Also on Caboose: Journeys Antarctica, Kerguelen Islands, South America, Turkey, Cameroon
[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary


Getting ready for travelling

Filed under: rtw,site,travel — kevin @ 16:04

Since I got back to Scotland I’ve been gradually preparing for my upcoming trip (itinerary in this post). This has included finalising the itinerary, paying for it, shuffling money around, filling in forms and buying equipment.

I’ve now added some features to show maps of where I’ve been writing from recently, courtesy of the GeoPress plugin and Google Maps. I can also easily insert a map showing the location of individual posts.

Actually the plugin only worked erratically and eventually completely gave up.


New job

Filed under: General — kevin @ 09:53

I have a new job. From March I’ll be working for Opera Software Get Opera, at their office in Linköping in Sweden.

More specifically I’ll be working on the Opera Mini browser for mobile phones. If your phone supports Java (most do) then it’s worth trying Opera Mini, the built-in browser on most phones is dire!

So, when I get back from my trip around the world I’ll have about a week to unpack, visit people and then repack and move out to Linköping.



Filed under: travel — kevin @ 18:02

I’m on my way home from a trip to Sweden, which will be my home from March. Unfortunately bus times have ensured I got to the airport far too early. Airports are not very exciting.

In fact it’s making me miss Nigerian motor parks, where there’s at least usually something going on. Catering options are better there too. Right now I’d love a plate of jollof rice and stew, instead of the chewy sandwiches available here.

Still, at least I know when the flight is due to leave, don’t have to wait for the plane to fill.
Empty chairs and tables in an airport terminal.  Sign pointing to various parts of the terminal on the wall.



Filed under: family,travel — kevin @ 13:11

Yesterday Mum, Dad and my grandparents went for a trip to Aviemore and up the Cairngorm Mountain Funicular Railway.
Four cold-looking people huddle on an open terrace, in the background is a white sky. Four people sitting in a row in a funicular railway carriage.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, it wasn’t very warm at the top, 0°C, windy and snowing slightly.


Things back home

Filed under: family — kevin @ 11:47

I’m still enjoying all the things I missed while I was in Nigeria. I’ve also been occasionally looking after my nephew and niece:
Joseph in the foreground looking very serious, Eve behind him.

Wandering around Stirling I’ve noticed a few things. The first is how few people there are on the streets. Outside the main shopping areas you meet few pedestrians, everyone seems to be in cars. Stirling town centre is also full of CCTV cameras.
CCTV camera bolted to the side of a tenement building. A steeply sloping street, wet after recent rain.(that’s Queen Street)

The second thing was how many signs there are. That’s official signs, rather than Nigeria’s profusion of advertising banners and political posters. Signs to warn you of penalties for not cleaning up after your dog, signs to identify lampposts, road traffic instruction signs and directional signs. Road signs in Nigeria are particularly bad, there are standard signs defined but various authorities each use different ones instead.
'Clean up after your dog' sign and lamppost ID tag. A no entry and a give way sign. A directional sign at the Craigs roundabout.

I spent the weekend visiting my Grandparents down in Norfolk, Eleanor was there as well. We took our usual walk down to Wroxham Broad:
A swan. Granny and Eleanor sitting on a wooden bench on a lawn. A small yacht, ducks in the foreground.


Odd things back home

Filed under: family — kevin @ 22:43

Coming back from living in Nigeria there’s bound to be some reverse culture shock, I was expecting it. At the moment I’m actually just enjoying things like being able to turn on a tap and knowing water will come out.

A few things are strange:

  1. Getting on a bus (capacity of around 50 passengers) and not only does it leave before it’s full but the whole bus is carrying fewer passengers than the typical Kaduna minibus (10+ people in a Toyota Liteace).
  2. Bottled water: this seems ridiculous to me. Why buy bottled water in a country where the tap water is perfectly safe? Just think of the waste in producing, packaging and transporting it.
  3. Signs: there are signs everywhere, many telling you what you’re not allowed to do, but also providing useful information like where you are and how to get to other places.
  4. Greetings: instead of being expected to enquire about someone’s work, family and how they slept the usual greeting in a shop is a quick “hiya”.

What I did on my holidays

Filed under: bradt,travel — kevin @ 22:32

I just went back and started updating the posts from my trip round northern Nigeria in July.

As well as a farewell tour I was being paid by Bradt to do the research for northern Nigeria for the second edition of their Nigeria guidebook.


On my way home

Filed under: travel,VSO — kevin @ 06:05

I’m currently sitting in Schiphol airport, waiting for my flight to Edinburgh. I’m also in the slightly strange state of mind caused by not sleeping and eating meals at very odd times (dinner around 2330, breakfast around 0400).

One thing I’ve noticed on flights to and from Nigeria is that the Nigerians tend to wear Western clothes going to Europe and Nigerian clothes on the way back to Nigeria. I’m guessing that this might have something to do with the attitudes of European officials. For example, you may be less likely to get hassle from immigration if you’re wearing jeans than if you’re in full babanriga. On the other hand, Nigerian officials will treat you better if you look like a big man. I’m sure there are other explanations…

Later today I should be arriving at Edinburgh airport to be shocked by the change from hot and humid Abuja to cold and windy Scotland. Last I heard it’s going to be my sister, niece and nephew picking me up, should be fun. Will little Eve still recognise me?

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