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How to get foreign friends

You love all things foreign. But despite the repeated olive-oiled anointing your pastor gave you and your passport, you failed to get a Visa. You failed thrice- to America, Canada and Britain. You lost a lot of money trying. After the long gruelling processes, nothing. Not even when you genuinely secured admission to some small college in London. Or took loans to make your bank account like a solid how-the-hell-can-I-disappear-in-your-country account. God will judge those people who saunter into your country when they please but make you scream your life history at humiliating interviews through a glass that looks like those in prisons in American movies. If only they would have the decency to give you a Visa. 

You thought of South Africa but after hearing about the deportation of an award winning writer going for the Caine Prize Workshop, you say to yourself, ‘God forbid that I let a fellow black man humiliate me like that’. Especially not one who until the 90’s still carried around a pass in his own country. God will look into the matter of the South Africans. 

God knows you have tried. 

You can still mix with Americans. Imagination is a powerful thing. You can have a taste of Canada and all those creamy countries whose Visa’s you have coveted. All here in Nigeria. Granted, the foreigners who come here may not always be the cream of the lot, but beggars cannot be choosers. You will manage the ones here in Abuja. You will enjoy their company so thoroughly that your Visa rejections will cease to hurt. After all, is it not people that make a place? My job is to help you learn how to mix with and enjoy the company of foreigners from creamy countries, right here in Nigeria.

You need packaging. Don’t look like something they will be scared of. Wear nice clothes and nice foreign perfume. Something they can relate to. Have a business card that says you do something important or interesting. Nothing introduces you like a nice glossy business card. Work on reducing that heavy accent. 

You need to know where to meet foreigners. I can tell about Abuja at least. Go to play readings and art exhibitions organized by embassies. It doesn’t matter if you do not really care about plays or if you think Australian art is just a waste of space. Join the hash. The hash is plenty of white people running or walking, wearing similar colours, drinking plenty beer and doing things you will find very strange. Don’t be a bush person. Google the hash and learn their terms. Find out what ‘Hares’, ‘On-on’, or ‘Down-down’ mean. Sometimes there is a small fee you pay. Don’t be stingy. Pay up and mix with foreigners. 

Watch foreign channels and foreign news to get great conversation starters. So say you meet someone from Belgium, begin by asking her if she is from the Flemish, French or German part. That tells her immediately that you know her country. Then add some random bit of news you recently Googled like, ‘So what’s this I hear about Brussels planning to fine offensive language?’ She will be pleasantly shocked and proceed to give you a lecture about her country, which will soften the ground for future engagements. 

When speaking to a foreigner, don’t scare them away with your alien views and thoughts. To maintain foreign friends you need to have foreign thoughts and habits. When you meet British people for example tell them how much you love tea. Say it as if you have always loved tea, as if what you sucked from your mother’s breast was tea. You will be shocked at how quickly you will bond. It doesn’t matter that until recently you did not know that Milo and Bournvita are not tea.

Do not do stupid things like admit that you really do not like homosexuals. You will be blacklisted and all hopes of getting a Visa, or foreign friends, will be lost forever. 

Never ask for favours. That scares them away. Don’t ask for a job or a loan or a lift. As much as they may appear to be in this country to help poor black Nigerians, they do not want needy black friends. Buy your own drinks.

Say you are a poet. Apart from being sexy, a poet is always considered a higher human species. It does not matter that until you read this article you might have asked if Wordsworth was the name of a store.  Don’t disgrace me. Read. You will see how their eyes will light up once they realize you appreciate the sophisticated things of life. 

When you attend a social function organized by white people, do not show up like you do to your Uncle’s house, empty handed. Go with something. A bottle of wine. A box of chocolates. That is proper behaviour. 

Never, in a moment of frustration, talk about leaving the country. This is disastrous to any friendships you may want to cultivate. Especially if your target works in an Embassy. They will avoid you like flies avoid Kerosene. Pretend like if heaven was outside Nigeria, you couldn’t care less. They will feel safe. 

Make statements that show you have respect for animals. If he talks about his pet or frets about not finding food for the cat, Archibald, that he brought from Connecticut, be attentive and sympathetic. Remember the cat’s name. Ask after Archibald whenever you meet again. 

While you are doing all this, avoid fellow Nigerians, like cockroaches avoid light. They understand your hustle and will do their best to truncate it. You cannot afford that. You cannot afford some nosy Bulus telling your oyibo friend, Mr. Carter whose dog Quentin, you religiously ask after, that during Christmas in your village in Kaduna South, you routinely welcome visitors with peppered dog meat. 

