This is a tiny part in the series that I have tagged, “Lagos Chronicles”. I wrote an introduction of some sort two years ago and you can find that here.
You know how they say the more you write the better you get at it? I have decided to adopt that as my mantra going forward and write till my fingers bleed! (Okay, now that’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the picture) and what better way to do that than to chronicle my experience in this very interesting city. So I am going to break them down into instalments and make sure I stay committed to it. I might probably need divine help!
Okay, moving on to my concern for today -broken down buses- I still do not understand this and I hear that it happens like every other time at the worst possible times because everybody I lament to go, “ah, that one is a normal something, welcome to Lagos”.
Well, it has happened to me more times than I can count and it is infuriating how often this happens. Is it too much to ask that danfos (yellow commercial buses) don’t break down at 6am when you are trying to beat traffic and get to work in good time? Or at very weird places where you cannot get another bus, hence, you are stuck with the broken down bus in the middle of the highway or one of those interior routes (pardon me, everywhere is interior to me as I don’t know road very well) the bus drivers usually take to avoid traffic. (Ah, traffic. That’s story for another day).
This fine morning, after waiting forever for the bus to get full, only to start moving to realize that the bus was struggling to gain speed. Like, maka why? And to top it off, it was smoking. As in thick black fumes seeping into the bus through the windows and choking everybody. It was almost like the bus was coughing! The driver kept driving, ignoring the shouts of everyone on the bus. Now that’s another thing that pisses me off with these bus drivers and their conductors. They have perfected the art of ignoring you or giving you annoying sarcastic answers when you are talking to them. Sometimes, when you are talking to them, it’s like you are talking to a brick wall. Especially when they have to fix their buses when it breaks down or they branch to buy fuel. *sigh*. No apologies or anything they will just ignore everybody and start tinkering away, doing a quick fix that will definitely not last. At this point, one should just get a personal car! Now the problem with that plan, besides the fact that I can’t afford it right now, is that I have to perfect my driving (I haven’t driven in over a year and when I say “driven”, I mean a couple of months armed with my learner’s permit and a big ‘L’ on the car. So when I say “perfect”, I mean learn, all over again) and with this whole fuel conundrum at 145 naira, a hole the size of the Atlantic would be drilled in my pocket. And don’t even get me started on Uber. Let’s just say it’s not time yet.
This is just very frustrating because I think that they can afford to maintain their buses and keep it in good condition. I mean, this is your source of livelihood. You put this vehicle on the road every day. The least you can do is make sure it is in proper condition and not allow people suffer because of your inability to step up and do the right thing. This is another indication of our poor maintenance culture in this country. Everywhere you turn, you see things in one form of disrepair or the other. Places left to rot, national monuments, parks, locations that should be tourist attraction sites now stand in the shadow of their former glory.
I just want to be able to get around without the bus breaking down or being dropped half way to my destination and carted off into another bus simply because we are just four left on the bus and apparently, the same bus stop they had been threatening to make you deaf with is too darn far to carry four people to. this happens more times than you would think.
So, guys, I am a bit unsure about “Lagos chronicles”. So what do y’all think: Yay or Nay?