Embassies and consulates are a country’s storefront.  In them, nations typically endeavor to put their best foot forward because they know that these outposts not only represent their country, but are quite probably all that most will ever see of it.  The idea is to impress, to make a statement of national greatness.  Tuvalu, for instance, a small island nation in Polynesia, owns a London embassy that is valued at 11 percent of that country’s national debt.  That may be taking PR too far, but you get the idea.

So, what is one to think when a nation doesn’t try to impress you?  Well, that tells you something, too.  Chiefly, it tells you that they don’t care.  Wherever the Nigerian government was spending its money, it wasn’t on marketing.  I left the consulate grounds preparing for the worst.

Larry Alex Taunton is an author, cultural commentator, and freelance columnist contributing to USA TODAYFox NewsFirst ThingsThe AtlanticCNN, and The American Spectator.  In addition to being a frequent radio and television guest, he is also the author of The Grace  Effect and The Gospel Coalition Arts and Culture Book of the Year, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. You can subscribe to his blog at larryalextaunton.com.