On my first day arriving Lagos, the first thing I learnt was that no bus is ready to stop for you, not because they don’t want to stop, but because they are always in a haste. I was forced to learn how to jump in and out.
By Sade Olakunle
In my city where I come from, it wasn’t so. The buses pack, even reverse so you can enter. Most times they clear on the service lane so you can negotiate the price, but in this very city, Lagos, the land of the rush, they don’t do that. You first of all know how to run faster than other passengers in the race to gain access to the entrance, then learn how to jump in while the vehicle is still moving.
Sharing her experience, Temitope, a friend I met at the Popular CMS bus stop who witnessed how difficult it was for me said;
“Looks like you are still ‘JJC (Johnny Just Come)’ in this city, because with the way you are doing, you may end up sleeping in this bus stop. If you want to survive in this city, you must train yourself to not just run, but to beat other passengers in the race to catch up with a moving bus and learn how to hold firmly in other not to be pushed off by other struggling passengers.
This is not just a city, this is a land of the smart and the strong. If you are weak, nobody cares about you and that is how it has been, and how we have survived many years here”
Some times I wonder why this is so, and what would actually happen if they decide to clear and let passengers enter without the stress of having to jump in while they bus is in motion. So I spoke to a driver.
“Some times we want to stop, but most times we also have things we are running away from. We run from Ageberos (Task force), we run to beat traffic which is going to make us lose money, and we also run to carry as many passengers as we can in a day before other buses carry them all. This is survival, and nobody understands it better than the drivers and the conductors”
Considering this fact, I think it is very much understandable. Lagos is a place with massive population, and with almost everyone moving at the same time with the same speed, nobody want to wait for anybody and the moment you delay, you have actually forfeited your right to someone else without even knowing.
What is your Lagos experience? Let us know below.