DAMNED IN LAGOS TRAFFIC

The daily strife of Lagos, besides the pursuit of the meagre happiness that could be found here, is the mortal combat with the traffic. The traffic situation here is a dragon to slay, or be slayed by. If you have a car to move around in, you are in for big trouble, if you don’t, you are in a deep shit. I am getting a car soon. Getting a car will cut my transport wahala by half.

Even if I will get stuck in traffic and arrive my destination late every time, it still beats being caught in a torrential rain in a bus stop that has no shelter. It happened to me today. After spending the better half of the time I allotted to myself to get to Ikoyi from Okokomaiko, in bad traffic, I wasted the rest of the precious time in a shelterless bus stop at CMS under the pouring rain.

I had planned on riding on buses and keke to get to Glover Court for the writers’ meet, and had (shortsightedly) taken nothing extra for the trip. I had vowed to get to that meeting or burst, and the rain should not hinder me. Thank goodness for the enterprising spirit of the Ibo people in Lagos, I bought an overpriced umbrella from one trader who was smart enough to hawk umbrellas in the rain, and so I shelled out a tidy amount from the meagre sum I had on me. I must get to Glover Court for the Writers’ Bloc meet, even if I had to walk. And walk I did do.

I managed to get a bus to Obalende. No bus was going, but this particular crazy bus driver braved the inclement weather and the flooded road. It was a slow and arduous going, in that leaky bus. My head and shoulders were getting wet, but I thought better of it to use an umbrella inside the bus. Mercifully, and wet, I got to Obalende. I wasn’t very fazed. I was making good progress, even if I was one hour late for the meeting.

It would have been easier, and more merciful if Okadas were still operating. It is really an unpopular government policy to ban Okada. Although Okada was a great menace in the mega-city of Lagos, and an embarrassment to the government and affluent people of the state, and an aberration to the slogan “Eko Oni Baje o!”, Okada has its good sides, and the goodness of it was what I missed in that material time. Moving mount Kilimanjaro and casting it into the Lagos Lagoon could have been easier than trying to get transport to Ikoyi. After one hour of waiting at the same spot I used to take Okada from, it got easier when the rain let up a bit. I had to shell out 120 of the soaked miserly 150 Naira I had left in my wet pocket to pay for a keke ride.

The rickety Keke, after wadding through muddy splashes from faster moving cars, dropped me off at Golden Gates, and I walked the rest of the way to Glover Court. I arrived wet, and in my soaked sneakers, almost completely dispirited. The fine company, the lively discussion, the good food and excellent wine, did well to lift my dampened spirit- goodly wine Mrs Duffield does serve with enticing assortment of nice things to nibble on- but I couldn’t have too many wine- personal reason (I am still treating malaria ni). I was catching a chill, but would not complain about the air conditioning, I had to man it, and it was good. Black coffee helped awaken some of my drowsy senses, and took most of the chill away.

At the end of the inspiring meet, I had enough sensibility to worry the kind hostess for a fare. With a car, all the hassles of getting about in bad traffic, and worse weather would have been bettered, if not exactly made a bit pleasurable. But who said I cannot take the family car the next time? Of course, I can; but “our thing no be my thing. I want a car of my own, which I can drive the hell like I want, and not even LASMA or traffic lights can stop me. I guess I should take out that license already.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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