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Waazaki, the JJC British Student: 4 Lessons From Attending Birthday Dinners

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dreamstime_l_29039785So it was Emily’s birthday. Emily is my flat mate who also happens to be a white English girl; an Oyinbo. She excitedly went from room to room, inviting us for her birthday dinner coming up on Saturday. I took my time to dress up for this dinner, wore a midi dress with matching heels, and topped it off with a bad-ass clutch bag. As I’m not yet a make-up pro, I just made sure my eyebrows and red lipstick were on fleek. I was low key hoping to meet future Mr. British bae at the dinner (don’t judge me; for wanting my wedding to be guaranteed a feature in Bella Naija!)

Fast forward to the end of the dinner, after I had ordered the nicest and most recognizable food on the menu, and some awfully tasting drink, the waiter brought the bill. Then something strange began to happen, the bill was going round and everyone was dropping money on the plate. I was as confused as a chameleon in a bag of skittles. Was she collecting only monetary birthday gifts? Are they about to play a game? Or place a bet? Or did she forget her wallet at home? Several thoughts ran through my head, until I eventually asked the girl beside me… “What’s the problem?” “Why is everyone looking at the bill and dropping money?” She laughed heartily like I’d cracked the funniest joke ever and said “everyone pays for themselves”. I was too stunned. Not only because I hadn’t brought sufficient cash (I’d only kept my fully charged, snapchat-ready phone in my clutch bag), I just could not even comprehend how someone would invite me for their dinner and make me pay! As how?

But thank God for technology! Hallaluyah somebody! I asked the birthday girl for her bank details and transferred the money to her.

Lesson Learnt: Be prepared to pay for your food at an Oyinbo’s dinner.
Three weeks later, a Nigerian friend I did my A-Levels with, invited me for her birthday dinner. I was happy to attend this one because it was going to be a buffet dinner and since she was Nigerian, I imagined I wasn’t going to pay. While discussing her upcoming birthday, my friend went all hyped on me, “Babe we’re shutting this city down! Please tell TY and Ada that the dress code is all black and no jeans abeg… even if you wear jeans, wear heels ohh”.  I replied her that I understood, but she continued, “Please everyone should slay, at least for the pictures”.  Not only was this very hilarious, I found this quite insulting; me that I’m a natural slayer, somebody is now challenging my skills?

Fast forward to the end of the dinner, they brought the bill and everyone started bringing out their wallets. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only surprised one. A couple of our mutual friends were confused, “so Nigerians have started this bad behavior?” We didn’t have a choice but to pay and luckily for me, I came with sufficient cash this time around.
Lesson Learnt: Don’t trust Nigerian dinners too. Be prepared to pay for yourself. The hustle is real.

At the final week of the semester, a very close friend of mine had her birthday dinner. This babe was my secondary school Partner-In-Crime. Despite the fact that her Uni was 3 hours away from mine, I traveled down to make my girl happy and turn up with the squad. Hauwa had booked a table for 15 at Hilton, and apart from our drinks, everything else was paid for. It was a classy restaurant with a very beautiful view. I made sure I gave her wrapped birthday gifts (her favorite MAC lipsticks, a pair of heels and a hand-made necklace. My girl was turning 18!), and although no dress code, we were all stylishly dressed.

I know you’re waiting for the end of the dinner, but she had prepaid, so we just took pictures, cut the cake and chilled.

That was how Hauwa called me on Skype four days later to vent. She said she couldn’t satisfactorily rant on Whatsapp, I had to “be seeing” her angry face. She had just ended a conversation with a couple of friends that attended the dinner. She had asked them if they had a good time, only to hear some minor rubbish complaints. She recalled how one of them complained that the food was not spicy at all and he liked only spicy food. Another complained that the restaurant was too formal. The third one was the height, “the drinks were too expensive”. At this point I burst into laughter! Were they for real? A free dinner at a fancy restaurant! Plus, only about 5 people gave her gifts!

Lessons Learnt: Thank your host for the invite. Don’t complain about silly things.

Finally, don’t assume your ‘presence’ or a birthday card is a sufficient birthday gift. Get the celebrant something nice not necessarily expensive.

Have you had similar experiences? Feel free to add your “birthday dinner” experiences and the lessons you learnt!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

74 Comments

  1. Bukky

    February 10, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Lmaoooo I can totally relate! Reason I don’t attend birthday parties in this country o. Come to think of the stress you’ll pass through to get to the venue o. With this cold weather . MBA!

  2. kriptin

    February 10, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I have never understood why they do that, Invite you out and then expect you to pay. I still can’t get used to it, although I have learned to adjust. I guess they are just naturally stingy with money, that is the only logical explanation I can come up with. I invited 18 people over for my 25th birthday and I ensured it was paid for before they were done. they were extremely surprised. lets thank God for naija parties where such never happens.lol

    • Hauwa

      February 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      It will suprise you! Nigerians are in on it.

