Now I’m dwelling in Port Harcourt Slash ‘The Land That The Good Lord Forgot’, but a few weekends ago I was sitting in a club a male friend had taken me out to. The table consisted of his friends and I, and they had bought me a cocktail, and when I finished it, I turned round to my friend and asked, ‘What would you like to drink?’. My male friend shook his head, looked at me and said, ‘Biki, we are not in Berlin anymore’. I laughed, and ‘got it’- I was now in Lagos, a city where its the norm and almost expected for the woman to have drinks poured on her from every angle, and she need not return the favour.
I know what some of you might be thinking- ‘You may not pay that night but you sure will later!!” But I remember a night which started of with a good friend and I in a bar, it was pretty empty but we stayed nevertheless. Next thing, we had a rather odious looking guy usher us to his table which was full of more odious uglies and they were happy to literally drown us in champagne. We played along and when we had drank our fill, we thanked them and bounced!
Could this ever happen in Berlin ladies? Having done my share of partying in Berlin for about 7 years and been with many a different Berlin Male Beast, I’d have to say- Hell Naaah!
This and a few small episodes have got me thinking about the differences between Lagos and Berlin dudes. Bear in mind, the conclusions I’ve come to are based on my personal experiences. Let’s walk through it shall we?
‘Playing The Dating Game’
In this area, I don’t know who one has to be more wary of- the Berliner or the Lagosian. One thing I’ve found out is with Lagos Dudes, a lot of them are all about ‘The Show’ and as a woman, you can’t believe The Hype. For example when dating here, its customary for the guy to drive to your house, pick you up, take you out and drop you at your door at the end of the night. If you get a good ‘un, for the first few dates he can take you to some places were the bill tallies up pretty high. Awwww, doesn’t that kind of effort mean something? Erm, in my experience, no it doesn’t. It’s just part of the Lagos Dating Game and chances are, he’s paying (in both senses of the word!) that kind of attention to a bunch of other ladies.
On the other hand, if a guy was doing any of the above in Berlin, chances are you mean something to him/you are the only one he’s ‘courting’, because Berlin dudes don’t roll with their wallets like that. You see in Berlin the Dating Mantra seems to be, ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’.
‘Let’s Get Physical’
Ok. So. We know that no matter where a guy is from: it’s best not to sleep with him on the first date. But I’d say this rule applies even more so in Lagos. Why? I was chatting to a girl in Berlin on how she came to be in Berlin- she said she had travelled down from the weekend from Rotterdam or wherever, went to a club, met a guy, effed his brains out all weekend, that progressed to a long distance thing, which led to her moving over. Will that relationship last? I don’t know but I’ve sure never heard a story like that in Lagos before. Or am I wrong, perhaps there are many couples stories like that here and people just don’t talk about it. But I doubt it.
In Berlin sensuality and sexuality is the norm, and to a point, women don’t get judged for that. That’s certainly not the case here, in Lagos to get that wedding ring, it’s best to wire your legs shut and sit pretty. If you don’t, if you dare show that you are a woman with neeeEEeeeeds, seems to me you are branded with a scarlet ‘A’ on your back. Why do I think this? Maybe its because every other week on Bella Naija (the most popular blog out here), there’s always some article promoting Virginity till Marriage which is often followed by many comments from the public quoting some form of scripture…
‘Appearances Can Be Deceiving’
But the average Lagos Boy wants to be deceived!!! He can protest till he is blue in the face (which is quite a feat, due to our skin complexion)- hammering on about how he hates the Weave Culture, how we are wearing so much make up that men are taking women home, and not recognizing them the Morning After bla bla bla. To all that I say, SHHHHHHAARAP!! (Erm, Shut Up): Don’t hate on the Beast you goddamn created.
Men love beautiful women, I don’t have a problem with that. My issue is the level of beauty most Lagos/Nigerian men want you to live up to. All Day, Every Day. I said ‘most’ not ‘all’ O! Why do I think this? Here’s one of many examples- Last Christmas, I met a new male friend of mine looking like this:
Now this ‘Biki’, received nothing but praise for him. I then met up with him several Sundays later to hang, and I was wearing a full midi skirt, top, my turban and Shock Horror my TWA could be seen at the top. Oh! and I had my new purple glasses on. This Biki, got a whole lot of silly (in my opinion) questions thrown her way- ‘Are you wearing glasses for medical reasons?’, ‘Why don’t you wear tighter clothes…?’ ‘Why have I never seen you in jeans…?’ etc.
Did I mention that I’m not dating this fool and it was Sunday?! How about this- that day included, he had seen me a total of about 4 times- and based on that, felt he could summarize who I was and give me advice. This is another pet-peeve of mine in Nigeria- people/men are only too happy to quickly come to conclusions, lock you in a box and throw away the key. Now everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but do you know how insulting it is to receive criticism from a dude wearing generic jeans and an Arsenal T??!! Arsenal was playing that day but that’s still no excuse! I have to add here that I still like this friend, even more so as he introduced me to another male friend of his who I am doing a Group Hang with this weekend…
But back to the ‘tory at hand- I didn’t get insulted by my friend’s slamming because at this age, I’m really like-Whatever, you are not my target audience so… I am an eclectic moody dresser, and so depending on my mood I can serve up 70s Glam, or 80s a la Madonna or African Swag but at the moment I’m really into the retro look- fitted tops, corset belts, midi flared skirts…speaking of which, I recently watched a fab 50s Elizabeth Taylor film called ‘Rhapsody’, where this was pretty much her style.
But I digress, its 2015 and I’m in Lagos, where a lot of men seem to prefer this look-
Don’t get me wrong, I like this look on this Pretty Damsel, it’s just not me. At this point I have to say, that of course there are exceptions to what I’m saying, but like I said, I am coming to conclusions based on my experiences.
Berlin dudes are a totally different kettle of fish, they seem to understand the Theory of Low Maintenance more and as a result so far, I feel the most ‘myself’ style-wise with Berlin dudes. They don’t give you as much shit when you don’t treat everyday like a Red Carpet event. Ps every other Lagos occasion is stamped with the label, ‘Red Carpet’ (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Anyhoo, I’m more open to show my imperfections with Berlin guys and they seem more receptive towards it. I’m sure there are a bunch of shallow ones out there but…
Anyhoo, I could go on, there are several other differences between Lagos and Berlin guys- e.g. Lagos guys are far more driven and accomplished whilst the average Berlin guy is happy to plan his future by tossing a coin and seeing which side it lands, but I’ll stop here for now.
If anyone wants to weigh in, please do!