Monday, November 8, 2010

Little America in Lagos

8 November 2010
Lagos, Nigeria

I made some friends at Shell and Chevron and spent the last couple days hanging out in their respective compounds. It's like living back in Europe or the States complete with lush green softball fields, people grilling outside, and little kids riding skateboards and bikes on the smooth paved roads. One hundred meters away taxis and motorcycles fly down bumpy dirt roads in the chaos of Nigerian traffic dodging broken down buses and ditched filled with muddy waste. The difference is like night and day when you get away from the expensive hotels and shopping malls and see how the majority of people live in Lagos.

Oil is where it's at and it is a different world in Nigeria if you have money. The International School costs about $20,000 USD per kid each year, but if you work for an oil company the company covers the cost. For the adults there are many adult establishments that offer "local content" or an opportunity to experience local culture. A friend went to a club called "Ynot" and described it as every teenage boys fantasy- more than 150 of the most beautiful women you had ever seen all excited to see you and want to spend the evening with you. He said the beer and alcohol flowed freely but he had to fight to leave before things got too serious with his dates for the night. Three huge bouncers accompanied him to his cab and made sure he was safe while he waited- a contrast to the recent past where robberies were common outside the clubs.

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