      I went for a birthday dinner at the Shard last weekend….obviously the dinner was payed for by the celebrant (he is my family friend) but his girlfriend was furious that he’d spend over £2k on people-on his own birthday. She’s a Nigerian.

      Writer, your Hauwa friend sounds amazing….if that’s her real name ?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 10, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      ?? You remind me of my aunt…. Three Sundays ago, I went out to birthday lunch she organised for her husband’s birthday. They were in town and I think he’s just one step away from the big 7-0 and she said she wanted to celebrate it (as practise for next year’s ginormous owambe… I’ve already been invited to Lagos) so a number of us were invited to a restaurant.

      It was a mixed crowd of different races and as lunch ended, that’s how the oyibos in the group started bringing their wallets out. Oh boy, the woman vex oh! “No, you don’t do that! What are you trying to do?? Listen, I invited you out and I was ready to pay! This is how we Nigerians do it, we pay when we invite you out. And let me tell you, if you invite me out, I don’t expect to pay either!”. You should have seen the bewildered expressions on the poor oyibos faces, maybe they were calculating the cost of asking her to any event in the future. ? And lest you think say she be JJC, that woman lived and worked as a geologist all over Europe throughout the life of her 19year old daughter. Na just last year she finally pack go join her bobo in Naija…

      These aspects of our culture (e.g. “Sponsoring” meals and drinks, etc) can take some getting used to for people from other backgrounds. Make we try meet them halfway… ?

    • Msreeny

      February 11, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Hmmm… Why do i feel like I was at this event? Did this party by any chance happen in Aberdeen? Because this exact same scenario played out around this same time with this exact same mix of people here in Aberdeen.

  3. Mamacita

    February 10, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    My first thought, when I read the headline, was the writer went unprepared to pay anddddd ding ding ding I was right.

    Brings to mind a funny story a sibling told me about a situation like this when everybody went all oyinbo and started paying for only themselves. Dude vexed* and not only paid for everyone’s meals but ordered the most expensive champer on the menu for them to quench their thirst.

    I found it funny.

    • Mamacita

      February 10, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Memorable dinner experience: eating without fear or favour at a restaurant in Kuala Lampur only to find out the funny looking, zobo like, very tasty object on my plate was an octopus.

      Lesson learnt: I lurrrrrve octopus.

  4. Summer

    February 10, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I will like to share too. It is a very strange oyinbo behaviour that some nigerians are now copying here in the U.K. I have been invited to a few so called ‘birthday get-togethers’ in which I was told I should bring enough money to pay and right away, I told each of them “it is not to celebrate your birthday then, it is me eating and drinking out if I have to pay for my food and drinks”. I asked for their account details or house address to send them gifts and told them I won’t attend.
    There is no reasoning behind letting one’s guests pay for their refreshments after inviting them to one’s party. Guests know that it is courteous to bring gifts and if they don’t, no worries. At the end of the day, it is joyous to have people celebrate with you than for you to celebrate alone, so if you invite people to celebrate with you feed and hydrate them at no cost to them.

  5. whocares

    February 10, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    lmaooooooooooooooo. When I was in uni and my friends had barbeque’s we took our own meat or chicken etc. We were all student so realistically, you can’t expect your friends to have enough meat to feed all of you; we went armed to the bbq with our meat, beer and other poision. It’s just what you do. As an adult, I still go to house parties and bbqs with my own bottle. I think it is rude to show up somewhere without a bottle of whatever poison I chose to imbibe if they are my friends (if i’m doing mogbo mo bransh, I follow the original guest’s initiative)-some hosts will tell you to bring a bottle also. With this one, the thing I hate is the mad person that will bring lambrini or some oloriburuku cheap drink and will now be drinking other people’s good wine and gin. (It burns my spirit when I see this cos you have to behave yourself in public and pretend as if ko ka e lara, but o jo mi baje – as if it does not irritate your soul, but it does). Free parties are such a rare treat so I am usually all over it like marmite on toast!! (hint hint: any birthday coming up? 😛
    Now, birthday dinners *sigh* my friend had her birthday, and we went to some chinese buffet (sigh) I hate having to spend money on basic things for birthdays.. really we can buy chinese any time we want so why do that for your birthday again and a buffet for that matter? You think we woke up, slapped our pancake on, wore our tight catch them young dresses -the ones that restricts breathing to one small inhalation every other minute to come and eat as if we are about to burst? Who will catch us young when we look like we swallowed a whale whole? Anyways, we got there, the meal was not fantastic; it was cold etc etc but I was hungry and I ate this food o. Got home that night and I had the runs.. all night long I was shitting (pardon my crudeness, it had to be done) See gobe. I just spent approximately £35 on food I did not enjoy and then the end result was the toilet? the food did not even stay a night in my stomach.. boy was I mad.. Since then, I go to birthday dinners with common sense. If I don’t think I will enjoy the food, or its some basic place I don’t go. Chinese, pizza and those oloribu dinners.. WHY.? Go somewhere else creative. I dont want a five star meal, but we can explore other ethnic cuisines outside of the Chinese and Italians no? I have worked myself into a mini rage now.. Dear gods I have been having too many food related rants lately. loooool

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 10, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      Lambrini – the ‘kai kai’ of wine drinkers? And £35 a head for Chinese food, though… Beht why??

