As Ness stumbled out of the white bus that had brought him from Ikidia to Lagos, he was welcomed by the noise of many transporters who were shouting desperately to convince the passengers to follow their vehicles. Ness held his luggage together and the bags clunged on him faithfully too. He was coming to Lagos for the second time, but he was coming alone for the first time. Ness didn’t need anyone one to direct him, going by the detailed note in his hand, he needed only to be very watchful and careful about the notes scribbled on the paper. He had severally been instructed to keep one thing at the back of his mind when he got to Lagos – TO BE SMART. Aunty Kemi had added with the caution that to be smart in Lagos involved not letting people observe that you were new. “If you do, you would be vulnerable to mugs who are always on the streets.” She instructed, and as Ness remembered her words, he gripped his bags tightly still and swaggered along the pedestrian lane like a long residing lagosian.
“Ojota! Ojota! Ojota!” A bus driver yelled from his yellow and black bus, the tobacco burnt teeth that opened up to Ness almost got him totally disorientated. The man’s teeth were so burnt with tobacco, that it looked hard to believe that anyone could have survived that quantity consumption. Ness half walked half ran from him to be welcomed by his disagreeable conductor. The conductor had a miserable singlet on, over a jagged black, intensely engine oil stained jeans. His mouth when he opened it against Ness, made the latter jump into his bus out of fright.
“Ojota na Four hundred” He yelled playfully at the fidgeting Ness who only smiled back regretfully. He checked his wallet after he managed to pull it out of his pocket and counted three miserable hundred Naira notes. ‘Ness, don’t be a square, you are taking this bus because you feared the conductors voice, get out now!’ Ness sliped out smartly when the conductor wlked off the bus to get another passenger