Hey there! Happy new week. I dunno about you guys but, I wasn’t looking forward to the new week. My weekend was eventful so, I didn’t have the time to rest enough. I barely even got enough sleep so, I started my Monday on a frustrating note. Little did I know that it would get worse. I got ready for work in the morning as usual. Unfortunately for me, my mum was ready at the same time I was and since we were passing the same route to our various workplaces, we decided to go together. Big mistake on my part. I was supposed to have posted this earlier this week since it happened on Monday but it has been a crazy week for me so, I hope you will forgive me.
Now, Monday mornings are very hectic for those who don’t know. For some reason, it might be the morning with the highest number of people going to work. Sometimes you can even smell the stress in the air. The traffic is also terrible and most people rested enough during the weekend and have enough energy to push you while struggling to enter a bus. Also, because of the higher number of people waiting for bus and the level of traffic, buses are scarce and the available ones ask for more than double the normal fares. The whole thing is a mess honestly. There’s an 80% chance that you’d get to work tired. Man, throw the whole day away.
Got to First Gate with mum and we were waiting for a bus going to CMS. Some buses passed that were full but had space for hanging at the door which I would have taken if I was alone, but I wasn’t. Imagine hanging on a bus door with my mum 🤣🤣. After waiting for almost an hour, we decided to enter a bus to Orile in hopes of increasing our chances of getting a bus. Got there and after about waiting for 10 minutes, we saw a bus going to Ebute Ero. It wasn’t where I was headed but, it was still along my route and it was a lot better than waiting hopelessly. While trying to enter the bus, someone stepped on and cut my mum’s right sandal. She was pisseddddd. I had to beg her not to cause a scene cause I knew she was more than capable. She sat in the bus, sandal in hand, anger in heart while we drove off. The funniest part was that the person who cut the sandal was sitting in front of us so she kept staring at him throughout the trip like:
We got to Orile bridge and let me tell you this, that bridge is an accurate description of between the devil and the deep blue sea because if you’re going to the island like I was, you would have to go either left (pass through Costain) or right (through Ijora) and both roads have heavy traffic so it is just about picking your poison really. Well, my driver picked Ijora. The driver tried to go through different minor roads to avoid traffic but we all could see the crazy traffic waiting for us on the other side of the road. Some passengers started lamenting in advance. We eventually joined the traffic as expected and this was when I started to get mad.
First, let me describe the inside of the bus. Exhaust fumes kept entering inside because the vehicle in front of us had a faulty engine. It was tight with 5 passengers in a row and the seats were close together. One tall dude beside me kept complaining that he had to bend his legs because of the lack of space. Tall people problems lol. I was even too frustrated to celebrate one of the rare times it was an advantage to be “not tall”. The crazy thing is that some passengers were lapping each other. Another thing was that the cushions on the seats were absent so I was sitting on wood while the iron frame was poking my back. The whole place was just tight and everyone was just melting. Sorry, sweating. Luckily, there was no one with body or mouth odour that day. I had enough and told my mum that I was going to enter a bike and this woman started begging me not to because apparently, someone close to her died in a bike accident the week before. I was devastated because I had already planned to enter a bike if it ever got that bad but of course I had to listen to her so she wouldn’t get a heart attack.
Next thing, the bus went off and refused to come back on. Driver begged us to help him push-start the bus which we did. Me, in my work clothes pushing bus on top Ijora bridge chai. The bus came back on and we all got in. Only for it to stop again after 2 minutes and it refused to come back on after another round of pushing. At this point, I wanted to call in dead at work. Had to carry my things and start trekking. Mum followed. I couldn’t even find a bike even if I tried because I figured they were alos avoiding the traffic on the bridge. We had to trek from halfway the bridge to the end. We weren’t alone because many people had abandoned their buses. I pitied car owners at that point because they couldn’t abandon their cars. Along the road, we saw different buses breaking down, exhaust fumes everywhere. It was madness.
I got to one point along the bridge where I saw one prison transport vehicle. Some of the prisoners were begging the passersby for food and I could not help but wonder how terrible the inside of the cell must have been with the traffic and all the heat, hunger and nausea. There were armed officers around the vehicle so people kept away. I started imagining scenes where friends of the inmates were the ones causing the traffic so they could break them out during the transport (too many action movies, I know lol).
At this point, mum knew I was pissed cause she didn’t let me leave when I wanted to and tried to crack jokes and shit but, I was not having it. We finally got to the end of the bridge and surprisingly, there was no traffic there. You know that feeling when you get to the origin of the traffic and you can not really see what is causing the traffic. Entered another bus to CMS and that was where I parted ways with my mum. I waited for her to leave then I ordered ORide to take me straight to my office because I knew I would have a mental breakdown if I entered any more traffic. That might have been the only stress free journey I had all day. Got to the office and my white shirt was stained with so many colours that Joseph’s brothers would have shot me on sight.
Of course, I had a very unproductive day at work. My body felt sticky throughout and I kept on daydreaming about the shower I’d take when I got home. I know there are a lot of things to learn from this story but, the only thing I learned is never to enter transport with my mum. Periodt.
But Lagosians talk to me, why is the traffic worse this period? And with this NEPA strike, we are going to be moving from darkness at home to morning traffic to work stress to evening traffic and back to darkness at home. Please do not argue with anybody in public transport. We are all angrier than usual. Stay safe this period and thank you for reading.
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