The Lagos Logs: Buses, Bosses and Baldies

Posted on January 29 2018 , at 10:00 am
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It’s already not a good day. I have an editorial meeting by 9:00 am and right now it’s 8:30 am and I am not even a little bit closer to my office. Lagos and Monday’s traffic is literally the most ridiculous thing ever. I went to bed early last night thinking I would wake up on time to get ready for the day. I didn’t.

I posted and pressed myself out of the house by 7:45 or so thinking, “not so bad I will actually make it”. False. I had already walked down the road when I realized I had forgotten my wallet and my earpiece at home. Double disaster! I run home scurry in and out again. Now I’m speed walking. You know that thing Olivia Pope does when she’s about to go and annihilate someone. It’s something like that except I wasn’t dressed by a stylist and I’m sweating under this hot Nigerian sun. How is it even so hot already this early in the day!

I get to the bus stop. My bus doesn’t show up. Ten buses later, still no bus. “Think fast, Baba Crown, you have to think fast.” I re-strategize. Instead of waiting for the useless Opebi – Allen bus, I will just enter a bus going to Ikeja and take a Maruwa to Allen from there. An Ikeja bus finally comes and I get in. All I’m praying for is that there is no traffic. It seems my prayers will be answered until we pass Anthony bus stop. The prayer gave me Ela oju meta.

I’m looking for N50 to add to the N100 I was going to give the driver. They’ve added N50 because of traffic and now they are threatening us that if we don’t have change we should get down. I hiss inside my head with my entire body. Like joke like play, I can’t find N50. I only have N100 and N500. I’m dealing with that fact when I get a call. I get out my phone. It’s my boss.

GHEN GHEN!

“Hello Sir,” I say with my voice that I cannot hear. “Mister man, do you still work here?”. I’m listening trying to hear my heartbeat. All I hear is silence. I’m not even sure if I should answer the question or just let him cut the call. “Yes sir, I’m stuck in traffic sir.” He cuts the call.

Now I have a headache. I don’t have change but I have a headache. A typical Nigerian under Buhari. “Owo leyin!” the bus conductor shouts. “Oga, na N100 and N500 I get”. As I hear myself speaking Pidgin, I almost break out in laughter but my headache is persistent.

“What’s this Apari saying? Shey I told you if you don’t have change you should get down? N500 laro Monday, mi o raye oshi o!” Now I’m angry. Apari is Yoruba for a bald man. This conductor just hair-shamed me on a Monday morning! I’m trying to find the pidgin to return the insult back to him. It’s like everybody in this Lagos is mad! What does my baldness have to do with you overcharging me and insulting my failed hair follicles!

It’s 8:30 and it’s already not a good day. I hope this is not a sign of what the rest of the week will look like.

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