***This used to be one of the most read posts on my old blog***
In an earlier post, I talked about how I got rejection mails from different universities and thank God I finally got an admission to the University of South Carolina for a masters in international business program. Permit me to brag a bit, my school has the best international business program in the USA *inserts double winks*. I arrived here on the 7th of January 2015 and I have a lot of JJC experiences I’m going to talk about. Don’t laugh at me too much.
6-7 January 2015
I left Nigeria with mixed feelings being that it’s my first time in the USA and also the first time I will be so far away from home. I was surely going to miss my family and friends. As a picky eater, I packed my garri, groundnut and other African foods. I’m a really local girl in terms of food, I don’t eat any form of foreign dishes at all; pizza, burger and all those sorts *covers face*. In the plane, I was just sad, I just couldn’t eat anything that was served except cake and water *inserts sobs*. At the checkpoint, one of the officials mistook me for a minor, the way my facial expression just changed, the man quickly apologised. I’m cute like that. I arrived South Carolina and realised my foodstuff luggage was missing. I was told to chill that it will be delivered to me. I was just wondering why that small box of African food will be delayed. It certainly can’t be the size. Later that day, I got my box and realised that my garri was put on inspection at Atlanta Airport. Haba! The harmless garri was inspected but it was not seized…*sigh of relief*. I lodged in the hotel for 3 nights before getting an apartment.
8 January 2015
I had to attend orientation for international students. The cold was freaked me out as I felt like I was on ice block mode. The winter jackets I brought from Lagos couldn’t do any justice to the cold. P.S- The transportation system here is not so cool for non-car owners like myself. I went to the bus station to board a bus to school. I met this dude while waiting for the bus in sagged jeans and he was smoking heavily like his life depended on it. I was quick to judge him as one of those gangsters we see in movies. The dude was just asking a lot of questions. I was just freaking out. At some point, I just ignored him but somewhere at the back of my head, I had created a scene of him bringing out a gun to threaten me…STEREOTYPING IS A MONSTER (effect of too much oyibo movies). I was glad the bus arrived on time and I could just excuse myself.
I just felt like the whole continent was represented in the orientation room. I was the only African present. At lunchtime, I was so glad when I saw turkey breast on the cover of the lunch pack. I opened it and saw something really strange.
9 January 2015
I had to attend another orientation for Masters in International business students. With all my big winter jackets, head warmer and hand gloves on, I got to the room and saw some white dudes corporately dressed to the nines. As I entered the room, I just said “wrong room” and as I was about leaving, I just saw on the door “MIB Orientation on progress”. Oops! I had completely forgotten that the dress code was corporate. I was just pinching myself that I was far from being corporate being that I was in a multi-coloured sweaters and winter jacket. Anyways at lunch time, I felt like crying. Pizza and mellow mushroom drink were served. I’ve never liked pizza and that drink is about the most tasteless thing I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. Every other person drank it like the world revolved around it. I just ate cookies and drank water.
10-11 January 2015
We had a team building for all MIB students at Myrtle Beach and it was really fun. I got to meet all my class mates from different countries with interestingly different English accents. I just love the Italians way of speaking English. We were told to play music from our different countries and one American babe said she loves P-Square’s chop my money song. We played it and I had to do the translation to proper English.
It’s been fun all the way. I got a really cool apartment that is a really great deal. I’m trying so hard not to pick the American accent because I’m tired of having to repeat myself sometimes when I talk. I’m sure they will adjust to it with time. In fact, I was teaching a course mate some English slangs in Nigeria like wahala, abi, oyibo etc.
The USA might really have an organized system in place but I miss the ruggedness of Lagos where my cab fare will be based on my negotiation with the driver and not by some taxi meters. And also the ease at which I could commute around with or without a car despite the annoying traffic.
To think that on my way to school from my apartment, there are lovely hang out spots; movie theatres, football courts, Olympic sized pools, gym and all sort of recreational stuffs that are made free for students. I love my school so much. I’m grateful to God and my parents for making this opportunity a reality.
No matter what, there will surely be no place like home. I miss Naija on a per second basis.
January 2017 Update
-Till I graduated, I didn’t adjust to the food. It was Nigerian food all the way.
-I had to master speaking slower than I used to communicate well. I once tried learning how to speak with an American accent in front of my bathroom mirror and it just didn’t come out right. I was like Gracie, “this isn’t your struggle”.
-I still believe everybody in America has a gun tucked up somewhere.
-The transportation system was so bad in the state where I was that I had to get a car to move around at my convenience. One oyibo dude used to really help me before then. He was always there when I needed a ride anywhere. God bless him for me.
-I still think pizza is overrated. I still don’t eat it.
JJC means Johnny just come. It is used to describe someone who just arrived into a new place for the first time and with little or no knowledge about the are.