I finally went on that road trip. I packed my bags, booked my flights and went on a jaunt to America. America for me was two cities – a flying stop in Chicago and a couple of weeks spent vegetating in Houston. The America I saw was a welcome relief from the biting cold that was my home city; 17 degree temperatures were Lagos-esque when juxtaposed with the near Arctic conditions I had fled from.
Passing through immigration at O’Hare was an interesting experience. I had the misfortune of having a Latino officer check my passport. Travelling on my Nigerian passport from Heathrow, with a female as my host seemed to have set off a few bells in his head. First off he wanted to know what I did in London; and having shared that he asked if my host was my only girlfriend. Short story was he was convinced that I had multiple girlfriends, and Houston for me was one more pit stop on the FWB circuit. O’Hare was merely the book mark for the first 13 hours of flying and waiting for connections; and hunger made its presence very keenly felt. Thankfully, my Visa card was able to acquire a coke and a chicken/bacon/something else I don’t know baguette. Both items were extra size and that was my first real shock – the large-by-default servings of junk food.
Houston was fun – warm, friends to visit, food and loads of free time to chill. Fortuitously, I was able to take a look at the Ife exhibition. The only blip was some sad news of job losses amongst my close friends.
All in all, it was a good 2 weeks, tempered only by the spectre of a return to the drudgery of work and a mild sense of loss. If I had a wish to allow myself be beguiled by America, Houston would be the perfect bait.