Monday, May 14, 2018

That's just the way it is...

The trip back from London was uneventful, except at the customs in Sweden. The black custom officer looked at my passport, did a double take and asked me in Igbo. "Are you Igbo?" For some reason, the question in Igbo confused me as my brain had switched back to Swedish. I said in Igbo, "Odinma" which means "I am fine". Then my brain decided to switch to English "Yes, I am". He looks again at me, confused. Now he spoke to me in English "both your parents or just one?". "Just my father", I replied. "And you are born in Lagos?" he asked. "Yes", I said. He switched back to Igbo, "Welcome home", he said.  This time, my brain was on track "Daalu" (thank you) I replied. This pleased him to no end, and he smiled happily back at me. The fact that an Igbo man had just told me "welcome home" in a country that we both had adopted was not strange or foriegn. He said it with the same ease as he would perhaps had said it if we had met in the customs in Lagos. C'est la vie.

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