My name is Abosede Omoakholo. Everyone calls me Bose. I’m a reluctant illegal immigrant. I never planned to leave Nigeria. Lagos was good to me. I had a good job as the deputy branch manager of one of the biggest banks in Nigeria. But, love brought me to America. My fiancé, Tunde, was in Baltimore. Now, love has shredded my heart to pieces. My only refuge is my diary. I started writing it on the plane three and half months ago. It’s taken me until now to have the courage to share it.
You can follow me, weekly – every Monday – on this blog page for a thrilling insight into the diary of an illegal immigrant.
COMING TO AMERICA
I woke up for the third time in five hours. I’m flying across the Atlantic Ocean. I’m going to America to meet the love of my life, the father of my unborn children.
I woke up because the flight attendant was offering me another meal. They feed you a lot on these international flights. Anytime I flew within Nigeria, all I got was a bun that could shatter the plane’s window if you fling it at it.
But on this flight, it was food every two hours. Good food too. I couldn’t even pronounce some of the meals on the menu.
Now I know why all those rich and powerful Nigerians travel abroad and return with puffy cheeks and potbellies. It’s the airline food.
I took the warm meal from the hostess and shoved it in my mouth. Unlike the other meals, this one was tough on the teeth.
“It’s a hot towel, ma’am,” the hostess said as she tried hard not to laugh. “You use it for the face.”
I almost died out of shame.
Back home, I was what you’ll call a city girl. I grew up in Lagos, the city that is really a metropolis but we call a city because that was what the British colonialists called it and someone has not thought it was time to call it a metropolis. I went to the University of Lagos, one of the most urbane universities on the continent. And, I was an assistant branch manager in a bank on Broad Street, a place some call the financial capital of Africa.
In Lagos, I was an “it girl”. But, on this plane, I had just acted like the ultimate bush girl.
I smiled sheepishly at the hostess as she moved on to the next passenger. I looked around; saw everyone wiping their faces with their towels. I did the same.
“Don’t worry about it,” says the middle-aged white woman next to me, “I used to do that all the time too”.
I knew she was trying to make me feel better. No one chews a hot towel twice. But, it still felt nice to hear it. I nodded my thanks.
“Where are you flying from?” she asked.
Well, there goes my attempt to blend in. I was hoping people would think I was from England because I boarded the plane in London.
“Lagos,” I answered.
“Where is that?” she asked.
“Nigeria,” I replied.
“Oh, the place where they send those fraudulent e-mails and faxes,” she added.
“Pardon, me?” I shot back with a frown.
“I get the e-mails all the time,” she continued like a doctor passing the death sentence on a patient.
All of a sudden, I’m angry with his woman. I have watched a lot of MTV, BET and CNN to know enough of the American culture. I know a lot of Americans are good people. But, I also know some of them like to pass judgment on things they know little about as if they were Jesus Christ on the throne. I wasn’t going to let this woman off the hook.
“So, where are you from?” I asked.
“Roanoke, Virginia” she answered proudly.
“Ah, the American South!”
“Your great-grandfathers came to my country with the Bible and stole millions of my people. Turned them into slaves.”
I had never seen a white woman turn morbid pale that fast.
Continued at http://bosediary.com/2011/01/01/coming-to-america/
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