Monday 14 May 2018

My Life in Lagos Series (The Awkward Week 1)

**April 16-21**

The week had a lovely and exciting start. I left for home, made a nice breakfast and wore a different outfit. The Lagos road didn’t even deal with me. It was the simple normal routine…jump into a bus, jump down, walk down the road, enter a taxi, enter keke, enter bike and get to the office. I even met with a friend I haven’t seen for days and got glucose to boost by energy for my Lagos hustling.

I had lots of expectations for the week. I wanted to achieve my heavy to-do list in just five days.
*rolls eyes*

Now this is story of the week’s awkwardness.

*Purse Palava
I called my eye clinic and requested to know if the optician would be available by past six (because I close by six). He told me to call him as soon as I get to Ketu…which meant that I’d be going through Ketu route instead of Ojota. I hurriedly left the office and rushed to Ketu park so that I can get to the eye clinic on time. I was wrong oo. A bus parked and we started struggling to fill the space.

I was struggling with a typical Lagosian carrying loads.

(Me wey no get load no fit drag sef pass the woman).

I let it go and prepared myself for a deep fight with anyone that tried to overtake me when the next bus arrives. The next bus arrived few minutes later and I hurried inside. I secured a very good space as watched as cars sped on the road, while the conductor called passengers to fill in the bus.
I opened my bag to check my purse for change when I didn’t find the purse. I searched and searched the bag but the purse was nowhere to be found.

“Please, let me get down”. I told the passengers sitting beside me and I walked back to the office, to be rest assured that I forgot it.

I thought of two places. It would either be the chemist my friend and I visited or my office. I increased my pace and got to the office only to find it locked down.
‘How would I find the purse na?’ I wondered.

I dialed and colleague number to ask if he saw any purse before leaving the office.

‘Hi, Maryam. What’s up?’

‘Please did you see any purse in the office before leaving?’ I asked, trying to maintain a high-pitch voice despite the blazing noises in the background.

Em, no’.

Okay. Did you see me coming with the purse…” Gbam! The call ended.
It would be very realistic to walk back to the chemist and start to ask questions when I wasn’t even sure had left it there. I returned to the park but this time, to board to Ojota. It was too late and there was no way I’d meet up with the appointment at the eye clinic.
Wondering how I got money to transport myself back home? I went to the market on Saturday and so, I took an extra purse to keep the money for shopping. The purse still contained some amount of money and luckily, I carried the same bag I took to the market on Saturday.
I wondered if it got snatched when I was struggling to enter the bus but I had a deep feeling that I left it at work.
‘If you get to work and you do not see it, just take excuse and visit the chemist. If it is still not there, hurry to your banks and block the ATM cards’. My dad said.
*For new ATM card wey never pass one week*
 (smug face).
I was determined that I’d see my ATM card in the office the next day. Where else would it be? I didn’t want to create the thought of missing the purse and re-applying for another ATM card…

*Faulty Bus
BRT is a no-no in the morning. I stopped when I used to get to work around past 10…to11. It was really terrible.  Red bus, white bus or sienna is the best alternative. Siennas’ are relatively more expensive and scarce. When you see one, they’ll pack like four of you in every row like sardines.

*The new version of Titus abi?*

Red and white buses are cheaper and comfy (if you get a good seat and you do not stand). They are much cheaper than the sienna but less expensive than the BRT. Its rough, less tidy, hot, unventilated and unwelcoming. You’ll have to squeeze your way in the middle of people before you get to your chosen park. You’ll have to start shouting ‘Ojota waaa ooo!’ so that the driver would not take you past your destination. Getting down? The drivers are always impatient and so, you’ll have to be fast enough to jump down from a moving bus.

Change palava nko? Please let’s move this to a different discussion.

So, I entered this red bus and the conductor was still with my #300 (I gave him #500 for a #200 bus fare). An Igbo woman sitting beside me who spoke fluent Yoruba pestered the conductor for her change and assisted me in getting mine.

We had just arrived Ketu when the bus started to malfunction. The driver started the ignition but it kept on behaving like agidi had entered the engine.

Passengers started shouting that they should open the doors so that can leave. I was already late to work. I hurried down and rushed to enter a bus to Ikeja. I turned to see passengers surrounding the conductor for money (We have all paid for Ojota/Oshodi and the bus halted at Ketu).

There was no point fighting with the conductor. After spending like 30 minutes and if I manage to get anything, how much will it be? #50-100 for the safety of my job? Nah Maryam.

Instead of ploying the Ojota route, I went through Ketu-Ikeja. Well, I opened my office and found my purse lying by the monitor. My dad had instructed that I called immediately I get to the office and know the latest about the purse. Well, I did call him, expressing how glad I was that the purse as well as its contents were intact.

*Unrealistic Targets
Have you ever been in a situation when you have loads of things to do and you keep procrastinating? Yeah yeah, I’ve been in such situation many times. Last week was one of them.

Ranging from eye clinic appointment to visiting the liaison office, I wondered how to achieve all of them prior to my late closing time at work. I fixed an appointment with the optician at night! Imagine oo? That was when I knew that I was really brave (Oh yes, I am).

To be continued...


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