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New Immigrant Tales with Peter Ademu Eteh: Leaving Home

Peter Ademu-Eteh

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dreamstime_m_5099388Hi. I’m Peter. And I want to tell you a story.

In August 2014 I got a letter that blew my mind completely: my application to York University, Toronto had been accepted. As in, I was admitted. The next few months were a maddening blur. I still had to finish NYSC, still had to work, still had to fulfil my commitments at church. The con-stant song at the back of my mind was: I’m going somewhere else.

I was truly excited even though all my friends told me it didn’t show on my face. How exactly does it show on your face? Would I be constantly smiling just because I’m going to school? Or should I get piercings to show I would soon be an Americana? There were the sad things to think about to. I’d be leaving my friends; all the fun places we used to hang out together in Abuja: the literary society; the long drives between Abuja and Kaduna. And I’d be leaving this amazing girl I just started seeing. This life ehn?

My friends in Canada had warned me about the weather. Oh, the Canadian winter is terrible! Summer is okay! But the winter isn’t like any other country! The North Pole is in Canada! So me, as a Ninja Warrior, I decided to go and face the worst weather first. Let me kuku suffer now so I know the worst is over.

Big Mistake.

The day I left, things were quite strange. My dad insisted that we’d leave for the airport really early. Like 4 hours before the flight. Which was very strange because I live just 15 minutes from the airport (no matter how bad traffic is I’ll be there in 30 minutes). When I complained he asked me “are you the owner of the road? are you Goodluck Jonathan? so if today something goes wrong and the road is blocked, do you have escorts to clear the way for you? “

Good thing I listened.

As soon as we got to the airport gate the car just turned itself off. That was completely weird because that car had worked perfectly until that moment. My dad is the kind of guy that insists on “servicing” his car every 3 months and so it was weird. The car kept jerking on and off. We would “manage” it for like 30 seconds at a time before the engine would die. That’s how we managed until we got to the terminal and I went to check in my luggage at customs. They would later tell me that the car started working fine after I left.

Strange huh? I know, me too I thought the “village people” must have heard I was travelling 🙂

I flew economy and I was too excited to care about the cramped seats or the annoyingly limited entertainment options. There was a 4-hour layover at London.

When I got to London, I was highly disappointed. In my mind, I asked myself: so you mean this is THE Heathrow? Once the most advanced airport in the world? Really? Nothing looked out of the ordinary. Well, except that the Nigerians I flew with became progressively calmer as we flew over France and began our descent into Lon-don. The same folks that were flexing their social status at the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, Abuja (shouting things like “do you know who I am? Don’t you have eyes? Mind yourself!”), suddenly became courteous and started throwing “no, after you. I insist” all over the place.

My mother was worried for nothing. She’d told me several times, “follow the yellow signs. or the purple signs. For whichever terminal your flight is connecting from”. Pretty easy stuff. It almost sounded like she was quoting The Wizard of Oz. Follow the yellow brick road.

While I waited for my flight, I took a walk around the duty free shops, drawn past the shops with fancy gloves costing €300 and the candy shops to the WHSmiths bookshop. My eyes feasted on an amazing selection of books, things I would probably kill for back in Nigeria if I had to choose. But I wasn’t about to start spending money anyhow so I settled for “The Little Book of Big Thinking” by Richard Newton. I imagined I would look impressive brandishing it for every-one to see.

So here I was, waiting to be impressed, waiting for some impressive technology to confront me – sometimes, letting my imagination run wild. Maybe their scanners will mistake my garri for cocaine. Maybe I forgot a blade in my bag and the X-ray machine will pick it up and they’ll mistake me for a terrorist. Strangely no alarms went off as I passed through the scanners. Immigration was a breeze. Maybe that was another disappointment. I’d heard so much about people wasting time on queues, Nigerians getting harassed because of their green passports…but nothing of the sort. No laser passport scanners, no security wands, no frisking at the exit. Am i missing something?

After wandering around for 3 hours, I joined my connecting flight. This time I noticed how tiny the seats were and how narrow the aisles were, like they were planning for only children. The second leg took another 8 hours. We finally touched down at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Pearson airport was even more disappointing- there were no yellow or purple signs, just signs reflecting Canada’s maple leaf motif. No cute waiting areas. Nothing. Just very polite immigra-tion agents patiently asking questions even though it was 8pm. I checked the temperature on my phone and it read -2 degrees. In Nigeria the lowest temperature i ever saw on the thermom-eter was 16 degrees. And that’s because the AC was turned down to the lowest. I felt really awesome. -2 degrees and I don’t even feel cold. I was truly born with Ninja blood I thought to myself.

