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‘An Australian said I had mouth odour’

Recent travel

My most recent trip was a trip to Manchester, United Kingdom. I was there for a conference at Lancaster and visits to relations. My best memory of the trip was my meeting with some Nigerians who later became my intimate friends. We met for the first time at the conference and our bonding showed the unity existing among Nigerians outside our shores. The downside of the trip was the treatment I received when I boarded a train from Manchester to Birmingham. I was in the first class compartment and the ticket checker was surprised that I could afford the fare.

First travel out of Nigeria

My first travel out of Nigeria was to West African countries, Ghana and Togo. However, my main travel out of the continent was the journey to Perth, Western Australia, for studies. My unforgettable experience was when an old woman at a train station didn’t know what to put me down for and decided to accuse me of mouth odour after finding out I was studying for a PhD.

Favourite city

Albany, Western Australia. It’s a city with Mediterranean weather and nice beaches and powered by renewable energy––windmills.

Favourite neighbourhood

Perth’s Central Business District.

Favourite meal abroad

Japanese Cuisine, especially, sushi.

Lessons from travels

Human beings are the same. As you come across hate mongers, you also come across those godmothers and godfathers who love you because you are human and who makes your stay pleasant and worthwhile.

Travel advice

Travel light and go with an open mind with the intention to know a lot about other people’s culture and way of life. Go with the intention to explore and be spontaneous.

Dream destination

Tibet and India.

Ideal travel companion

Books, lots of music and my wife.

Unforgettable monuments

Kings Park, Perth.

Unforgettable moment abroad

My first night in Perth. It was raining but what made it unforgettable was the planned layout of the city and the electricity showing everywhere. For four years in Perth, there was no power outage. I did not see a grain of sand anywhere except on the beaches.

Travel regret

Inability to take my family with me.

Travels Dos and Don’ts

Dos: Explore. Be friendly. Avoid criminal depots and hideouts. Be law abiding

Don’ts: don’t be without money and without your travelling documents. Don’t go to riot or trouble spots. Don’t trust a person until they prove themselves.

Essential travel tools

Phone, camera, money (in form of credit or debit cards)

Best hotels

The hotel in Lancaster, UK––cannot remember the name––––where the Lancaster Conference was held.

Unforgettable personalities

My pastor in Perth, Pastor Julian Bull, and Doctor Bruce Thyer, a gynecologist in Perth

Favourite pastime abroad

Walking early in the morning and watching films

Most profound culture shock experience

Being the only black man in the plane from Dubai to Perth, Western Australia.

Interviewed by Lawrence Enyoghasu


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June 2018
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