GLEN Lagos Nigérie 2010

* * * * * * * * * * * * povídání a fotky z tříměsíční GLEN stáže v Lagosu * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * stories and pictures from a three-month internship in Lagos * * * * * * * *

Dojmy / Impressions

Baby I Love You! Will you marry me?

I have never had as many marriage offers as here in Nigeria. And I don’t even have to try hard to get one. It is simple enough. All I have to do is to walk down our street. Men stop me all the time. „Hi, how are you?” It begins every time the same way. Only the amount of conversation after which the proposal comes differs. And it ends differently as well. Sometimes it is just funny, sometimes the men is acts as if he is hurt and sometimes the end might be close to a tragedy.

Yesterday I was on way to the internet café, when a guy greeted me on the street as if we have known each other for ages. Me and Helen are the only two white girls in the area, so everybody remembers us. After two introduction sentences it comes. „I love you, will you marry me?” It is time to pull out my imaginary boyfriend back at home. „I can’t marry you. I have a boyfriend and I am sure he wouldn’t like it,” I try to get rid of him. I can’t believe what comes next. „It doesn’t matter, we can get married immediately. I don’t mind if you want to still continue work after we are married. And if you would like to go visit your family in Europe, you can go. You can choose what kind of wedding you want. Traditional or in church? I will take you to my village to introduce you to my parents, you will like it. But you have to be true to me. So when do we discuss the detail? Will you give me your phone number?”


A phone number is what the guy usually wants. „I don’t remember it,” I explain to my possible future husband. I am not even making that excuse up. „My phone doesn’t work,” I lie in another situation. „Oh, that doesn’t matter, I will buy you a new one and a SIM card as well. Come with me, you can choose which phone you want. I have a car here, I will give you a diamond ring, I will buy you a house. „Will you marry me?” Some of them try it a bit slower. „I would like to get to know you better. When will I see you again?” Helen laughs when they approach her. „Right, you are in love with me after two sentences. I don’t believe you. You just want to go to Germany, right?” Some of them readily agree.

But it is still some kind of Nigerian game played in order to get a phone number. It was actually one of our Indian friends who led it to an almost tragic end. We have known each other for one week. We have been out twice with a bigger group of people. Then a surprising marriage offer came through text message. A personal offer followed during our next visit. When I said I won’t marry him and offered a friendship instead, he sliced his wrist open right in front of me. Nothing serious happened to him, we are just not even friends anymore.

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