As I waited for the airport shuttle to arrive, i tried to enjoy the excitement. I’m really here. Not one of those dreams. The air was chilly. I tried to blow to keep my face warm…and i savoured the steam that poured out…just like I would Nigeria’s harmattan.

But there was no snow. Such a huge disappointment. All these years that I’d imagined what snow would feel like and taste like…and there’s none to even welcome me. Which kind of Yeye Christmas is this one?

It was at that moment that I noticed a tingling sensation in my fingers. My gloves were clearly not working. The tingling grew until my fingers froze- as in, completely lost all sensation. I started pacing up and down to see I would get a little warm. Just then I spotted this girl coming out of her car wearing just a bikini.

WHAT?????????????

Photo Credit: Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang) | Dreamstime.com

My name is Peter. I am a professional talkative. I talk for money during the day (I’m a Lawyer) and a ninja musician at night. I live in Toronto where I work in the hope that one day I will become stupidly rich :-D I blog at http://ohpeter.com IG/Twitter @PeterPentecost

95 Comments

  1. DatEnuguChic

    July 20, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Oh dear. You are such a good story teller. The last part made me laugh. Bikini kwa?

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      I’m telling you oh! I wanted to faint. This JJC Mmmadu was busy freezing, someborry is wearing Bikini in -2 temperature. Ndị Bekee na- ara!

      And thanks for the feedback! It’s my first piece on BN!

  2. bii

    July 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Where the rest or na ‘to be continued’ lik nollywood?

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      haha! well, I need to work and pay my rent oh 😀 so I’ll be posting every 2 weeks or son. But if you really want to read other things I’ve written in the past on my life in Canada you can go to my blog ( ohpeter.com )

  3. maamevi

    July 20, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    This was such a great story!!! It definitely made my morning. I’m looking forward to more of your Immigrant Tales 🙂

  4. Rayva

    July 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Hope there is part 2? Great story.

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      There’s gonna be like part 10 sef if you want 😀
      Just go and tell your friends to come and read too 🙂

  5. mrs chidukane

    July 20, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    She’s probably Sir Galahad’s niece. Hope you continue the series.

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      Haha we actually have a statue of Sir Galahad in Ottawa!
      I shall continue soon, Amen!

  6. maamevi

    July 20, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Great story! This actually made my morning. I’m definitely looking forward to more of your New Immigrant Tales 😀

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      Behold I have found you!! Thank you! tell everybody too!

  7. msoo

    July 20, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Story with so much chills. And that’s why you still don’t have plans to come back

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Haha Msoo I just need to make like stupid stinking money! you will see me at your doorstep immediately 😀

  8. Naijatalk

    July 20, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I love you already. Great read
    Lol @ village people must have heard you were traveling.

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      haha I love you too! for loving me! come back and love some more!

  9. mela

    July 20, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Very beautiful and creative….Enjoyed every bit of it. How I wish I could write down my thoughts. I have some many beautiful stories in my head but the fear of wrong English has kept me bound?

    • Blessed

      July 20, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      Hey mela,

      Please take the step and write them down. You can give it to a trusted one to help you with the editing while you take lessons to improve. I am sure you will surprise yourself with the results.

      I love telling stories but I have never imagined writing anything for publishing at all. So, here’s what happened. Someone had a church project and discussed it with me, I just gave an idea and the person put everything on my lap and said I should write out the proposal.

      That’s barely two months ago and since then, I have written several “advertisements” and an award winning speech (acceptance speech) This me oo. Tonight, I will be writing another proposal..

      It all started from a first step even though forced. Take your own today..

      Awesome piece, writer. We anticipate more o, don’t leave us hanging.

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Thank you, blessed! I will be posting more pieces soon. Keep watching this space, keep telling your friends about it!

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      aww mela! thank you! and please tell your stories! you only get better by writing! you can email me via [email protected] and maybe we can talk a little more about it

    • Name

      July 20, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      Why don’t you get formal english training. You have to break those boundaries mbok

  10. seyiakano

    July 20, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Well written ma. Humorous piece, just hoping the girl in the bikini provided only instant warmth, from sighting her and nothing more dangerous. LOL.

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      hahaha me I just minded my business! The shock was enough to keep me warm until the bus came 🙂

    • Ninny

      July 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      i can only imagine that kinda shock…Let me assume you left that place spiritually with mouth opened wide and then jolted back to reality @ the sound of the horn looool

  11. bikini what???

    July 20, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I sooo need part 2 of this story!

