Memoirs of an Immigrant: Lagos the City of Hustlers (Part II)

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In order to fully understand this write-up, first time readers should read Part I @ http://www.jaguda.com/2009/06/22/memoirs-of-an-immigrant-lagos-the-city-of-hustlers/

The Hustling Spirit of Lagos“Thank You Jesus”, “Yes, Yes, Yes” and some times silent smiles were some of the expressions people made as they exited the interview area, but it wasn’t so much joy for others….I remember seeing tears flowing down the eyes of hopeful immigrants as they walked out of the embassy with broken dreams. Some were escorted out by security if they refused to leave the premises and it was at such instances my fear of not being granted a visa would pinch me.

You see, as far as I was concerned I was already in the U.S.: mentally, emotionally, except physically. I was done with Nigeria, really I was. At 17, I had started my undergraduate studies at the University of Calabar and after standing on table after table just to catch a glimpse of the professor, being bothered by a male professor and numerous toasting from cult boys, I lost all interest in schooling in Naija. So that day as I walked to the cashier to pay my Visa fee, I drew signs of the cross on the dollars and literally crossed my fingers the whole time I waited……I wasn’t going to leave that place without a visa.

Finally, I and my sister were called into the interviewing unit. I had ALL my answers ready, I mean all of them. My parents’ address in the U.S., their job information, my siblings’ data, name it; I had it. We even came with a family album as advised. As soon as we got into the interview area, my heart started to pound like crazy.  I started feeling defeated, why was there a window-styled interview? I was hoping to have a face to face interview on a table where I could express my deep desire to cross the Atlantic Ocean. I was weak mehn……I saw how people were rushed at the window, how rude the interviewers were and I was just weak.

You know when you spot the evil interviewer and start praying to God that he/she wouldn’t be the one to interview you. On this very day, the evil interviewer was a white lady, she was so rude to people that I refused to even make eye contact with her.  My thoughts were interrupted when my sister told me she had to use the restroom……”WHAT! please hold it” I told her but she replied….”it’s number 2, I really have to go”……chei, this girl was really trying to jeopardize me getting my visa. My fear was that if they called our names while she was doing her business and we didn’t get to the window on time, they may cancel our interview. You see, the night before, we went out to chill in one of the top hotels in Lagos and my sister had some pepper soup…..let’s just say that she didn’t sleep much that night and this was that pepper soup reporting to duty.

While I waited, a couple who had won the visa lottery was denied a Greencard because of inability to show sufficient funds. The husband and wife pair cried and cried like their lives were over, they started lamenting that they sold most of their belongings to raise money and that they had nothing to return to, I was moved to tears which I quickly held back. The lady untied her wrapper and threw it on the ground and was about to take off another item of clothing when a security officer helped her out. Sitting next to me was this guy who had written out like 20 possible questions and was reciting the ans the whole time. I couldn’t shout, as in…..”was it that serious?”

Moments later, I heard my last name being called, my sis still hadn’t returned, I was about to dash to the restroom when I saw her walking out….We walked up to the window and as God would have it, it wasn’t the Evil lady, I answered every question with precision, submitted every evidence requested and was smiling and thanking the interviewer unncessarily(Basically kissing her a**). Our passports were collected and all I was waiting for was for it to be returned with my visa stamped on it! (I could already see myself shopping, walking on roads with no litter, waving at some cute boys across the street like they do in the movies)……..well, I was moving faster than protocol. The interviewer came back and told us they needed more proof that our mother is our biological mother. WHAT! what nonsense extra proof?

We were asked to go to “that” embassy clinic, (I forgot the name) for DNA testing and other tests like HIV, typhoid and immunizations.  I knew I wasn’t HIV positive so I wasn’t scared at all, (I had no contact with any man (virgin Mary Indeed)(not to say that it’s the only form of transmission) but for a second I began to wonder if my mum was my biological mother…….that was now the only obstacle between me and the American dream. (To be continued)

12 COMMENTS

  1. I love this article, been waiting for part II, can't wait for the rest. Those embassy people sha know how to torment Nigerians!

  2. LoL at the guy reciting all his questions and answers. think i did that too. 3419 radrick lane…. LOL really nice read

  3. LOL… this so funny. Funny enough I don't remember being too nervous about getting the visa… maybe cos deep down in me I didn't want to leave, but i kinda wanted to at the same time. For me it was if i don't get it… no wahala.. if I do, Thank God 🙂

  4. lol…but what they did to that couple is sad!

    we sef suppose screen all this yeye oyibo people like that to when dem one come naija kmt!

  5. you guys dont have jobs no more right?than waiting for the part 3,gO AND HAVE JOB LAZY ASS GIRLS.lol waving to CUTE BOYS IN AMERICA,LOL SO THATS UR INTENTIONS WHY U WANA BASE HERE IN AMERICA,SO FUNNY.

  6. Well, it seems harsh when those interviewers are rude to nigerians. but i honestly dont blame them. Nigerians behave like animals sometimes i swear, and we do not respect our selves. Hence the reason we are treated as such.

    Basically others have messed the process for others and therefore everything has become so hard.

    oh wells. it is what is.. i dont know why everyone is so hung up on coming to states anyways. its not all that. so yall just stay in ur respective areas in 9ja and hustle for yourselves, so you dont have to complain when you get rejected as such..

    Note: its just my POV. i dont need any debates.

  7. Hey am just reading this article and from the date of the responses its nearly been one year, is the part 3 out? or is life in America too getting a bit too hectic? Please please find time and finish it, you have a beautiful writing style, cant wait to read it.

  8. hahahhhaha, loving every single word! beautifully written, i feel like i'm there, every bus driver you saw, i saw, every insults or coldness u received or heard, i experienced too…

    now, when the h*** you gon bring out part 3?!!!

  9. Please do not come to our country. The last thing we need in the USA is even more savage, wild niggers. Stay in your own country and try to make it better if you can. Don't come and make our country worse.

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