How often do you feel like you’re an extra in an old 007 movie? Ok, maybe not so dramatic but a little something close.
You’re walking along on your own minding your business, earphones in your ear, a lazy spring in your step. It’s 5:30am and you’re on your way to work. It’s going to be a good day, or so you’re hoping.
You’ve walked a little ways from your house heading for the bus stop. An ‘okada’ rides by, slowly. It’s annoying ‘cos you’re trying to cross the road. The rider stalls and looks toward your direction. They’re three on the bike.
You hiss and motion with your hand for them to get a move on. They didn’t see that though, it’s dark out. You finally get on your side of the road where you think you’re safe.
The ‘okada’ rolls a little distance away and then turns back. You’re not suspicious cos he’s free to go and come as many times as he wants at 5:30am on a wet Thursday morning with no potential customers on the road for all you care. This is Lagos.
There’s an Alfa (Muslim cleric) walking beside you a little ways ahead.
There’s a young man behind you, obviously going to work like you are.
The guys on the ‘okada’ roll past you a little, then all of a sudden jump down and tackle the guy behind you, pointing some weapon or the other at him. He screams “Wait, please wait”, his hands outstretched to defend himself.
You hear no more. Next thing you know you’re legging it away from the scene as fast as you can. You’re not an athlete or anything. You hate running. You get this crazy knot in your midriff when you sprint but now you’re running crazily down the road, not breathing a word, just huffing and panting.
You look around you mid-sprint, holy smokes! Alfa is scampering off faster than his age coulda carried him. His white robe gathered waist level, his ankle length trousers look like they came customized for such an encounter.
You finally get to the bus stop in one piece, your precious bag tucked under your arm.
You swear under your breath never to drape it over your shoulders anymore, under your arm then under a jacket seem more like it.
You imagine a total stranger rummaging through your stuff hiding away in some dark spot; he’ll take your phone and toss your diary, empty your purse and discard your complementary cards (there goes networking!). You imagine the stress of getting all that back, several trips to the bank to replace your ATMs. ATM ke? Good riddance jo! After losing a whole months pay to e-fraudsters, you might as well keep your money the good old way. Under your bloody mattress, if you’ll excuse my French.
Cut! Snap out of it.
You still have your bag, so Praise be to God.
Good near robbery experience, you say.
Ok, so your 5:30am trips to the bus stop may not cease anytime soon but you’ll fend off any crazy, eye twitching, nostril flaring and angular jawed bandit with your pen- sized torch light, your firmly clenched fists and your face tightened up in an ugly scowl with your upper teeth ferociously gripping your lower lip (get the picture?).
Hope that keeps you safe.
Better option? Get your sweet mama to ‘escort’ you to the bus stop. Hopefully they’ll respect some gray hair (make sure she’s not wearing a scarf or anything). lol
Best option? Ps. 91, Works every time.
And oh! I forgot to tell you, you are ROY.