      And oyibo people have taught me a thing or two about dodging some of their social norms. You know how you can all be sitting at a table at some social event and one clever clogs says, “hey, let’s put money together into a pot for drinks”? That’s how in my unlearned days, I’ll be joining to drop my tenner for the round, come order my humble soft drink whilst everyone else is getting shots with my remaining change. *side eyes*

      I quickly understood how to smile and say “no, thanks, I’ll get my own drinks” to all such invitations…

  6. Corolla

    February 10, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s like the friends are treating the birthday person na. Abi?

    • Cindy

      February 11, 2016 at 9:21 am

      No it is not the same. If I want to give a friend a birthday treat, I will be the one to tell her so. I will either plan it based on my judgment or ask her wjat she wanys. If the said friend invites me, she sure hell is paying.what if I don’t have the money? Refusing will count as rude. You don’t force people to give you a birthday treat, that is just mean. If you can’t accord it, stay in your house, play dress up and snap pictures to post on social media. It is still a birthday at the end of the day.

  7. anna

    February 10, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    when I first moved here I also found it stunning that the guest pays for their meal etc. According to the white people I know, they claim that in their culture, it is insulting to pay for your guest because you are indirectly labelling them as incapable of taking care of themselves. Their culture promotes independence. this is why you find that in relationships, the guy is not taken seriously since the chicca foots half the bill for everything they do. you are even lucky your white friends slay, over here white people dnt dress up let alone slay. their typical slay outfit is a pair of jeans, some dirty/clean sneakers and an average top. You show up at a party with heels, you look out of place.

    • Blah blah

      February 10, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Stunning abi? O kun powder ati lipstick?

    • Tosin

      February 10, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      stunning. yelz. dictionary.

    • BA

      February 11, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      LOL ! No wonder they are always hyped with red carpet events and celebrities because slay is never what they do on the regular. Unlike awa Nigerians, slay orginators. Slay to the office, slay to school, slay at wedding parties, slay to the mall!

  8. Tosin

    February 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    lol 🙂
    definitely happened to me. pretty funny about the contrast with some lucky folk still complaining about their “free food” loool.

  9. Spunky

    February 10, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I always have my brand of Champagne and whiskey in my car. If the drinks are being served based on facial recognition, I step out to retrieve my drink. As for food, I don’t really care cos I make it a habit to have a light meal before embarking on events. I no fit shout Biko!

  10. I can relate

    February 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Lmao. I got used to this after a while. On my 20th birthday I had a big house party with different varieties of food. Lasting supply of drinks and alcohol. Deserts, friend as the dj. Way cheaper than restaurants

  11. Tt

    February 10, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    It is called Culture Difference!
    The fact that something is done in Nigeria i.e. invite your friends out automatically means you pay, doesn’t mean it is necessarily right or that it applies globally.

    • Efemena

      February 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Couldn’t have been said better. Honestly, some Nigerians will never understand this, and as a Nigerian living in the UK i will say that it applies to everything from birthday dinners to just the casual catch-up with friends. It’s not weird and it’s not a case of being stingy. It’s just their way of doing things.

  12. Fabulicious

    February 10, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Thank God for provision ooo. I invited some moms out for a get together(5) of them and I paid the 40k bill wholeheartedly. Someone has also invited 10 of us out and paid bill of 60sth thousand(just to eat ooo)..If you want people to hang out with you,please get ready to foot the bill or allow me stay at home unless it’s a close friend kind of scenario where the whole split payment is mutual. May God continue to provide for us to spend Biko. I no like this oyibo style.

    • nene

      February 10, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      it’s not oyibo style. it’s only cheapskates that do this, whether oyinbo or nigerian. why invite people out for diner and tell them to pay? if u invite me i won’t go. i’ll send u a card and a text message since you’re so cheap. biko, i don’t like cheap people. it’s one day in a year, why not spend the money for your friends and family.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 10, 2016 at 11:03 pm

      I once made the heck of an effort to fly down to London for a friend’s birthday party and, regardless, I still had to pay for my meal. Travelled down with another mutual friend and we both resolved NEVER to make that kind of expensive mistake again in our lives. ??

