A wise person once said that two things are certain in life; death and Lagos traffic. Okay maybe that quote didn’t quite go like that but I think you get my point. At 21 Million people, Lagos metropolis is Africa’s most commercially populous city and if its residents are to thrive, we must come to terms with the certainty; that its dreary traffic is inevitable and here to stay. For now at least.

So instead of complaining, how about making the most of our traffic experience? You know what they say, behind every cloud…

1. Stock Up On Your Calories

I don’t know what your dinning etiquette is but I eat in my car. The time spent in traffic is enough to drain you, besides you don’t know how long it will be till your next proper meal and it’s no use collapsing in traffic (unless you wish to lose your valuables). So before you start off, pack a car-friendly meal (no Amala or Fufu). You can also patronize those traffic snack-vendors who work so hard. This way, you get to keep crime off the streets while replenishing lost carbs.

Yeah, we’ve all been there

Tip: Clean your car regularly to prevent a roach infestation.

2. Do Some Shopping

In Lagos traffic, shopping is mobile and limitless. It will surprise you what you can buy on the go. I once bought a beautiful art piece which still hangs on the wall of my dining room. Motivational books and gossip magazines are also great purchases especially if you want to start reading them immediately- yes there’s plenty of time to finish. Caveat Emptor; what you see is what you get.

Kiddie Slates? No problemo

Tip: Stay away from the wristwatches, jewellery…and Iphones of course.

3. Fix Your Car

I thought I had seen it all in Lagos until someone in front of me had their broken brake lights fixed. The sellers happened to be mechanics or vice versa? The trade has evolved. What’s more, they always seem to lurk nearby. So if you have a faulty wiper or a broken side-mirror which you keep forgetting to take to the workshop, you might as well get them fixed in traffic.

“Jus gimme an hour sir…I think it’s the propeller shaft.”

Tip: Do not leave your valuables visible or unattended to during the period.

4. Get Hitched

Traffic is such a drag literally; the heat, monotony…why not lighten the mood by flirting? It is fun I promise. You know how sometimes your car aligns with another car that is driven by this attractive babe (or guy)? You could wink or blow a kiss, even get a phone number if you are that bold. However be careful too, I had a friend who got into trouble for flirting with a soldier’s daughter. He got his tires punctured right away.

Hey baby…drive here often?

Tip: Beware of cars with Government or Army license plates.

5. Join Fight Club

First rule of Fight Club: Don’t tell anybody about Fight Club. Unless it’s in Lagos traffic. Psychologists say letting out your anger is therapeutic. Perhaps that’s why there are so many fights in Lagos; the city is a melting pot of anger and the traffic is its center stage. If you are behind in gym sessions, get up to par. It doesn’t take much to join, maybe a paint scratch or a fender bender? Just let it out with a few blows and feel better.

“Wait Halima, you’ll get your turn soon!”

Tip: Choose your battles wisely.

There you go. In spite of all the points I listed above, always remember to obey the traffic laws and keep your eyes on the road. I have to post this quickly now, the traffic has just begun to move. Good luck.