December 9, 2018.
It was a beautiful Sunday Morning. I woke up very early to run some errands. I also wanted to avoid the long queue in most ATM cash points. I asked my Sister-in-Law to direct me to the nearest ATM Machine. My vacation was coming to an end and I needed cash for some vital purchases.
Sister-in-Law: There are banks around the neighbourhood. But I think the nearest one is the one by the junction. I will suggest you leave now to avoid a long queue.
Me: Lol. Ok. I hope I will get cash because all these ATM appears to be for decoration given my experiences thus far in this country.
My sister in law giggled. She looked at me but kept mute.
She need not say anything. Her silence is enough. Nigeria has been all shades of stress and the heatwave was a killer.
I got to the first ATM, there were four machines at the bank premises with no cash. A few others who have gathered as early as 7am were disappointed as I was. Wow!. Too early for nonsense, biko.
I shook my head and left.
We drove to the next ATM of the same bank a few minutes away.
The security man approached us and said: “Madam, the ATM is not dispensing cash yet”.
Me: Oga, Good Morning. When will cash be available?
“Erm, I think it will be around that 12 o’clock. That’s when they will come and fill up cash.” He replied.
Me: Oga na wao! This is serious matter.
I left the bank disappointed again.
We drove to the next ATM point which was a good distance from my neighbourhood. Lo and behold it was a long queue already. I joined them and a few minutes later, what I heard was quite depressing especially for a new generation bank. “Not dispensing cash again… the ATM ran out of cash! What? Again? This early Morning?
I didn’t find this latest news palatable at all. What’s wrong with these banks? I stood there feeling frustrated on a Sunday morning. What’s going on here? I used that moment to scan around the surrounding and I observed people going to and fro. Oh yes, today is Sunday and as usual, people are hurrying to church.
Hmmn. Nigeria and the question of Religion.
Reluctantly, I walked back to the car feeling bad. Where next? Which bank will have a better story to tell?
We drove to another new generation bank. I beckoned on the security man to clarify some things about their withdrawal policies.
“Madam, this bank charges 100 Naira for every withdrawal and you can withdraw up to five times in a day”, He uttered.
Hmmn. Really? This plenty charges or bank fees for every transaction?
Okay, Oga. Thank you. I sighed, relieved that there was cash available.
I walked towards the ATM, feeling exhausted so early in the morning. Many thoughts converged on my head.
Is this what this ATM business is all about in Nigeria?
Is this what they meant by a cashless society? Why add to people’s problem, Biko nu. What if there was no car to drive around in search of an ATM machine? I would have returned home dejected.
Okay, let me even pay the bank charges but make cash available anytime I want it. Isn’t it supposed to dispense cash 24/7? Ah, many questions begging for answers!
If a nation wants to emulate the western world. By all means, do the right things and do it well.
By the way, when I returned home from the unpalatable ATM experience, everyone had gone to pay homage in the church. It was a Sunday ritual. This is a country where people brag about their religion. And I dare repeat it again. If the religious tenets you preach doesn’t reflect in your character, then, refrain from bragging about it. Period.
I got into the kitchen to prepare lunch. Guess what it was? Well, rice is the usual Sunday dish in most homes. So, I began to cook the long grain par-boiled rice while my head was submerged in deep thoughts.
Meanwhile, there has been a severe power outage and people depend on the Generator to provide the much-needed electricity. The light has been epileptic but this particular afternoon, to worsen the situation, the tap ceased. Water thus joined the league of my problems.
Another problem. In just one day, I’ve been saddled with throbbing shattering experiences. The tap stopped running because they didn’t pump water. Gosh! The many problems in a Nation can send one to an early grave.
I am tired. No, I am exhausted. I am already fed up in this country called Obodo Nigeria and I wanted to jump on the next flight and return home. Denmark has become home. It’s been more than a decade and I don’t seem to fit in well into my homeland again. Would you blame me?
Nothing works effectively here. Nothing. It’s a sickening nightmare to live in Nigeria.
There are many problems that make being Nigerian overwhelmingly exhausting. From the burning heatwave to the ridiculous dysfunctional ATM to the bad leadership amidst other societal ills.
My people, just when I was trying to take a nap after cooking lunch, the entire household returned from church service. Did I continue with my nap, hell no! Not when Chiedu and his little sister are home. They love to play. And they love their aunty (me) to play with them. These kids don’t understand when an adult is tired and want to be left alone. 🙂
Indeed, life is full of experiences, good and bad. We just have to live with all the different incidences that happen to us. And stay happy while at it.
My Dear country has a truckload of problems to deal with.
Peace and Love!
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