There is so much I can tell you, but try these. Before long you will have so many foreign friends, that memories of Visa humiliations will vanish from your consciousness. And who knows, you might even stumble upon someone- from the Visa section of a cool country- whom God will use to finally bless your hustle. 


Comments

el Nathan again! crazy fella. i love it

Rib-cracking!!! The part of Nigerian "tea" is so-so correct.

hehehehe.. O gbele o. LWKMD

This is really funny. I loved it

lmao!very very true ive experienced this firs-hand
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You need your own TV channel!!!!

I am laughing like a hyena. Foreign friends, wow. Always thought of friends as.......just friends. I need me some foreign friends, will have to ferret out these potential "foreign friends" from what ever bolt holes they may be hiding.....from me I suppose. It's goodbye to my local friends, I gots to get me some foreign ones. Too funny for words. Loved it.

Thank you for writing this excellent, creamy article. And thank you for introducing me to a new use for the word creamy.

This had me in stitches. Elnathan, , your next 'how to series' should be 'how to be a Nigerian Facebook political analyst '

Agreed! Or 'Facebook Warrior' LOL!

Am reading this a fifth time and still smiling as in the first. this is not literature, it is sculpture.

How about How to be a policeman/soldier in Nigeria?

Not bad bit of writing. Very economical and quick. An agile of exploration of a comedy nook. Even i cannot take offense at being called creamy when the term is introduced so rhapsodically.

cheers,

John From Oregon

John from Oregon,
Thank you for your kind comment. :)
E.J

LOOOOL. Pls more "How to....". I was asking for more at the end of this piece

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Love your articles Elnathan, nice one.

Mr. John, this series of articles is immensely pleasing to me. Your fine writing, hilarious and supple as the dickens, is bringing you new admirers every day. Yours - a creamy fan.

Dear Creamy Samm,
Thanks for your kind comment! I appreciate it

Foreigners working in embassies cos they could not get jobs in wall street, bank road, fleet street, or silicon valley. Third class oyibos work in embassies or government and other quasi government agencies ( quangos as Brits call it).

Working in foreign lands to pay up their mortgages , child support et al

You are too good, 'just made my day! keep it up

E. J, hilarious as always, bt u've just schoolled nigerians on d highest level of hypocrisy.

I been vex for the first part where you dey yab dem but after that na laugh follow until I no fit laugh again. I had to forward to yankee peeps make dem too laugh as I been laugh. Nice post man.

Hahahaha!

My ex-'friend' showed me this script. He devised an action packed scenario where I played the oyibo!

Sounds like a plan dude.

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Good advice! Maybe we can have a try following these methods.
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Wow.....Genious.....Just brilliant

dats really nice. I should think of having foreign friends now to replace greedy local ones.

Hilarious!! 'And if you are a writer, respond to only whites when they comment on your artixle'

Oh my, I think I am extra creamy in Canada! This is too funny!

oh god! am dying with laughter!!!!! sell your soul for what? just to say u live overseas? why not put the effort in making a career at home or voting for a proper govt to help bring the standards you are striving for overseas??

This is a nice peice. Rather creative n funny but honestly, i'd sooner live my whole life in nija before i go subject myself to that level of idiocy just cos i want a friend with smelly white skin that reddens at the slightest pressure. And constantly inquiring after a dog? For wetin na?

Really got me cracking at the part about not knowing tea aint Bournvita or Milo... .
Keep it up brother

while at this please try not to be too fake about it...i always say there is a real way to be fake...FALL INTO CHARACTER!!!

Hahahahahahahahahaha! Absolutely brilliant piece. Had me in stitches mate! *wink*

An eye opener.i can't help laughing at the satire.

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I let a fellow black man humiliate me like that’. Especially not one who until the 90’s still carried around a pass in his own country. God will look into the matter of the South Africans.

I thought by the headline that this post was going to be a joke...but it turned out to be a great article...keep it up!

Best,
Brandon
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Really got me cracking at the part about not knowing tea aint Bournvita or Milo... . Find Shoes

good advice! I loved the way to get visa! ;)
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i think it is great to have a friend on the foreign countries as much as my concern follow this page

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All is cool, except the homo part; I live in Texas, I think its best just to be yourself, people will respect you for who you are, rather than to pretend to be whom you are not.
Many people can read that within five minutes of meeting with you, expectantly, if they work in the visa issuing section.

That great.

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