A city that never sleeps; was a popular phrase, by one of my uncles, who virtually spent over twenty years as a resident in Lagos. He has retired now after 35years of dedicated civil service. A city, I always dreamt of as a kid, heard of on the News and read on the pages of the Guardian Newspaper. O yes, I was some-what privileged to read two National Newspapers daily. My thoughts of the town “Lagos” were; high rise buildings/offices, smooth roads of international standards, wonderful bridge connectivity, creative and intriguing people and lots of money. One thing never really fascinated me about “Lagos”, yes; surely, traffic, the unending traffic situation on its roads. My uncle never failed to mention his experiences when he drove in traffic.
On a daily basis, commuters are faced with the hassles and rigors associated with plying the roads to their destination. Trust me, moving slowly along a route isn’t pleasurable. Suffice it to say that, my uncle in question, never got used to the traffic “who does anyways”; but accepted it. Despite the traffic odds against me, I still nursed the idea of harvesting my crops, in the captivating town I read in the Newspapers and heard so much about-a city with prospects!
The centre of Excellence, welcomed me with the baptism of traffic; Seeing indeed became “my reality”, as pictures and stories couldn’t relate the true deal. Reality thus became my true picture.
The first three months, made me always exhibit coldness towards boarding, majority of the retarded danfo buses. It was always tough hustling for an available bus, I struggled with sitting positions. Earnestly, I virtually got stuck in the buses, throughout the journey like congealed tin milk. I believe most of us have experienced same, God help you, if your blood seizes, refusing to circulate, as you alight at your Bus-stop.
Months scaled past, productive time, was wasted in the traffic as I constantly nagged “crazy Lagos”, whenever I got caught up in traffic. My lips went; halleluyah, when the roads, were free, devoid of any form of chaos.
But as time passed, I realized that the traffic wasn’t that bad, after all I could eventually make effective use of it. Music and books came to my immediate and remote rescue and other times found a chat buddy or just engage in my dream world (sleep). Most people would always argue about the traffic. Are people really happy? Should we just be uncomfortable and nag about the hours wasted, or make positive use of it. Of course, Lagos could be crazy, traffic could be chaotic, it will never be convenient, but your time spent in traffic could be controlled and managed effectively. A week ago, I spent about four hours, to my destination, a usual trip of forty minutes. Besides, who knows, Lagos traffic may have come to stay. What we do with it makes the difference. Invest crazily and wisely with the traffic as a driver and passenger, find your spouse, business partners and other times please do patronise the Chips, Gala and Lacasera street hawkers, before Governor Ambode perfects his eradication threat. (lol.) I wonder if some of us will survive without those hawkers. They are a blessing in disguise especially when traffic suddenly affects your taste buds.(lol)
Your experience may differ, however you remain one unique Lagos road commuter. Start by drawing out a constructive solution to any available road menace.
Enjoy the city; that never sleeps.