Flying In Nigeria: the truth only I will tell you

By Chisimdi's blog - February 06, 2020

I have a love-hate relationship with flying.



When the airplane is taking off, I give my life to Christ for the 2107th time in my lifetime. Looking out the window, ‘Lord Jesus, your work is so beautiful, and nothing compares to you. Please protect me as I make this journey, but if I’m going to die, please forgive me all my sins and accept me in your kingdom. Give my loved ones the strength to bear. But Lord, I know you won’t let anything happen. Please take control of this plane and the pilots.’

It is usually something along this line. Sometimes I keep my eyes shut and stay still so my movement doesn't make the aircraft overturn. Other times, I pick a manual or magazine and try to distract myself. After the plane has taken off and everything is steady, I stop panicking, realise that isn’t the day I die and start breathing normally again. I look around me, observe my fellow passengers, look out the window and admire how beautiful it is outside.

On my way to Lagos yesterday, we had only been flying for a few minutes when the plane began to land. Another series of prayers begging God to accept my soul as I come to him. Well, turned out it wasn’t an emergency landing. The plane had stopped to drop people going to Port Harcourt and pick passengers from Port Harcourt going to Lagos. We were on our way again after a while. Another take-off; another bout of prayers and confession.




Things normalised again, and I looked around. My neighbour was an elderly man. I gave myself a mental high five. It was going to be a good trip. In no time, the air hostesses started coming with the drinks and snacks. My favourite thing about flying. Bless their soul. 

When they got to my seat, they asked if I wanted coffee or juice.
‘Coffee please,’ I replied with a polite smile.
‘With cream and sugar?’
‘Yes please,’ another polite smile pretending I wasn't secretly praying they mistakenly pour cream and sugar of two people for me. When they finished serving me, I began to eat like it was nothing. Now, this is the interesting part. The reason I always want to seat beside an elderly person is they don’t need all that sugar, and they have no business with snacks. So, the logical thing to do is give it to their neighbour, right? Right.

So even though I was sitting pretty and eating mine slowly, I was secretly waiting for the elderly man with the rounded stomach to ask me to have his share. I’ll reject nicely, and he’ll insist then I’ll reluctantly accept. You can tell I had it all planned out, biding my time.

First, he opened the pack and went for the cake. I couldn’t believe it. Does he know how unhealthy that cake is for his age? This wicked man finished the cake in a bite or two. Then he drowned the cup of hot coffee. Finally, he ate the biscuit and the other snack. At this point, I was shaking with anger and didn’t check if he ate the candy too! How could he do that to himself when I was sited right there ready to help?

They announced we were about to land. Now, flying at night is beautiful. During landing, you see so many little lights and how the city is literally alive at night. It's as if the stars were shinning below. My admiration didn’t last for long. Something didn’t feel right about the airbus. I had suspected from the sound it occasionally made that it was rickety. 

First, it felt like it was ascending instead of landing as they had just announced. Then it felt like it was descending with more speed than is natural. Finally, it felt like we were stuck at a level. Were we about to land in the middle of a busy Lagos street? Was there a big lorry in the airport tarmac blocking the way and stopping the pilot from landing (that happens right?) Was the plane about to land on a house or worse even, another plane? There is nothing I didn’t think of. Finally, it was touchdown. It had all been in my head.

The wait for my luggage took a while. When it approached, I saw why. Anthony Joshua had borrowed it for training.

Remove taking off, landing, rough handled luggage, and older men who won’t let me save them from excess sugar by letting me have their snacks, flying is beautiful. 

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3 Comments

  1. Lol. My seat mate in my last flight gave me his snack, but it had a phone number attached to it. Allow the old man to enjoy his snack please dear. I can relate to the countless prayers, lol. I know you missed your airport photographer.

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  2. Nice write up. I don't know who's wicked, the elderly man for eating his food or you for eyeing another person's food 😂😂

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  3. Editor!!!!! nice story

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