This week has been a week of weird random thoughts. My mind has been buzzing and my productivity is kinda all over the place. I have been checking out the Nigerian job market out of curiosity and was amazed to find out that some salaried individuals (like bank managers) make $10,000 a month. I know it is not a typical average salary of say some telecomm middle exec (which from my research seems to be around $2000 month) but still … that has a wow factor. It reminds me of my sister’s comment when she came to visit. She said, “you guys make good money but the cost of living here is just too high!” She was absolutely right because $2000 will probably go further in Nigeria than here in the U.S.
I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately because sometimes I think I would have fared better had I stayed in Nigeria. I remember when I got my visa to come to the U.S. I was so excited and happy. I was the envy of everyone. Now, coming to the U.S. has lost its allure. Those that come don’t want to stay. Those that stay realize that unless they have money to start a business, working for the man won’t make you rich. As for me, it took me 10 years of working my butt of getting an education, interning, entry-leveling and generally paying my dues for me to get to this mediocre level. I look at my younger co-workers who are at the same level as myself and frown at the injustice of it all. This one guy graduated from college two years ago and am sure he is not too far off from me salary-wise.
America is not for the feeble-minded. You have to DECIDE you want to stay here and make something of yourself no matter how long it takes you to get there. If you come here with some lofty ideology, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Sometimes, I find it funny that people look at me and assume I come from money and that my family helped me settle in this country. That is not the case. My father put me on a plane in 1998 with $500 in my pocket. The rest as we say is 13 years of sweat, tears, frustration, depression and downright suicidal – history.
I like to tell Nigerians back home that they are so lucky the country is moving forward and becoming more cosmopolitan…yes our infrastructure is nothing to be proud of but…we now have a vast middle class.
Last night I had this conversation with Turtle:
“So if I go home and get a job that pays me well enough so you don’t have to work, will come to Nigeria with me?”
“I don’t know … I have never been there.”
“What if we got a nice house, a maid, a gardener and a driver, would you come?”
“I said I don’t know, I have never been there.”
“What if you had all the time in the world to play as much golf as you want.”
“Now you are speaking my language…”
Oyinbo people sef…..
On other note, I am really enjoying this Ofe Onugbu (Bitterleaf soup) I made last week. Shame it will be all gone by Sunday: