New in Russia
It was just two weeks I arrived in Russia, and talks about the association’s convention and dinner was already agog the Nigerian community. At the time, I was yet to get the hang of the language. I had only been in the country for a week. The only words I could confidently say then were ‘privet’ which is hi and ‘paka’ which means bye. As a result of this, I did not know what to expect, and I wasn’t very excited.
However, the senior students dragged on, ‘There would be plenty Nigerian food; Pepper soup, egusi with lots of assorted.’ ‘Ha! Naija food! That caught my attention as an opportunity to eat Nigerian food in Putin’s land cannot be missed’. ‘You would meet with the different students in various cities.’ They went on. At this, my eyes opened. I did the maths; different students means different boys and different boys means fine boys would be present Fada lawd! Did I mention my roommates at that time were two Nigerian girls? So we were all so excited about our first dinner in Obodo Oyibo. Ha! We must slay, we must give them.
Day of the convention
We bought outfits, bought train tickets to Moscow, and got our hair done. The struggle to make your hair or get hair products in non-african countries or places where there are fewer black people is real. Each city with Nigerian Students has elected city representatives. It is the city representative’s job to coordinate the students in the city and pass relevant information to the Nigerian students in that city. The city rep for my city was Peter. The other students had all left earlier for the convention, so Peter was left with the responsibility of conveying Ini and I to the venue “Okay so we leave by 6 pm, the dinner is 9 pm, so by 8 pm we should be there with plenty of time to spare”. We boarded the train from Tula, and in about 2 hours we arrived Moscow.
At the bus station, Peter instructed us to wait behind while he got metro tickets. As we waited for him, we decided to take pictures. We took pictures and did a little wandering. By the time we got back to were we all gathered previously, we met no one. We searched around for Peter, but he was nowhere in sight. We dialed his number, but it was off. Ha! See gobe!
Where is Peter?
How do we go from here? The only thing we knew was that we were at Orekova Station, Moscow. We kept trying Peter’s number while we waited in the chilling winter. After a long time in the cold we checked the time it was 11 pm we had spent 3 hours in the cold, we realized we were stranded and had to do something. But what could we do? We barely spoke any Russian and did not know how to get to the convention. We could not ask for directions because of the language barrier.
We decided to order a taxi the only thing we knew then was the convention was at the People’s Friendship University Moscow which of the campuses we did not know. The Taxi driver kept driving around, looking for the place. It was exhausting, and we fought to hold back tears. We finally got through to the president of the association after trying his number countless times he then spoke to the taxi driver and gave him the precise location.
We got to the venue, at past 1 am, and everyone had long gone. It was a night I would forever remember and trust me we keep blaming Peter to this day. He is guilty as charged.