Travel is supposed to awaken the muse, rekindle a writers romance with life, yet right now, looking forward to three more weeks in my favorite holiday destination I’m suffering from writers overload. My senses are overwhelmed by the sights and sounds, there’s is so much to process that I wonder which part of this beautiful country to begin to explore. Maybe its because I’ve not started sightseeing yet, for now I’m trudging around Columbo, Srilanka’s Capital City, trying to complete some essential errands before I can kick back and relax.
Right now, try as I may, I cant help not making comparisions between Nigeria and Srilanka. Maybe the right word should be making contrasts because that seems to be all there is so far in my experiential analysis.
First, I’m still recovering from the shock of the affordability and availability of medical facilities in Srilanka, all types of Specialist can be “channeled” , at an incredibly reasonable fee. While the National Hospital in Abuja has most of the specialist coming in perharps once a month or less, Srilanka has specialist all over when I mean all over I mean it literarily all over. There are what they call nursing homes in every village, and by village I don’t mean the clay house-no electricity-no plumbing we are used to in Nigeria. While good roads and descent accommodation ends around the boundries of most states in Nigeria, Srilnka’s Provinces are more evenly developed except the areas affected by war.
Yes! The war, Srilanka has been struggling with a seemingly unending Civil for over two decades. If with the war this country is better than Nigeria in so many ways- and I’m not being subjective here, I will be including UN Statistics in my subsequent posts. How on earth did Nigeria fall so behind in the human development index? How can a country with so much natural resources be poorer than one with none.
I think what amuses me most, is that when you speak to Srilankans they always say
“Our country is a poor country, and with the war you never know when a bomb will explode in the city center”
And here is what I’ve heard many Nigerians say
“Nigeria is very rich, if only our leaders will do what is right”.
Lots of times when I mention Srilanka to Nigerians, the response is
“That poor Country, what do they even have?” The irony of the mindset of these two different peoples is poignantly hilarious.
The cost of living here is much lower than it is in Nigeria. Basic things like clothes, food and education are a lot more accessible to all. While there are no horrendously rich people, there are no horrendously poor either. Srilankans manufacture clothes and shoes, though more of the former, I’ve bought very good quality leather shoes one tenth of the price available in Nigeria, while made in Nigeria products equals inferior quality to many Nigerians, here there are a wide variety of quality for different pockets.
I travel by the public transportation here so I come across a lot of average Srilankans everyday, and believe me, Millions of Nigerians don’t live as well as these people.
So who which the poor country?