I remember the last time I went to the United States. It was a particularly turbulent flight and when the plane finally landed, people spontaneously burst into applause. It wasn’t only because they were glad the turbulence was over.
It was probably also because some of the people on that flight had spent their entire lives trying to get into the States and the culmination of that dream required some outward show of emotion.
Now, years later, on my way back to Lagos, the flight was more turbulent, and felt even more dangerous. But as the plane touched down this time, there was no applause. Just a heavy air of resignation and a low rumbling as….
the passengers who had boarded the plane civilly in the US suddenly realised they had been thrust into a remote island with no rules — Survivor: Murtala Muhammed Airport.
It was a mad dash to get off the plane. A stampede, brother turning against brother, father against child. A grandmother dropped her luggage on an infant and no one batted an eyelid in the chaos. The unconscious child was swiftly dragged out of the queue as hyenas circled the body.
I sat in my seat calmly, not realizing at the time that whoever maketh it off the plane the first, getteth through customs fastest. After standing in the customs line for two hours, I concluded that I should have joined the rush in the first place.
I am obviously not ready for this.