Apologies for the break in transmission.
I've been preparing for a research conference, and then travelling home to Lagos, Nigeria to see one of my closest friends from undergrad get married. (While I was gone, Jewy was getting traumatized by well-meaning new friends taking her to unexpected shopping destinations. She's in recovery.) After two weeks in the land of guguru and epa, I'm glad to be back in the land of "milk and honey". Too bad it's also the land of Do It Yourself :-(
For the past few days, despite the fact that I have been sick, I've had to drive myself (reluctantly) everywhere to run my errands, prepare and/or order my own meals, wash my own dishes, and pay a ton of bills, since it's month end. Last week Saturday I left my room and returned an hour later to find that my sister's steward had switched out my sheets to be laundered and made my bed. In contrast, by the end of the day tomorrow, I'm pretty sure my sheets will be in the same crumpled state that I'd have left them in the morning, and I will be the one huffing and puffing as I lug them to the basement to wash. Don't be alarmed - I'm not lazy, and I've been happily doing all of these myself for the past few years. It's the very fact that I'm so unaccustomed to such "luxury" that makes the return to reality all the more jarring.
As with all things America, coming back is always a bittersweet experience. I'm glad to have the rule of law and not have to pay sketchy, negotiable fines based on arbitrary rules of where a parking zone ends, but I miss my siblings, nieces and nephews, and friends. I'm glad to have my bed and house back, but I will miss my sis-in-law's moi-moi and the general state of having older siblings present, to whom I can present random requests that I would normally take care of myself (otherwise known as, mo ma n yo si won l'orun). I'm glad to no longer be hot and sweaty (and getting at least two shades darker, as Jewy gleefully pointed out) but I have to steel myself against the cold once more.
I'm glad to be back, but I'll always miss home. After all, it's the only place where I'm not regarded by the government as an alien - be it resident for tax purposes or not.