  13. option

    February 10, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    went for a birthday dinner, didn’t eat as much as everyone else. the bill came and someone suggested the bill be split equally. WTF!!! I could have just stayed at home and chilled, the food wasn’t all that great. Miss celebrant taking pictures in her birthday dress and then later returned the dress. common babe !! kmt. Nigerians kmt

    • Ma'azi

      February 10, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Hahahaha this scenario hurts the soul but you still have to comport yourself smh

  14. Honeycrown

    February 10, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    This cracked me up badly because I can relate well well. When I was 18, I had a Philippino co-worker at my first part-time job & we got along well as per both foreigners & JJCs. My brother or boyfriend used to give this chic free ride home on days that we worked the same night shift. One day, her husband (African American) came to have lunch with her and I was invited. I jejely declined because I brought my rice from home that day but these people insisted so much that I had to join them. When it was time to pay, the cashier asked, “All 3 together?” Then I heard “No”. I opened my mouth and shouted, “enh?!?” (All my naija mannerisms were still fresh and I couldn’t hide my surprise) First thing I did was return the bottle of water and started panicking not sure if I had enough money to pay for the food. I was like worse case scenario, I will kuku return the food because I never chop am and thank God Say Na pay before you chop kinda place. I was so happy I found enough money to pay. I collected “courtesy cup” for ice and water. Kai!!! I was so disgusted and furious. I couldn’t even eat the food because I was in shock and wondering who in the world forces you to come and eat when you have to pay? This was someone I gave free rides at least 1mile outta my way in other people’s cars o! I’m sure if it was her she would have collected gas money. After that day, all free rides were reduced until eventually cancelled. I also learnt a lesson to always have my “vex money” handy whenever anybody invites me out.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 10, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      Re your last couple of paragraphs, may God forgive me but you see that matter of giving free rides? Ahhhh, dem don show me oh, particularly a certain ex colleague who lived in the same area as I did and who I would regularly stop to pick up whenever I saw her on my way home from the office. I mean, as Nigerians, you know how it’s our nature to offer free rides when someone’s heading in the same direction as you…

      Until one day, I ran into this same woman in town and Omo! See blanking! ?? We were walking towards each other, she saw me & immediately avert her gaze…. Wow. So, me sef come say make I give her space and promptly stopped the rides.

      Too many pitfalls in this journey of cultural assimilation, man. I’m all for continuing to do right towards all mankind but I decided that day that neither me or my fuel would be taken for granted anymore. I should be a better Christian though… But that blanking!!! Ahh!! It seared my very soul. ??

  15. Omusheshi

    February 10, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I just came in from lunch, a colleague asked us all to lunch, getting there a Mexican restaurant we ordered, chatting, eating and the bill arrived. The next thing I heard is ” is everybody good?” in a single file we went to the counter paid and individually and left. so whats the lunch offer for? I am not going down that road again LOL, a nice no thanks will do next time. Naija na who call outing the sponsor o. I really don’t know the rationale behind it. That is one of the ways of life I was told when I moved to the US.

  16. miamia

    February 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    birthday dinners make me uncomfortable!!!! the forced talks?? rubbish food? expensive? dressing up sitting pretty pretending to be super happy……uuuugghh abeg …next !

  17. Mamacita

    February 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    @ Miamia

    I agree. Pretending to be happy when you are thinking about all the important things you have to do after and the next day. #overrated

  18. Funke S

    February 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    The magic words to keep an ear out for are: “my treat.” If they don’t say that, Omo gba o, you are paying your way…

  19. Ada

    February 10, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    please there is a difference between “lets all hang out this weekend” AND “come for “my” event”… i schooled abroad and my gang and I thought our oyibo friends the difference.
    if we all decide to hang out, automatically everyone is paying for their train,taxi fare and their meals, BUT if “you” invite us for your birthday,graduation , or one family event like that, we are only to pay for our fares and the gifts we ll bring, we can pop bottles or pay something extra to support you but thats it!! you are taking the chunky part of the bill…

    ahhhhh, how dare you use my money to hype your bday on snap chat and IG. every body gets a birthday, so that bill goes round eventually.
    N.B: we had a naija friend who told us to donate 100 pounds each for his birthday, he kept apologising till we finished uni, ofcourse he was friendless.
    please its what you accommodate that will continue.

  20. Wazaaki's Tiwa

    February 10, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    ?? like seriously this post is a highlight of the month for me. And yasss girl !!!! Bella naija is going to feature our wedding. My own experience wasnt a birthday party , it was more like this night out with women engineers in the US. The organization is pretty big so I thought theyd cover the bill for dinner but na lie!!!! I had to pay money for food i didnt even like cause it wasnt spicy ?? #yorubagirlproblems . Oyinbo’s sha. Anyway, so proud of you !!!!

