A Lagos Experience

“Final Bus-stop everybody”
The untypical promptness that greeted the pace at which passengers dropped off the bus at the sound of the conductor’s announcement could only mean a thing, it was the last bus stop indeed, and what choice do I have?
It wasn’t my first time in Lagos, neither was it my first time in Ikeja. I have worked for six months at a factory off Toyin Street in this popular capital city, and one good thing about this job wasthat it kept me within the four walls of the factory almost every day.
The idleness that defined me onthis special day brought me a different assignment, one that would take me out of my fortress. My boss needed two plastic chairs for his office, and my confidence was my let down, he just assumed I was a Lagos boy who could easily find his way around and to keep my pride, I accepted the challenge with no complaint, after all, it is Lagos, and I work there!
Getting to Oshodi posed no challenge, an Okada from the office took me straight to “under bridge” from which I got a bus to my destination. The walk around the market wasn’t really different from my usual Bodija Market’s experience in Ibadan, and like Segun a coworker would say, it was a piece of cake.
The meandering that engulfed my movement around from one end of the market to the other cost me my entry point, and when I became aware of it, I was in the middle of nowhereleft with only a way out, to ask.
I have heard stories about Lagos, I have heard about people who asked and were shown the wrong way, I was scared of experiencing the same, I vowed not to.
“Whosoever I would ask must be formally dressed, and look responsible” I was pleased with my decision and waitedfor this perfect gentleman, the one round peg in my round profile. Fortunately, it didn’t take long before he showed up. His blue shirt, black tie, black shoes and a pair of black trouser gave him up, he must be a Banker, I concluded. “Excuse me sir, please where can I get a bus to Ikeja?” with a response that accentuated his tiredness “you see that main road up there, take a long walk northwards, cross to the other side and there you go, your bus should be waiting” the confidence hisanswercarried could be held, I couldn’t have doubted it. With a “thank you” which went simultaneously with lifting the chairs from the ground, I took the long walk. Everything about the description was perfect to the car park, and there the buses were, waiting as he said, only they weren’t waiting for me, they weren’t going to Ikeja, they were going to Sango Otta.
“I should have known, he was too tired to be sincere, I should have known he just wanted to get rid of me ……” I kept blaming myself; I had vowed this would never happen to me, I couldn’t just accept it just did. It was already 6pm, and nothing was forthcoming, it was obvious I was either running out of luck, or luck was running out of me, I had to get to Ikeja.
I took another courage, approached a woman, an aged woman selling fried plantain by the roadside, she however made it obvious my words were inaudible as she kept asking me to shift for her customers to see her regardless of whatever I was saying. If I was going to get anything out of her, I knew I hadto do one thing, “buy”. My payment for the plantain brought my answer, I didn’t have to ask again, she heard me from the blast, free services aren’t just her strength.
Her answer wasn’t just perfect, it was beyond it. From afar I couldhear the sound of, “Ikeja! Ikeja!!” reverberating, I knew I was home.
The journey back to Ikeja wasn’t special; just the usual, it was the announcement from the conductor that brought me back to reality.
“Final Bus-stop everybody”
The untypical promptness that greeted the pace at which passengers dropped off the bus at the sound of the conductor’s announcement could only mean a thing, it was the last bus stop indeed, I looked around, no sign of “under bridge”, nothing close to where I have been, Iknew it was Ikeja, but where? And what choice do I have but to get down with the people too.
What to do was however not a problem, it is Ikeja, the city where every street is named; I can’t be stranded here, Just an Okada, and I‘m home. “Straight to Owodunni, off Toyin Street” I said almost as the Okada man parked in front of me. Confidence is the key; I have learnt to always keep my ignorance away from an Okada man. “500 naira sir” I laughed, “you think I don’t know where I am going, 300 naira last of you can leave?” with no argument, he took his money right before departure on account that he needed to change the currency. Then we moved.Almost immediately, we were in front of the office, I was stunned, I knew I had been fooled, I looked at the Okada man but he wasn’t laughing just starring, so I walked away.
It was the following daywhen I decided to take a stroll with Segun that I realized he knew I didn’t know where I was going from the start, he allowed me to fool myself, just to milk me.I told him I was going off Toyin Street when I was actually off Toyin Street.



17 thoughts on “A Lagos Experience” by Daniels Adeoye (@stradol)

  1. Okay, sumptuous introduction. But I think there’s something wrong with this tale. May be it was rushed. May be wrong choice & twist of words, may be even repitition. What I’m saying is, this story, giving its plot and theme, can read much better. In your last few sentences, though MC was talking about the bike man, it seemed he was talking about Segun. May be the tale needs stronger graphical details, may be that. Good job, cheers.

  2. This needs work. It needs a major editing. I get your drift, the tale, but it wasn’t well presented.

    Your dialogues weren’t spaced, and it made the whole story tight and clumsy.

    Some words we fused together as one ( that’s probably due to posting error sha)

    The punctuations too.

    You didn’t need to repeat the introduction again….

    Then your tense wasn’t consistent…..

    But all that been said, I must commend you. You tried. Writing isn’t too easy like that, but you gave it a good shot. You will get better with time… I see it. And don’t be annoyed for my choice of words, I just had to be frank.

    Thumbs up

    *KG*

  3. Copy and paste sometimes muddle up words. Nice story, needed minor editing. As a Lagos boy myself, I can relate.

  4. I had to view your previous posts before making this comment.

    Guess this is your first post “in fiction”. Just go with the suggestions above. It’ll help you.

    You sabi write.

  5. Kodeya gave you good tip offs as to what went wrong. You will write better next time., I trust.
    Keep writing.
    Well done, stradol.

  6. Refer to above comments and suggestions. There’s really no need for me to over-flog the matter…
    You can actually do better, ok?

  7. It’s easy to relate with because it happens to many people.
    Take note of those corrections sha.
    Well done.

  8. hmmm…what can I say stradol?….cool…but give paragraphs next time it makes the reading less boring….well done.

  9. nice work and a little touch will not make it bad

  10. Really, I can relate… Happens to me a lot… There’s so many Ikeja… National Ikeja, Ikeja Underbrigde , Ikeja along, General Ikeja, Ikeja this, Ikeja that,

  11. Ikeja inside, Ikeja GRA, Ikeja garage…

  12. Nice Story, looks like it was rushed though,some words weren’t spaced e.g “onthis” and “hisanswercarried”.

  13. Poor guy, got a welcome to Lagos baptism…

  14. Hehehe…I enjoyed the descriptions and how it ended. I could picture the MC hunching over the bike man, asserting his knowledge. Alas.

    Nice one. Keep improving your art, as the comments above also encourage.

  15. alright, points noted, thanks

  16. I can relate…I’m from ibadan and don’t know anywhere in Lagos..

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