Being Nigerian: The No-Light Edition

This actually happened a while ago, but I forgot to blog about it. So I jejely woke up in the morning to take a shower and go to work, only to realize that we had no light. It had been raining heavily the night before. I knew as soon as I woke up that there was no light because the cable box wasn’t showing its orange time-telling digits as usual and the digital clock on Igwe’s side of the bed wasn’t showing time either.

So I thought to myself, I’m a Nigerian girl nah … I will not be fazed by NEPA taking light. Na today yansh begin dey back? I strolled into the bathroom confidently. It was dark, but I could use my hands and feet to feel around till I got into the bathroom. When I turned the faucet to brush my teeth, the water was cold, but I managed through. After that, I went into the tub to take a shower. I expected the water to be cold since there was no electricity to heat it up, but I didn’t care. After all, I spent one whole semester in boarding school (when I was in JSS1), and I showered with cold water. Kini big deal?

My people, as soon as a drop of that ice cold water touched my feet – my feet alone o! Not even the rest of my body- I ran out like I was being chased. Forget being Nigerian. This chill of this water went into my bone marrow. It was winter when this happened, and you know we had a brutal winter this year.

So, I began to think … what to do, what to do. For starters, I needed some kind of light because taking a shower in the dark wasn’t looking like fun either. I didn’t have any big candles, so I had to get creative with the tea light candles I usually use to burn fragrance oil. One little tea light candle wouldn’t make much of a difference, but what about 12 tea light candles?

Being Nigerian - Tea light candles

Next step: how do I get warm water – even if just a little bit – to take a shower? I couldn’t warm water on the stove because our stove is electric, and I could not use the microwave for the same reason. Then I remembered that about a decade ago when I opened a bank account, I was giver a mini charcoal grill as a gift. The grill is really tiny and would best be used during a picnic for two. But on this particular day, it was going to be a stove. Watch and learn.

I painstakingly lighted even more tea light candles – as many as my itsy bitsy grill could hold. Then I put the pot on it. I knew it’d take a long time to get warm, and I was okay with waiting. I wasn’t even trying to get the water to boil, and the water was so small that I didn’t even know for sure what I would do with it once it did get warm.

Being Nigerian Being-Nigerian

As soon as I set the pot on the grill, NEPA BGE brought the light back. Just like Nigeria. After you have interrupted your sleep to turn on the generator, the light comes back on. When you go turn the generator off, the light goes off again. Luckily for me, the light didn’t go off again. At this time, I was already going late to work, but first, I had to take a picture for my Sweet Potatoes.

While being Nigerian didn’t help me with taking a cold shower, maybe it did help me with creating a makeshift stove? Whatever the case may be, I have never loved my hot shower so much.

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  1. says

    Luckily in Nigeria people dont have to deal with ice water even in hamattan its still okay to bath with it.
    I live England and am going to invest in a kerosene/parrafin stove.

    • says

      Hey Kiky, I lived in Jos in Nigeria though. The water wasn’t icy, but it was pretty darn cold. That said, it was still nothing compared to the water that was coming out of my faucet.

  2. titilola says

    vera,i just discovered your blog very recently,and its been like the best thing since sliced bread…wonder how I ‘m just getting to know of it …i have read almost all your posts(though I’m a bad comment leaver)….even the ones from way back…from the stories about miss flow,to mr shoes,to omoba the married philanderer,and also your beloved Igwe…but pray,are you guys married now?I searched for a wedding post but all i saw were proposal posts,was it a secret thingy?answer me o,its going to add to the teeny weeny flesh on my backside.

    • says

      Awwwwww. Titilola, thank you so much for reading! And yeah, I don’t know where you have been oh. Per the posts you’ve read, girl, you’ve gone way back oh! Woo hoo!! And about marriage to Igwe, I’ll put it this way: I don’t want to lie to you, but I cannot answer this question truthfully right now. Lol. Interpret that anyway you want to, and I cannot confirm or deny anything. But in a future post some day, I’ll explain everything :-)

      Has this added any flesh to your skin? If not, I can send you some of mine oh. Lol.

  3. funmie says

    Survival skills…..
    I get worried for kids born in Obodo oyinbo.

    They seem to crash at d slightest scene of hardship…zero survival skills.

    • Pendo says

      That is so true! Sometimes I cringe at some of the “how to” videos on YouTube as in common sense things like “how to boil beans” like seriously? And the comments kill me people will be asking all sorts of silly common sense questions . These kids have zero survival kits. Vera please invest in a flashlight or two and also get one of those portable gas stoves that people take camping they come in really handy i tell you. I have all sorts of incase of emergency stuff don’t wanna be caught by surprise

      • says

        Lol. Pendo, I knowww! I’ve seen some videos and I’m like, but how can someone not know how to do this thing? I’m definitely going to invest in a torchlight. I’m usually the kind of person who has in case of “incasities” items, so I don’t know why I don’t know why I don’t have these things.

    • says

      Funmie, I always remember years ago when power went out in New York and people were walking on the highway. Haaa! Maybe we should be giving our children drills or something … I don’t know.

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