  21. ladyE

    February 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    As a Niferian British girl I find it strange that on MY birthday you will come empty handed and expect me to do something for you!!!!!!! It’s my birthday!!! I have never ever understood why nigerians ask you what are you doing for us on my Birthday!!!! I defo don’t get that culture. Although I will have no problem paying for dinner if I invite you out that’s because I’m generous not because I am expected to do so! Same way as I have no problem going out and paying for my own meal after all I ate it. Anyway what self respecting babe goes out with no or not enough money who does that!!!!!

  22. ladyE

    February 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Nigerian***

  23. Nene

    February 10, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    SOOOOO FUNNY!

  24. Corrolla

    February 10, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    LOL! The comments are hilarious. I needed that laugh. I honestly do not see anything wrong with everyone paying for themselves. Yes, when I first moved to Yankee, it used to shock me sa, but then I am in another man’s land and I know certain things will be different.

    When I am invited for a bday dinner/lunch type shenanigan, I decline if I don’t have the money, but if I feel like I need a night out of town, then yup, I’ll go. The one that can be a tad annoying is when people order really expensive meals/drinks and then everyone has to split the bill evenly. Abeg, try to be considerate and order in the same price range as everyone.

    I have a friend that cannot drink cheap wine, so he orders his expensive bottle, and then asks for his bill separately, so as not to burden others with his $150 bottle of wine.

  25. Grace

    February 10, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    How much do you think non-international students get as allowance. some students are here working their butts off to maintain their uni life and people want them to pay for everyones’ dinner. it might be okay for international students to do this, since some of their parents pay them £££ monthly allowance,. Most home students get student loans, some even working extra shifts to fend for expenses.
    I think once people start working it is not appropriate for people to split the bill; but as students? come on..

    • Tee

      February 11, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Then tell them beforehand… Don’t invite said international students to your bday bash and expect them to be happy about footing bills… That’s not how it’s done where they are from… “international “

  26. Blah blah

    February 10, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I have so many stories. How about the day I went to a friend’s celebratory dinner. I respected myself as I was really low on cash that summer. I had a £3 drink and a starter. Couldn’t have been more than £11 altogether. Bill came and was split equally. I had to pay £32. People drank expensive cocktails and what not. I was furious. In retrospect I should have slammed my £11 on the table and just watched. I told the celebrant later on in private. And she said oh should I give you back your change? I was so ashamed I dropped the matter. I would have happily paid 50 pounds if I’d eaten to my heart’s content too.
    Another time a friend invited me to lunch. As in ‘I’m taking you out to lunch today Blah blah’. Oya I follow. Bill comes and I hear so mine is …. I just smiled and ordered another drink.
    However I do know people who take the piss when they are invited out and they know the food is free. Case in point, I invited a friend out to my small and intimate graduation dinner at a really expensive restaurant. She had the most expensive item on the menu, a £49.99 main and 2 cocktails when my family and myself had one each. The cocktails were like £15 each. And she had the guts to order desert. Like would it hurt you to ‘copy’ your host, do as I do style? I was annoyed.

    • IJGB

      February 10, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Was your friend Nigerian? (49.99 bill)

  27. Anon

    February 10, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Most Nigerians are free loaders — Period

  28. Sheun

    February 10, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I think that it is absolutely tacky of people to expect the celebrant to pay for his/her own meal. Are you coming to celebrate with the person, or chop a free meal at the celebrant’s expense? Moreover, the celebrant has technically paid for his/her gift being that they have sponsored your meal. This person is greedy by ordering the nicest meal which was most likely one of the most expensive. She also speaks as though it is her right to have her for meal paid for. Next time, trying offering to make the celebrant’s day by offering to pay for their meal, as it is their birthday. 😐

  29. ForTheRightsOfMen

    February 10, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    After being a victim on several occasions of pretentiously trying to please my American, European and British colleagues and friends by splitting the bill equally when my share of the meal was the least in the group, I came up with a solution: now I shameless order either a glass of wine or of orange juice and sip it for the entire duration of the lunch or dinner. When the bill comes, I pay between £1.50 and £3.50. Now one dares (I put it down to their conscience and simply being plainly realistic) ask me to pay £23 or £35 anymore. The joke is now on my colleagues and friends and I am laughing. Also, regarding birthdays, don’t give gifts at birthdays or anniversaries events and I enforce a rule on people not to give me gifts on my birthday either. If I don’t give you gift I always insist that you must not give me a gift too. Those who have tried to break the rule have come to my flat and found their gift still left unwrapped and therefore unused. But I am a giver by nature.

