Akure Chronicles Part 2: A Stranger to the Norm


It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, so interesting that I wish my eyes could paint an immediate picture of the mystery and awesomeness around me. It all suddenly reminds me of the book “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein, oh with the exception that I am not on Mars neither am I trying to adjust to some terrestrial life out there. The truth is I am merely a stranger in a known land and a stranger to the norms of a new town.

When you are new to a place, the normal things they do in that place may seem strange to you for a couple of weeks and then you just begin to adjust to them just like every other person in town does. Well, let me write a bit about 5 amazing norms of akure that actually brought me some smile this week.

1.       If you think that it is offensive for someone to just hail a cab, enter and start cleaning his teeth with a chewing stick (pako) regardless of the other passengers, then think twice ‘coz you might just be a stranger to the norms like me. The truth is it’s like everyone here feels so comfortable about everything everywhere. Don’t even try complaining to the taxi drivers coz they themselves have a bigger issue.  One thing I like about Ak is that you don’t have to struggle to get a cab coz they just pull up of for you and you just have to mention your destination. Is that strange? No. The  strange part is when the taxi man pulls up voluntarily  and you say where you are going and he starts flaring up cause he doesn’t want to go to where you are going, oh like that is so normal and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
2.       If you think it is hilarious to see a high school student carry her school chair on  her head on a motor bike, well wait till you see about twenty of them doing the same thing all lined up on a major town road, believe me it is a jaw dropping sight.
3.       You know how Steve Maraboli said smile to a stranger and you might just change a life? Well, let’s just say it is a little bit deeper than that in this side of the town.  Just smiling or saying hello to a stranger is like giving them the go ahead to enquire about your entire life. Here is a sample of how the conversation may play- Me: Good morning sir, I said as I walked down the gate. Man at the gate: Good morning ma. How is the family? How is the husband? Is work going well? Hope you are not too tired? Hope no traffic congestion this morning? Coz I heard there is everywhere. At this point my brain has probably gone to sleep and wondering how or why such a quick hello could prompt a long list of questions.  As strange as it may seem, it is normal for people here to get overly familiar with one another even if they are meeting each other for the first time.
4.       This next group of people just never fail to amaze me, I mean sometimes I feel like my life here will be drama free without them and trust me I love some drama. I have to say that Okada riders here are my favorite people of the week. Absolutely my favorite. They would sing a whole music album without even missing a single instrumental beat with a passenger behind them. When I mean sing, I actually mean shout it aloud like they are alone in this world and no one else matters. They would start up any conversation with you and expect you to reply and chip in some little things to it, they don’t mind telling you about their fifteen children and how they intend to make you a fourth wife if you agree. Yes they are weird but normal like that.
5.       Lastly if you think it strange that a goat would wander its way into the hospital premises and also find its way across the corridors or wards with no one trying to do anything about it, well that’s probably because it is normal and might just be the next sacred thing. Lol…who knows? Bottom line if no one else is doing anything about it then you should mind your own business too. J

Well, they say strangers are friends you are yet to meet, may I add that strangers are also the way of life you are yet to fit into. That’s just the way it is, for every new place you move to you see new things and you begin to ask questions that may never get answered. Let’s just say sooner or later I too will begin to fit into the norms that now seem stranger than fiction, but before then…like always I will just sit back and enjoy every little bit of it.