I planned to write about something entirely different o, but I had an experience that was too overwhelming to ignore. My dear, the issue now is where to begin. Lagos is just a zone filled with experiences you can’t afford to ignore.Let’s start from this morning. If you follow me on twitter (@ms_einsteinette), you must have seen me tweet: “Someone got out of the bus and said “Thank you”, he even bowed for the driver, after paying transport. There’s nothing I won’t see in Lag.”
Let me buttress on that, it first started with the danfo driver that drove that morning. One of these skating boys held on to the back of the bus as it was moving and the driver parked, brought out cane to whoop the guy’s arse. The guy took to his heels (his roller skate shoes, I mean) and disappeared from the scene. We moved a bit further and this man in his suit wanted to drop. Conductor had to open the door for the man. Not because he was a big boy o (Big boy in a bus, lol) but because the door had spoilt to the point that only three years of experience in your CV as a conductor can help you tackle it. Only for baba to come down in his suit and tie and bow for the driver with a wonderful forced accent “Thank you”…FOR WHATTTTT?! DIDN’T YOU PAY COMPLETE TRANSPORT? I so wanted to knock sense into his head but the driver sped off (I hope you can see this as the excuse for not knocking the man’s head even though I know in my heart that I would never have, but I need you to believe that I would have).
So, the day went by as usual, typical 9-5 (well for me 8-7). I finally was ready to go home. I went to the bus-stop o, the guy was screaming in their normal professional agbero voice. Sometimes I wonder if they train them in the park just the way they train OAPs (On Air Radio Personalities). I called out my bus-stop and the guy said two hundred naira…EHN!!! which kain two hundred? place that I’ve been going to with hundred naira during normal times and one-fifty during rush hour. I didn’t even say a word, I just turned and acted like I wanted to walk away. I honestly wasn’t acting o, I was walking away when the driver called me back and smiled. He must have been smitten by my beauty (please allow me feel myself). Oh well, he took other people going to my destination and further at two hundred naira. I just sat there pressing my phone.
He requested for money, I paid sharp-sharp. As you may already know, I always carry my exact transport (transport fare but on the street it is called transport, the word “fare” is too much english). I can’t be dragging change with conductor. As we drove further, one guy started insisting that he will pay one-fifty not two hundred. That’s how the driver driver was looking back and talking to the guy while driving. He was acting like he had eyes at the back of his head. It was like Mutant Roadkill (if you know the game) except, we weren’t killing mutants and hitting vehicles, we were just swerving left and right. He started trying to explain to the two men sitting in front. The old man just looked away while the corporate elderly man nodded and asked him to face front and drive. When the conversation between the driver and the guy at the back heated up, baba just swerved mindlessly to the edge of the road (That link road between Allen and Maryland, from Sheraton turn). That’s where everybody started vexing for him. As usual, I kept quiet and pressed my phone like a ghost that could see them but was invisible to them. The driver came down opened the door and was willing to beat this guy for fifty naira o. His logic was valid tho, others have paid and he said it before the guy entered.
The driver came back to drive as he noticed that everyone just cared about going home. He left the door open and I was sitting by the door in the row behind driver’s seat. That’s how he made a sharp U-turn. I had to grip the chair ahead of me with my left hand so I don’t fall and was still pressing phone with my right hand (my phone has jazzed me). He now parked at Onigbogbo and came down again to challenge this guy. Threats were just flying up and down. That’s how the corporate gentle man in the front row came down and started to give inspirational speech:
“… I think we can be the change this Nation needs. If we can all come together and have one voice, we can achieve anything. It starts with little things like this. Let’s just come together and leave this vehicle. My people, get down, get down. If we can leave this bus in unity, he would have more respect for passenger’s time. We cannot afford to let this hooligan bully us to…” (Abeg, I can’t continue this oga’s speech). The man came down and was really gesticulating. I just sat and did not bother to partake in the madness. The women at the back were screaming for their change. Some others were threatening to drop but no one really made a move to. The driver came back and continued. You won’t believe this same inspirational speaker, climbed back into the bus o, lol. He couldn’t beat us, so he joined us. He now started to para for the driver. He dropped some deep Yoruba proverbs, at least they sounded deep (when I perfect my Yoruba learning, I’d be bring live reports on this). Oga Driver tried to explain but he noticed no one had his back. I never knew fifty naira could cause big drama like this o. It was in the midst of all this noise, one boy at the back felt he should show us his musical talent or should I say, “musical lack-of talent” and offer it to us as background music in the midst of the chaos. He was singing loud with his ears plugged in “What is love… if you’re not here with me…” I recognized the song. It was from empire… I’m sure they’d have killed him if they heard him. My brothers and sisters, it was bad. TERRIBLE!!!! He sounded better mute. His nose was now up in the name of hitting high notes like ratatouille sniffing food. Kai!!! I should have recorded it so you’d know I am not exaggerating it. The bus stopped to pick an old man at Maryland bus-stop, he sat beside me and took my position at the door-side.
When we got to town planning, someone needed to get off the bus, that’s how this man just sped to the bus-stop and if you are familiar with that road, you’d know that there is a turn from that town planning to Ikorodu road. Another bus was sharply turning into that road and boom, in my head accident had already happened but thank God it didn’t. I looked at my lap and the old man beside me had made it his safe haven. For fear of the accident, oga jumped and sat on my lap. I was so surprised at how calm I was and how the old man had freaked out. It made me wonder, why are old people more afraid of death than the youth?
I feel if you make use of your youth, to accomplish your dreams and set lasting legacy, death won’t scare you in your old age because it is not how long but how well you live.