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      haha part two shall be posted in a short while! So you know, keep coming and keep telling everyone about the part one 😀 😀

  12. Sharon Ifeoma

    July 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Hahaha I had a good laugh reading your story. I am a good story teller not a great writer lol. We all don’t have to abi?
    In other news, Toby please where the hell are you? *in Tyler perry’s voice*

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you! Who said you aren’t good? Just tell the story biko! people will enjoy it! 🙂

  13. Mar

    July 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    ??? loved every bit. Keep ‘me coming

  14. Priceless

    July 20, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Oh my Peter, how I am so proud of your writing and speaking skills. I remember back then in school, you used to be everyone’s favourite. Please keep flying. This is interesting

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you!! I can’t tell who this is, but thank you anyway!
      Maybe shoot me an email or a DM! Thanks!!

  15. Aidee

    July 20, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    This is so funny. ??

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      Aidee Shakabula! I trust you to support! :*

  16. tamy

    July 20, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Lol hahaha I can relate to d first part of d story to THE Heathrow part(though my Heathroow experience was different from yours thanks to my mumuness), great read,wud def check out your blog

  17. Majestic

    July 20, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I want more!!! Such a fun read!

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      oh yeahh!!! There will be more, glory halellujah!! 😀

    • flames General

      July 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Wait Piroh….lol. Do you mean she was wearing pant and bra…?

  18. sarah

    July 20, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Your good, really good but where’s the rest of the story.

  19. Peter Ademu-Eteh

    Peter Ademu-Eteh

    July 20, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Oh yeah,thank you! more coming! Watch this space! and if waiting is too hard, you can check out the immigrant stories section on my blog! The link is at the bottom of the post! 🙂

  20. Ayodeji

    July 20, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    You had me at Nigerians becoming curteous…Thats so true! Even meself they change English when Oyinbo pass. Bros this slavery and Oyinbo knows berra is in our borri. Great piece tho. Looking forward to the next part…

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      Hahha Ayodeji you’re too real man! You have the “work” accent” and the “house” accent lol

  21. Jezebel

    July 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    My best Heathrow story isn’t mine to tell but I’ll tell it anyway. A friend of mine was travelling to Scotland via Heathrow for the first time and booked his connecting flight via City airport or was it Gatwick, I forget. Anyway, my friend had more luggage than his hands could carry and had to travel from one airport to the other not very close one and was in tears by the time he “reached” his final destination. It was him and his luggage against the world, no one offered to epp him.

    Mr Peter, this winter why don’t you borrow Mr Richard’s hot shorts prove you truly are

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      haha

      “I cannot come and go and kill myself away” – Malania Trump 2012

      My rule is- my luggage must have rollers AND I must be able to keep at least one hand free if I have to move from point A to B! And who will epp you, are they your father? did they pay your school fees? tenkyu 😀

  22. Jezebel

    July 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Prove you truly have ninja blood*

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      My ninjahood is not proven by the elements, but by my response when adversity arises.
      I am a true ninja.
      I do not show off.

      Tenkyu 😀

  23. nikky

    July 20, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    I can so relate. I was inside Trudeau airport in Montreal looking out there was snow everywhere and it looked beautiful, but when i came out of the airport the cold hit me. i had to literarily run back inside. the cold was very mush. My sisters were laughing at me i did not even care. Even with the jacket, gloves and boot i was not ready for the minus double digits. It was February so the winter was in full force. My brother i stayed inside until i saw my mother and i ran like mad to get in the car.
    Its very odd to see these young girls wearing skimpy school skirts in the winter, its like magic to me.

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      i KNOW right? in the winter I’ve seen girls wear really skimpy skirts and I’ll be asking myself whether it’s blood or ice they have running in their veins! Oh man, february is the worst month!! That one sef I could not take it, I escaped to another country. I’ll tell this story soon, amen 😀

    • Cookie

      July 23, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      This was me the first time I left Nigeria. Got to the airport and I was like – is this the cold everyone’s talking about? It’s not really cold jor. My cousin just laughed and said okay.
      On our way out of the airport, sliding door opens to reveal the true nature of the cold. Mehn, the speed I used in flying back inside, Usain would’ve had nothing on me at that moment.
      I eventually had to wear three jackets – I mean three winter jackets but it still didn’t help my situation. My cousin took a picture of me in those jackets and boy I looked swollen. That picture makes me laugh to this day.

  24. pagxy

    July 20, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    I loved it

  25. Kehinde

    July 20, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Looking towards reading more of your stories I live the last sentence that is keeping everyone on their toes for the next episode. Lol

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      haha I hope you come back to read oh! Don’t now be somewhere eating akara and forget that part two is up!

