I have often wondered what it would feel like to love and be loved by a French man. For a man like that to call me ‘mon amour’, flirt with me unrelentingly, write me poems, bring me breakfast in bed and take me to the movies. I wonder what it would feel like for a man like that to talk to me about art and architecture, about bread – French bread – and everything I could do with it.
So when we landed at the airport in Maiduguri, and I saw what I believe to be a fighter jet as well as dozens of military men armed to their teeth with the kind of guns I only see in Hollywood movies, I said to myself, ‘this is indeed a war zone.’ It didn’t matter to me that General Gowon had been on the same flight with us, and the heavy security was there for him. All I could see at that moment was danger. The beautiful feeling I had that we were about sharing a powerful message to a town ravaged by terrorists was slowly giving way to a different thought – fear.
It’s no secret that traveling will do a million and one things to you. It exposes you to amazing cultures, you get to eat delicacies you otherwise would never have tasted, you have new experiences, you meet new people, and equally important, you fall in love.