Thursday, September 16, 2010


Yeah, that's right, this post is about boogers. Ok, well maybe not boogers per se, but definitely about nose picking. Nose picking in Nigeria is very common place. You see it everywhere and pretty much it's not as taboo as in the US. And I'm not talking about children. I'm talking about EVERYONE. Adults, kids, teenagers, old people...pretty much you'll see any age engaging in some nose picking. And I'm not talking about a dainty little "oh I have something of the tip of my nose, I'll just rub it a bit." I'm talking full-on up to the second knuckle digging for gold nose picking. No efforts to hide it, no making it look less obvious, or even looking away from someone while it's going on. Nope, if there is a booger then it must be dug out IMMEDIATELY with the full force necessary to delodge it. And I won't even tell you what happens to the boogers once they are found. If you're lucky it involves a handkerchief...if not, stomach churns ahead.

Luckily I think this is a habit that is starting to change. You are much less likely to see this habit among the more educated, young adults and/or those who spend more time interacting with Western visitors. Perhaps someone along the way mentioned that it's considered impolite (and GROSS) to dig in your nose in public. However, as much as there are signs of progress on this social norm, I must report that just this past Sunday I saw someone digging their way through Church service. No shame whatsoever.

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