  30. IJGB

    February 10, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I have never hosted a birthday party for myself. I’m not much of an extrovert but last year was a little rough for me and I feel the need to celebrate this year. My friends (mostly classmates) see me as a friendly person. Good talker and always cheerful. But I am actually insular and a private person. Any ideas for how to mark my birthday? Thai buffet with friends? Bungee jump? Solo euro weekend trip?

    • IJGB

      February 10, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Any ideas?

    • Whocares

      February 10, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      @ijgb- Go ape!!!!!! If you are in the UK. I loved it! So did everyone that came although the next day they were complaining about bodypains. Lol it is quite physical though and if you are scared of heights and plumetting to your death maybe not. Lol. . It’s cheaper than a meal as well if you go with groups. And even if a person has been before they don’t mind doing it again… Beht in this cold though. Ah good luck sha. Loool. Google it. If you were considering bunjee jumping I think you will like going ape.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      February 11, 2016 at 12:30 am

      I cosign with the Go Ape recommendation. It’s exhilarating and you’ll drop all reclusiveness/inhibitions at the base of the first tree stump as you’ll be too busy paying attention to the details once the whole group gets harnessed and ready to climb.

      What’s the composition of the group? Mainly Nigerian or a mixed bag? I’d also recommend a murder-mystery night (it’s fun in its own way) or else, a cooking class like the ones which Nick Nairn runs. Did the latter as an icebreaker during a work-related event and it was a barrel of laughs.

      The only caveat to my three options to calculate your costs well in advance if you’re planning to pay. And if your guests are to pay, let them know in time for planning.

    • IJGB

      February 11, 2016 at 1:59 am

      @whocares & MSA I’m in the UK and it’s in summer. I’m open to adrenaline activities but I’m conflicted on the options of
      1. Hanging out with people I’m not willing to be conversant (on a personal level) with.
      2. Going solo.
      I’ve already saved.

  31. D

    February 10, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    so I wasn’t the first person to be embarrassed by that rubbish!my ATM rescued my ass.was glad i didnt take any gift along for the celebrant cause it would have been a night time robbery not broad day…long hiss……since then I just pitch tent with my friends(naija and ghana tinz)at least we know someone is paying for all not some bambialla business.

  32. Halima

    February 10, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    This reminds me of uni, for my 21st bday i shelled out a whooping 400 quid and nothing to show for it, not even adequate gifts trust africans on the table, they kept on ordering different drinks when i told them i would just be paying for food. when the bill came the looks i got ehnn.. i think our culture differs as the norm in the uk is, its your birthday so you should be celebrated, thus the self payment of bills, my supervisor at work kept making a big deal about my bday present and christmas gifts on what i would like, in my mind i was like ki lon shey bobo yi sha.. thinking it was an ulterior motive.. lol
    But normally its an insult to come to a house party without bringing your own booze, that is plainly rude, doesnt matter if you drink it just put it on the table… DONT COME EMPTY HANDED!!
    I remember this house party we threw back then and we cooked loads, the white ppl kept on asking if the food was free.. the world is clearly different

  33. Chiemeka Ugo

    February 10, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Hahahaha. Reading all the comments just made my night. So when I moved to the UK newly for studies, one of my course mate from Paris invited us for his birthday dinner. So we all dressed up and went for the dinner at a Mexican buffet restaurant. We the JJC Nigerians didn’t get the thrift. Because all the oyibo people at the table were ordering foods that were not on the buffet table plus tap water. And we the Nigerians went straight to the buffet table packed food plus soda and ended it with desert. By the time it was time to leave the brought the bill and to our shock everyone started bringing out cash to pay for their meals. Chai I was shocked and to think our bill was £35. Thank God for atm cards. We were able to sort our bill. But the annoying part was that by the time we all walked back to our flat, our stomach was empty. Chai. Then after that we just respected our old age. By not attending any oyibo birthday dinner or anything self. Once the call come in inviting us, we just gladly decline straight forward. Then one day, me, a friend and one babe (naija ), went sight seeing in central London. After hours of walking, the babe now said she was hungry. Then we were about entering McDonalds, she then said no way that she wanted something more fancy. We said oh okay o. Then we found one small restaurant, entered inside and ordered for food. When we finished the slammed us Bill of £50. The naija babe was expecting us to do it the naija way by paying for her mail. We gave her the shock of her life by doing it the oyibo style. Loll.

    • Candace

      February 11, 2016 at 2:51 am

      Lol thats funny at least she deserves it

  34. Papacy

    February 11, 2016 at 12:02 am

    My nigga from way back. Went to secondary school together o, hung out numerous times. He goes for 1 year masters in uk and returns. Goes on and on about wanting to hanging out, I carry myself go meet am. He’s like “it’s been a while man, where are the fun places we can have a drink?”. Just one freaking year! I said ok o. Took him to ds cool restaurant (he said he was hungry), my guy was ordering chicken wings and beer. I thought to myself, he obviously is in the spending mood?. I was wrong. After drinking and tearing meat and listening to his uk gist, bill came n this boy counts his own bill to the last N20! I’m looking at him like wtf?! You no see any better thing to learn from oyinbo na “going Dutch”? I paid o. Organized another hang out, the boy rush show. After paying for the drinks and flexing him, I tabled his $&@k up in front of the squad! Nonsense!

