(136): From Kano to Cologne: My First, Lasting Impression
I knew nobody in Cologne, Germany, when I came in late August 2017. Although that was the second time I travelled to a foreign country, the first time was completely different. I was with my wife and a friend, while other friends in Punjab, our destination, were waiting to receive us. Thus, there was no confusion whatsoever. However, at the Cologne airport, I felt adrift. I spoke with a kind friend living in another city not far from Cologne. He tried his best to guide me on what to do, but I felt more tangled. Finally, unsure of where to go, I dragged my bags to the exit. A frail-looking old man, raising an A4-size paper with “Barka da zuwa, Malam Ibrahim” written on it, approached me. I didn’t know about his coming, and I wasn’t used to being addressed as “Ibrahim”, my surname. His smile and his “hi” halted my bewilderment. He spoke to me in faltering Hausa, adding to my surprise, and asked to hold one of the bags. I respect old age, so I declined. As he insisted, I let him.