both in the country and with the book but I never got round to it. It's too late now but I decided to still keep the title. 

Five cities , two weeks,  and an empty bank account later;  I’m back home. 

My mum doesn't understand my wandering spirit and even though I’m nearly 40, I’m still afraid of that woman. How do I tell her I’m traveling, alone, and for no just cause? Fortunately she doesn't pick the phone, but my happiness is short lived; she calls me back right after.

Mama:  How are you?

Me:        I’m fine. Errrrrrm, I’m at the airport.

Mama:  Doing what?

I’m tempted to be sarcastic but I decide I might not be able to handle her come back. My mum owns sarcasm.

Me:      I’m going to the States.

Mama:  To do what?

Me:      Holiday

Mama:  Aren't the kids in school?

Me:       Yes, they are. I’m going alone.

Mama:  You say?

Me:       My flight is boarding now, we’ll talk later.

I’m temporarily saved. She probably thinks I’m running away from home. I know she’s going to call the hubby next. I do not envy him. I went to study just after a year in marriage, my mum said it was a crazy idea and that I’d return home and one Nkechinyere will open the door asking who I am. It didn’t happen. Perhaps Nkechi left just before I got back.

I love London. It’s one of my favourite cities in the world so even though this was a US  trip, I stopped by London just to run after trains and listen to unruly teenagers fling swear words about. How do African parents cope in the West? This race for trains and buses is probably why you hardly see fat people in the city which is how I’m welcomed to the States: Everything gets larger. From meal portions to roads, to humans, this is one Fat country.

I will never understand why Nigerians affect the American accent. I insist that the Nigerian accent is way cooler. Warer. Really? Which is one of the few reasons I liked Ifemelu, her conscious effort to retain her Nigerian accent. Let me quickly add that I love Chimamada Adichie. She can do no wrong in my eyes. I think she’s one of the best things to happen to Nigeria except when she said they couldn’t find anyone good enough in Nollywood to play Kaine. Then the movie bombed and I got my pound of flesh. 1 – 1 girl. Evil grin.

There are many things that shocked me about America, for one, they do not have malteesers but I’ll tell you more about my experience in America later.  Let me go cook so that my mother’s nightmare doesn’t come true.

Welcome to my world.