    • I love Shea butter

      February 14, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      You be correct guy! Lol.

  35. X

    February 11, 2016 at 12:45 am

    “Vex Money” – The money you carry along with you when you are invited to a dinner, movie,or date. The money should be sufficient to transport and feed you at the event. It is there in case you “vex” on a date out of improper behavior or you have to pay for your meal. ALWAYS go out with “Vex Money”.
    It especially applies if you are going on a date with a non-nigerian guys (From experience i noticed that Many white guys and guys from other african countries believe in splitting bills on dates :P…Germans are the exceptions)

  36. frank

    February 11, 2016 at 1:23 am

    It’s called you don’t owe anybody a dime. Imagine going to a party and after eating & drinking all they had at the party word starts going around on how much of glutton you were because it was free. I’d rather pay for what I eat. Most foreigners don’t like the idea of having to owe someone. Even if you offer them a ride they’d rather pay you for gas. In a way it makes everyone equal., not like in Nigeria where just because someone buys you lunch or whatever they believe you owe them something in return.

  37. Lala

    February 11, 2016 at 1:42 am

    So after living in Yankee for a couple of years I have gotten with the program( if you can’t beat them you join them abi)I also kind of get it, as the birthday person should be celebrated and their meal should be free…
    Me personally I only host dinnners where I’m covering the bill but that’s by the wayside..

    The one I cannot stand is people using you to fund their ridiculously expensive parties. So we were all turning 25 and had to celebrate in style – as per big girls concain..

    That’s how one of my friends decided to throw a masquerade ball in NYC she hyped it so much that I was so excited.. See me running from mall to mall to get an outfit so I don’t disgrace my village people…
    After building up anticipation one week to the event the babe said we would all have to contribute $100 bucks., I found it weird but no shaking at least I will eat 5 course meal at this party…
    That’s how the day of the party in typical Naija fashion I was late (I have since repented) when we got the every one was standing and they were passing hor’dorves.. Me I passed on them as there was only space in my belly for the main meal.
    The celebrant now came and was upset that we came late, so I made a comment that ” at least we did not miss dinner” she just replied which dinner food has already been served didn’t you get the hor’dorves?
    Omo mehn i never hesperrerit, my 100 bucks just got me two shrimp cocktails and pigs in the blanket?
    Plus my big head went and invited my cousin who also gave 100 bucks..,

    Needless to say I was frowning in all the pictures and Burger King never tasted so good..

    When ever I see the pics on IG and Fb I just hiss loudly., Mtsheeewwe….

    • Candace

      February 11, 2016 at 3:46 am

      It baffles me when people choose the most expensive place for birthday parties and expect you to pay. They don’t even consider financial hardship. If you don’t pay the will laugh at you behind your back. My sister called me a few months back and was so upset about a birthday party she attended and the bill each person had to pay was so expensive. I told her if someone is inviting you for a birthday party and the expect you to pay knowing very well thats not African culture they are fake friends. The only reason the choose this expensive place is to claim that they are sophisticated and have taste. Why should you even hang out with them in the first place.

    • Chi-e-z

      February 11, 2016 at 5:32 am

      Lmao 😀

    • Bee

      February 11, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Oh Lord, have mercy on my soul……your comment had me in stitches.

  38. chi-e-z

    February 11, 2016 at 4:42 am

    If you not gonna bring any present[money gift] and expect me to pay over $20 for a table of over 6… over $120 and no gift menh u don lost ur dang mind I’m posed to make money on bday not spend it. Yes oh this rule applies in US 2 specially if you getting more than fries.

  39. memebaby

    February 11, 2016 at 4:49 am

    here in canada i think its 50/50 some do it some don’t.. weird one i heard of is some ghanaian parties, guest are required to pay for entry (say a birthday celebration) these are older folks parties ..NA CLUB ??? lol
    that’s why if I want to celebrate with friends i get ready to pay or at least drinks are on me.. or jejely cook at home and we all hang out..
    I hate when people want to celebrate their birthdays and they choose some pricey restaurant. and you plan on paying for yourself alone.. so is this a birthday or we are just hanging out coz I don’t get it..
    As for those nice hosts and hostesses who take care of the bills or set up a bbq or house party I ALWAYS take something with me.. its just the right thing to do.. wine, dessert, pizza, edible arrangement e.t.c .. don;t just show up empty handed..

