The first obvious dilemma was finding an appropriate name for the new blog. I turned to my great creative director/aburo/friend, and his first observation was that iTraveller rhymed with iGwatala and to him, my great copywriter brother, it already offered itself as an appropriate tag for my first online travelogue.
Then he dropped a few more, all in fast succeeding sequence of brilliance.
“What of ‘Ajala'”? he asked.
Ajala is the Yoruba colloquial tag for those known for frequent travelling, especially across
international boundaries. Not for novices like me who could boast to have travelled only to Kenya, East Africa (in 2005 on a MacArthur Foundations grant). If you want a true Ajala, find this guy, who recently won the CNN African Journalist Award in the Arts and Culture category.
Now, a few key lessons from that one Kenyan experience which might be useful this time:
1. Always sit by the plane window. You never know when you’ll fly over a very beautiful lake or a nice, spectacular scenery; in this case, it was Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest, and perhaps the most beautiful, breathtaking view from the sky.
2. Never assume that traffic comes from the same side you are used to in Nigeria. I almost got knocked over by bicycles and vehicles on the streets of Eldoret approaching from the right. I know for a fact that traffic tends to come from the right in Britain as well. And, who knows, I might just catch a sneak-peak into England on my connecting flight.
3. Always prepare your taste buds for new gastronomical experiences. You never know when you’ll come by Chapatti, Ugali, Nyama Choma or Tusker beer on a KLM flight to Nairobi.
And so now after placing my last book, clothing, sculpture, CD, perfume and cold battling aboniki in this big bag, I’m sitting here in Lagos, facing the screen, my new blog, a travelogue with one simple tagline: “My Nigerian Slice of the American Experience” or “A Nigerian Nomad in the New World”. Have your pick.
Who am I? I’m a young Nigerian male on a Fulbright grant heading to the United States. My last blog is/was here. Yes, I’ve also tried my hands on creative writing, and freelance journalism, and I’m now full time into both literary and non-literary translation. For now, I will stick to ktravula as a pat name for this blog. It is after all a travelogue, the travelling travails and triumphs of KT, packed and packaged live from the United States of America.