It’s winter and this is the time when Nigerians, being Nigerian’s, will take advantage of the cheaper tickets to come to Jand for holidays, to start university or…kick off their career as illegal immigrants.
Either way, you need to know that the cold in Jand is real; there are times when the stingy ones among us will leave their soup and fish outside for freezing just to to save electricity…so you can imagine what will become of you if you try to mess with this winter. Luckily, I am here to help you, so this demonic cold does not truncate your hustle before it even begins.
This is how to survive your first winter:
Boots and tights are not just for Psquare videos
Those boots you see on the yellow-yellow legs of Kaffy and the other girls that dance Alingo in all these PSquare videos are not for play. They are to protect your legs, one of the fastest places through which you lose body heat. It is always surprising to see Nigerians running to buy ankle and even thigh-length boots to pose with in Naija, yet turn up to Jand with socks tucked into flat shoes. Nigeria is the tropical country where people wear tights (which they call pop-socks), yet turn up at Heathrow shivering. You might as well live in a freezer na. Be wise o, before pneumonia sef will wear Kaffy’s boots and begin dancing Alingo in your lungs.
Dress according to your visa
You know how they say dress for the body you have, not the body you want? Well in Jand, you need to dress for the visa you have, not the visa you want. Calm down and let me explain. You are a JJC, an Osanle who is just arriving so you cannot compare yourself to the Britico citizens and oyinbo people here. That a teenager is wearing only a sweater and walking about comfortably doesn’t mean you should want to feel among and refuse to buy a coat or wear your gloves. You go die for nothing because there is a reason why a coat is different from any other item of clothing. You kuku have no car, and should know that in Jand, people with cars often leave it at home and walk, talk less of you. If it is that bad, enter a charity shop and select an Okrika coat. A good coat can save not just your life but your swagger, making sure your Naija skin does not wrinkle and end up like that of a rhinoceros. Because before you know it, it will get to the point where everybody go know say na suffer you come suffer for Jand.
Ditch your inner farming implement
I know that as an Osanle, or a student hoping to naturalise, you would ideally like to sell market. But trust me, winter is not the time to let out your inner farming implement, aka hoe. The hot pants and high-waist shorts are for summer, not winter. Yes, even with “pop socks” underneath. It’s time to get out the thick wool tights, fleece tops and trousers and tuck them all into boots. As for you guys, the sagging has to wait for a few months, because the frozen boxers and shrivelled butt crack look will never be in fashion. If like Michael Jackson sang it – Heaven Can Wait, then trust me, sagging can wait too…so wrap it up and put it away for now, agbaya.
Learn to love winter
Winter is like rain, and tax; it will always come, and when it ends for the real Briticos it might still be winter for you. Meaning they may be running around town in sleeveless tops while you still can’t bear to take off your clothes indoors even to have a shower. As much as you are learning to use the Tube, speak scri-scri phonay and adapt to life in the UK, you have to learn to deal with the weather. After all, na only you enter visa office, carry waka come abi? Not to worry, it gets better with time.
Soon you will know how to mix your layers of clothing so that when you are in buses and trains you can peel them off and not sweat, then put them on when you are out again. Soon you will know the various jackets and coats suitable for autumn, then winter. Yes, soon it won’t be only winter you will feel; your body will realise that autumn comes before winter.
Then, you will know that you have arrived.
At this point, you will also likely be the smug immigrant with a smirk and pitying smile on hand for the JJC shivering next to you, in their socks and flat shoes. Depending on how petty you are, you may even make a show of wiping the sweat off your acclimatised forehead while JJC gawks in awe at you.
Go on, enjoy….you’ve earned it, Senior Osanle.
See you next week.
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