  40. ? wife

    February 11, 2016 at 5:47 am

    So this isn’t about food; My husband asked his Nigerian friend from work to buy him a particular brand of mouthwash when he visited UK. Friend in question then proceeds to send him a bill, which included the cost of his bus ride to Tesco -£6.40! Hubby was shocked! He had expected to pay for the mouthwash, but to bill him for the bus ride? Wow! ? I laughed so hard when he told me.

    • I love Shea butter

      February 14, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      God forbids! E don’t reach that way?

    • I love Shea butter

      February 14, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Don*

  41. alexandra889

    February 11, 2016 at 5:55 am

    This post is so amusing and good one for us to know new things 😀 even we often talk about culture, tribes, in our english skype lesson with some people in Preply, this post a real useful. Thanks for sharing 😀

  42. Ch

    February 11, 2016 at 7:44 am

    When I first arrived in the UK for my Masters and got my first birthday invite out, needless to say I was shocked and extremely irritated that I had to pay for my meal. Not cos I didn’t have the money, but because I didn’t really like the chic, and I wldnt av wanted 2 spend my money cos of her. I just went cos she was always in my face and kept on inviting me. Another dinner I went for was with my colleagues at work. I had just a lil to eat and a soft drink as I dnt take alcohol, summed up to about £12 and I was ready 2 pay for my meal like the first time, except this time, my manager requested the bill be split equally. What?!!!, when they were all drinking like fishes in the ocean. I was furious cos I ended up spending about £30 that night. As I couldn’t argue with my manager nah and since we kinda had our issues on the job,I let it slide. Fast forward, someone else had another birthday dinner/hang out and since she’s such a nice person, I decided to go. But this time, I had learned my lesson from the last time. I used the “just show face” naija mentality. Had my dinner and drink quickly which I had made a mental note of the price and excused myself. I dropped the exact amount I incurred with the host and went home, saying I had to be somewhere. So, they can drink as they like, but atlst, no one wld come ask me to pay any extra money next day at work.

    However, when I hang out with my own friends, especially at Harvesters (ooohhh…aw I miss it), we just pay for ourselves naturally. Cos we know the hustle is real, so no one burdens the other person with any extra bill. But when I had my bday party, I did it naija style but had only my close close friends that mattered, didn’t mind splurging on them..we’ve all come a long way. And they didn’t disappoint as well cos they all came with gifts. I even got a budget relieve cos we met one lovely guy that worked at the O2 who let us go on the cable car for free to and fro before we went for our dinner. Twas a good nite #fondmemories

  43. Doxa

    February 11, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    It’s because you are Nigerian British, if you were Nigerian you for no yarn this kain thing.

  44. MANDY LULU

    February 11, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    LMFAOOO THIS SAME SHIT HAPPENED TO ME IN MY FIRST YEAR AT UNI. AM CAMEROONIAN THO BUT MY CLOSEST FRIEND THEN WAS AN IGBO GIRL SO SHE INVITED ME FOR HER CLOSE FRIEND’S DINNER. JJC LIKE ME..STRAIGHT OFF THE BOAT, I NO CARRY KOBO. TIME TO PAY REACH AND YOUR BABE IS STRANDED. EVENTUALLY I HAD TO BORROW MONEY FROM MY FRIEND AND PAY BACK LATER.. THAT WAS A HUGE LESSON LEARNT!!! AND TO TEACH MY FELLOW BABES HOW ITS ACTUALLY DONE I INVITED EVERYONE FOR MY BDAY AND PAID FOR EVERYONE’S MEAL. I DON’T HAVE ALOT BUT ITS UNETHICAL TO INVITE PEOPLE OUT AND ASK THEM TO PAY FOR THEMSELVES.

  45. queen

    February 12, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Loooooool all these comments cracked me up cos i can totally relate. I remember one of my friends had her birthday and invited me. I bought this girl an £80 gift and spent so much on transport to and within London. Got there and had to pay for dinner, taxis around the city and even contribute for drinks on our table at the club. I took it all anyway, since we were “friends”, only for my birthday to come and said lady “forgot” to wish me happy birthday. Some babes have no manners sha

    • I love Shea butter

      February 14, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Ha! That was mean of her.

  46. hauwa

    September 13, 2016 at 12:27 am

    This not abt food but :On my first ever visit to UK as a JJC vacationer, I stayed with a friend’s sister. She worked 3 shifts n barely had time. So I was left to find my way sight seeing n shopping alone… honestly, it was cheaper for me to be alone oo. As soon as she had time, she wld call to know where I was, meet up, then request for her oyster top up. She wld take me out to eat n pass d bill to me. Even at d shops, she wld spend tym tryn on clothes, then borrow cash to pay. I ended up paying excess baggage of £120 from d huge bag she gave me to Naija. Omo, I redirected my direction on my next trip o. No free accommodation tinz.

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