Oluwatoyin Bayegun, popularly known as Woli Arole, shares fond memories of his trip to Dublin with JOY MARCUS
Where did you have your most memorable travel experience?
I had a fantastic travel experience in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. I visited the place last year and the experience was glorious.
What was the purpose of your trip?
I went for an event and I stayed at a hotel for about a week.
When you got to Dublin, what was the first thing that impressed you?
I was impressed by the beautiful scenery and the fact that everywhere was peaceful. There were no unnecessary car honks or shouts. Everybody attended to their business peacefully. Everywhere was well arranged and you couldn’t just see people misbehaving on the street. Everything was well organised and in place. In Dublin, if you go beyond the speed limit, a ticket would be sent to your home immediately. Everything in Dublin is automated.
Did you have a taste of any of their local dishes?
They have Nigerian kitchens where you can get specially made Nigerian food. I ate ewa aganyi (beans) and it was very delicious, even better than the one they sell in Nigeria.
Were the people receptive towards you?
They are lovely and calm people. They have a Nigerian community and I saw people speaking our local dialects. This made me feel more at home and relaxed. They organise fun events for themselves. While on my trip, I visited a club and most of the songs they played were Nigerian songs.
In the area of security, can you compare Nigeria with Dublin?
There is no way we can compare them because the difference is too much. We don’t have quality security in Nigeria and it is not a hidden fact. Nobody is unaware of the level of insecurity in this country. When I travelled outside this country, even from the airport, I felt as if a demon left me. My country is not secure and it is really heartbreaking. With all the things happening in this country, nobody is safe. The crime rate in Dublin is low and even for those that engage in crimes, there is a certainty that they will be brought to book someday. Even their health facilities cannot be compared to those in Nigeria. At a time, I was tired of the electricity supply; so, I had to switch off the light. There was a time I woke up in the middle of the night and was in a hurry to iron my clothe because, in my brain, I thought I was in Nigeria where our electricity is epileptic.
Does Dublin share any similarities with Nigeria?
No. The only similarity is the fact that they breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide like we do in Nigeria. People over there mind their business and put all their attention in their work, unlike Nigerians and the way they interfere in people’s lives even when you don’t invite them. They just want to know what is going on in your life.
What do you think Nigeria can learn from Dublin?
Nigeria should learn everything from Dublin. They value the lives of their citizens. They have beautiful scenery and their country is well organised. They have a wonderful structure put in place. They pay you per hour for your work. I miss the fun and wonderful moments I had over there.
Did you experience any culture shock while you were in the country?
No. The country is not too big; so, there was nothing that shocked me about their activities. It was fun all through for me.
What advice will you give to someone who wants to travel to Dublin?
Travelling is a way of learning and getting exposure. Before travelling to any country, learn a thing or two about that country so that you will have a wonderful travelling experience. Be prepared and enjoy yourself. Also try to learn new things that will add value to you.
Was there any downside to your trip?
No, I enjoyed every bit of my trip. In fact, I am having a nostalgic feeling right now.
How would you assess their entertainment industry?
I didn’t see much of that; Nigeria is livelier in that aspect. Nigeria is more entertaining; it is even the Nigerians over there that organise some of their entertainment events.
If you could import anything from the country, what would it be?
I won’t import anything. I would rather stay there.
What other country would you like to visit?
I would like to visit any country that I am sure of enjoying myself and having fun.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.