Bright red double-decker buses. I don’t know why these particular vehicles have come to represent any sense of alienation that I feel in England. Nevertheless, the reflection of one against my window feels unwelcoming. I miss Lagos.
It started last week, I began to prefix all my actions with the word ‘last’. I ate my last tropical fruit salad for breakfast. I sat in my garden for the last time. I was soothed by the last boisterous but calming sound of warm winds . . .
For the record, I did not prefix any annoying Lagos characteristics with ‘last’. Oh no, the traffic jams, the power cutouts, the blasé service, all those I ignored.
Anyway, my nostalgic behaviour is out of place as I visit Lagos frequently. My family lives there + I am a consultant for TV Continental, a Nigerian broadcaster, and furthermore I’m doing research for my university course in Nigeria. It won’t be long until I’m home again.
My reflection in the window strikes a thought. An optical illusion makes it seem that I am floating above the bright red double-decker across the road. I like the idea of drifting carefreely above London’s streets on the roof of a double-decker. If there’s one thing I love about this city (and there are many things), it’s that, unlike Lagos which sweeps you along its tempers insistently, here you can choose whether to levitate or to engage. Here, it is you who decides. The bus continues west and my floating fantasy occupies only a place in memory, like everything else eventually does.
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Hi! I’m Minna Salami. I’m a writer, blogger, columnist, lecturer and speaker and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism to contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. I’ve been listed alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie as one of “twelve women changing the world” by ELLE and my work has been used as a resource and case study at universities around the world. Like what you just read? Sign up above to receive new posts directly in your inbox.