My Daily struggle as a Lagos commuter.
“Oshodi! Oshodi! Oshodi!”
This is one of the bus stations i came across as i arrived in Lagos 4 years ago, probably the first. So I was barely breathing as i carried two heavy luggage, heading towards the park where buses heading towards Airport Road are waiting for passengers. The fare to 7/8, airport road was just 50 Naira then…But as fate would have it, I paid about 400 naira. I was a JJC
“S’a ti de be ni?”
That was the voice of an Ibadan boy asking the conductor if he’s arrived at his destination. I mean the driver obviously pulled over and the conductor gave me this “Don’t waste my time look!” I wanted to swear , but i remembered warnings from seemingly wise ignoramuses from Ibadan. One of them was, “Lagos conductors are mad o, Don’t you ever argue with them!” Well, now I know better. Or do I?
Anyways, Shout-out to all my Ibadan folks; cool and smart people. But the truth is, many of the people who spread fables about Lagos have actually not traveled to the coastal state. Hol’ up! Many Lagosians who spread fables about Ibadan have actually not been to Ibadan, so definitely and ignorantly, they talk trash about Ibadan and its people. I just had to balance that! *palm over face*
Back to my story…Lagos conductors are actually mad! *puppy eyes*
Ok, let’s be fair. I classified them into three categories.
One. “The non-challant, daredevil , everybody will die” category. *Whispers -We are coming back to this*
Two. “The seemingly nice wolf in sheep’s clothing” Or better still, “Gentle Jack”. A.K.A Ma to mi o! Well, that means “Don’t look for my trouble!” in Yoruba. You should know this- the bus conductors in this category can be your best friend until you press the wrong button. “Ah! You wee see, you wee know!” Though they try to smile often, it’s all a cover. Smile back if you can, but…don’t overstep your boundary!
Finally. The self-exalting, a little educated,“Did i not told you i don’t have change! ” category. While this category of conductors can be nice too, they get tensed when frustrated. The next thing you’d hear is “I go sku o! No be your fault na!…say I dey do bus conductor. I don’t know why i’m talking to you self. If not for the Nigerian economy and no job, You think you wee have mouth to talk to me.” *At this point I just roll my eyes to the back of my skull and yell, “Wee you keep quiet?” That’s a lie…I say nothing! I just find me another worthy distraction.
Now, back to number one. Anybody who knows me very well knows i have this awesome, smooth, not too crispy baritone voice *Raises eyebrow and adjusts collar* I’m working on that crispiness though. Ok, switch.
Here’s the thing, I loose the manly tone in my voice when i meet “The non-challant, daredevil , everybody will die” category of bus conductors. I still don’t know how it happens. I really don’t know!! It’s like the whole shenanigan is my kryptonite, I just dissolve in that moment.*Aswearugad, even Clark Kent be hardcore in that moment! “What did you say? Man up? Biko, I cannor come and go and die! How will i even say i died?…That a bus conductor punched my destiny out of my body…by the road side? Oh, i forgot: Dead men tell no tales” . I mean I heard whatever it is your were thinking about my cowardice- sorry i meant to say re-calibration. My voice just goes back to default settings *palm over face*
Bonus: Ok , take a few seconds to transliterate my last rant in Yoruba. If you are Yoruba, it would be funnier.
I have a full story on my latest encounter with one of this kind of people. I mean “The non-challant, daredevil , everybody will die” category of bus conductors. For the sake of keeping this read very short, I’d keep the gist till my next post- tomorrow.
I hope you like this post. Let me know what you think!