  26. Chisom

    July 20, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Nicely written, I enjoyed reading it can’t wait for the next piece……..Thumbs up Peter

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 20, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      and I can’t wait to post the next, chisom. See you soon!

  27. Yujaysworld

    July 20, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    This is it. Welcome Pero. Keep me here.???

  28. Blessing

    July 20, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Nice one P..u’ve always been an excellent talker and writer…proud of u

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you, Agah B. I suppose this is you 😛

  29. deborah

    July 20, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Twas awesome I must say it really was

  30. Tina

    July 21, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Love it ! brought a smile to my face..

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Tina, I’m happy to hear this! Hope I can make you smile more!

  31. Manny

    July 21, 2016 at 1:11 am

    Too funny!

  32. Hatsoff

    July 21, 2016 at 2:08 am

    We need to be friend.
    Hehe… Keep it coming! ?

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Yes Hatsoff, you can add me up on IG or twitter @peterpentecost . Just DM and let me know it’s you 😉

  33. www.thelmathinks.com

    July 21, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Peter it’s 5am and your post just made me feel better than any morning devotion would *covers face*. Your writing is so beautiful and fluid, and very engaging. Now running to your blog…

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Hello Thelma! you should know I did an equal amount of stalking and very likely will start looking for trouble on YOUR blog! 😀

  34. Delta geh

    July 21, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Lol this was funny! Loved every bit of it! Looking forward to seeing more of your stories

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Oghogho Lala! (I assume this is you!) thank you! 🙂 🙂 more coming up soon!

    • Delta geh

      July 22, 2016 at 5:47 am

      Lol I’m not Oghogho

  35. Zarah A

    July 21, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I am actually very angry joor.
    Didn’t want the story to end fa
    Nice one. Looking forward to part 2 to 1000000. Wo you have entered this one oh. You Kent come and start what you won’t finish. Ko le werk.
    Meanwhile how far the Amazing girl *winks.
    And are you single and ready to mingle like Pringle….warefa?

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      haha Zara! Ms Amazing girl is alive and well! But that’s not the whole story! Wait and see! 😉 😉
      you can get in my DMs if it’s chooking you so much to wait lol 😀

  36. Bijou

    July 21, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Peter, I almost died at that last sentence

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      hehe benefits of knowing the author personally huh? 😉

  37. Safiya

    July 21, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Please Peter the suspense is too much , when do we get to read the remaining part of the story? Checked out your blog, nice job.

  38. blackchild

    July 21, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Nice piece mann… feeling nostalgic about my own first experience too. Looking forward to your subsequent sequels.

  39. bussyade

    July 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Nice write-up Peter…

  40. CALEB UMEH

    July 21, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Papa is on it again. Let the stories rent down scribbling pink letters on my pupils.
    Nice one Boss

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Chief Calyrobb! Thank you! Come back soon!

  41. Abimbola Rebecca

    July 21, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    lol nice one. well being talented doesn’t show for face. funny write up though

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      hahah so I look like a talentless person 😛 Diarizgodoo!

  42. hafsat quadri

    July 21, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    This is hilarious. The last part lol

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      haha it’s hilarious NOW. Back then it was just pure madness!

  43. Peaches77

    July 21, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    This got me laughing, I like this guy already haha!

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      yes, like me very well. I`m too awesome, tenkyu 😀

  44. Ruby

    July 21, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    I saw Ademu Etteh and I decided to read as it was a familiar name. I read and linked two and five together. I knew this person with the writing must be related to Miracle and her talking.

    • Ruby

      July 21, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Choi…*it is..

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 21, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      haha RUBY! Diarizgodoo Diarizgodoo 😀

  45. Mary Scott

    July 22, 2016 at 10:06 am

    This was really good… It kept me reading till the end and it wasn’t even filled with too much grammar; I like that! Please continue posting.

    The bikini girl part… lol… I can’t deal!

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 26, 2016 at 7:56 am

      Haha Mary, thank you. I’m happy to hear there wasn’t too much grammar! Just a friendly reminder that Part 2 is out!

  46. Christy Onyeuche

    July 22, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Another lovely piece Peter?

    • Peter Ademu-Eteh

      Peter Ademu-Eteh

      July 26, 2016 at 7:57 am

      Thank you Chizurum! Happy you enjoyed it!

  47. Enenu Okwori

    October 6, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Real nice Peter. . .i was glued to the very end. Keep it up n we hope to see more oooo

  48. Munachi

    October 7, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Wow, I am literally laughing ????….you sound like a male version of me

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