About the author
Cashmore was born in
pursued a career in teaching, gaining a Bachelor of Education and Graduate
Diploma of Physical Education. After resigning from teaching she obtained a
Graduate Diploma in Business and worked in administrative positions until
returning to teaching computer studies in technical colleges. She continued
working as a trainer in computer studies and mining inductions for businesses in
marrying, she joined her husband on overseas postings. Two years living in
is an anecdotal account of the life and experiences in a country so different
Debbie may be contacted at the following email address: email@example.com
“Do you want the good news or the bad
When asked that question I am never sure which I want to hear first, so I asked for the bad news as it could only improve.
“We have been offered a position in
“Where’s that?” I inquired.
That conversation was the commencement of
what was to become a two-year stint living and working in
Apart from all the negative media reports,
I knew very little about
This would be my first experience of being an expatriate wife, living in a country where I was unable to work and would have many of my activities restricted. Consequently I wondered what I would do with my time and started dreaming up projects to occupy my days. My concerns were for our safety and health, considering tropical diseases, the quality of the food and how I would deal with a radical change in my lifestyle. Many others were living there and I knew I could too. My feelings were of excitement, coupled with fear of the unknown and perhaps the likelihood of being shot!
I promised family and friends I would write
and tell them all about our experiences…which has led to an affection for the
Read a sample:
Before accepting the contract to
This schedule was not conducive to a very
good state of mind or coherence. He certainly was not expecting the
‘welcome’ he got. Unfortunately, nobody had informed him that perhaps on a
first visit to
After collecting his bags that eventually came through the carousel, he then joined the next queue to customs control where everyone had to open at least one of their suitcases. By observing the people in front of him, Stewart quickly ascertained that those who moved through the fastest were surreptitiously handing across some money.
As we had friends already working in
Stewart’s bags contained
1 A medical kit, after having a large number of immunisations, he was also required to carry the medication needed to prevent and treat malaria and any stomach problem he may be unfortunate enough to pick up.
2 Curry pastes and tinned tuna.
4 Clothing and toiletries.
Eventually it was his turn and he opened his case. The customs official immediately homed in on the cans of tuna, stating with authority that this could not be brought in.
Stewart asked, “Why not?”
The reply was mumbled and incoherent. However, having observed the routine Stewart quickly offered a US ten dollar dash to settle the problem. Whilst the customs people did all this very surreptitiously, because of course it is not allowed, the intent was clear to all passengers. There was no intention to find any contraband. Payment of a dash was a quick way to get through; non-payment meant you would be held up and hassled for as long as possible.
Breathing a sigh of relief, after being told he was allowed to move on, Stewart had walked less than ten paces to the exit of the departure area, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. Turning around he was faced by a higher-ranking officer who requested he accompany him to his office, selecting at random one of the cases to be brought with him and leaving the other outside unattended. The officer closed his door and Stewart was on his own in the room with him. Once again he had to open his case, and this time the medicine pack was seized upon.
“Are you a doctor?” he asked with hands jingling in his pocket. “These are illegal drugs, this is very serious.”
Stewart, by now, in his jetlagged and frustrated state and feeling anxious, was not thinking particularly clearly and could visualise himself lying in squalor in some prison, like in the movie Midnight Express.
As he was in a very jetlagged, exhausted and stressed state, Stewart thought that the officer’s hand in his pocket meant he had drugs there and was going to plant them in his luggage. Although the Nigerians speak English, it is rather difficult to understand them as they talk in a singing, lilting way. Their turn of phrase is different to the way we speak, so trying to understand them and make oneself understood is fraught with difficulties, especially as in this case he was not going to ask directly for what he wanted. It was obvious he was trying to convey some message.
Stewart soon realised money would again solve the problem. Once again this fresh fish, not being prepared (with smaller change in an easily accessible pocket), opened his wallet to unintentionally expose a large number of euros. Immediately he was told to give fifty euros, which was reluctantly and apprehensively handed across, thereby ‘settling’ a totally uncertain outcome. Feeling suitably fleeced and exceedingly peeved, Stewart was free to take his case and go.
As he walked out from the customs area, the baggage tag official checked the bags with the airline tags. This is something they always do to make sure you haven’t taken someone else’s bag, and usually involves taking the tags off your bags and keeping them, without actually making sure the numbers correspond. The tag official asked to use Stewart’s pen to sign the ticket to make it look official. This duly done and after more delaying tactics Stewart realised he also was trying for a dash. This fresh fish had HAD ENOUGH and just pushed his way through to the outside to look for the company people he hoped would be waiting to meet him.
Eventually, he was ensconced on a bus with
his luggage, but was then left to wait for three hours for another person who
was held up with a problem with his passport. This man, having come to
Click on the cart below to purchase this book:
Prices in Australian Dollars CURRENCY
(c)2007 Zeus Publications All rights reserved.