I have suffered…not your regular “Nigerian” suffering. No. This is the one that has me groaning.
On a Tuesday, I closed from work but just could not find the courage to drag my butt to the door and go and participate in the usual worker’s lust to get home quickly and in a piece, as if my mind was given a memo of events that it failed to communicate to my conscious awareness.
At 6:15 I set out. The first of the mis-ventures was when a guy drew out a cutlass to scare the Keke-na-pep driver carrying me. I looked up and wished I had a gun or was some force man who had liberty(Nigerian liberty o.) But no! OYO was my case and I later realized it was just a joke.
I got to the bus station at Barracks and joined the passengers to hustle for change(trust our Passenger callers, they never have change!) I settled mine and quietly brought out my phone to continue my newly discovered book-“Woman in White.”
The dudes beside me suddenly decide they want to alight from the vehicle and I watched humanity and their doings amused. I could not really be bothered, I was too tired. We found new passengers and the bus was on its way. Immediately we got to the bridge linking Ojuelegba with Ikorodu road, kasala burst!
I was forced to look up from my novel and sigh. The vehicle’s STEERING purportedly fell off. The passengers were furious. Oh! it was a show in the middle of the express. Getting down was something. To stay on the bus was another thing. As passengers tried to cross to safety, an old woman(passenger) was hit…long story.
Still, the driver refused to settle the passengers in the midst of the whole trouble. We finally begged some of the guys to help the old Driver push the vehicle off the road to safety which they agreed to do. After getting the bus to safety, the driver could not give us our fares back. Why? the Agbero’s that owned the park had taken a substantial part of the money. This one na double wahala for deadi body o. At 8 in the night.
Some guys forcefully get their fare back and when the remaining passengers insisted on getting their fares too, the Baba had 20 naira left and no money for 9 of us remaining. Na so I dey look. January ending ooo! January! make person come dey follow me play with money! As if that was not enough, I had a new friend who had attached herself to me simply because we exchanged money on the bus to get change. Me, loner…I don enter am.
The thing I noticed is that most people enjoy others thinking for them. I thoughtlessly fell in with that crowd on this night. I knew what to do even if i wanted to leave the fare with the driver. I would just walk back to Ojuelegba and take another bus, shikena. This night, it was as if the spirit of “mass” was around and I submitted to other’s ideas without objection or stopping to process.
It was later I realized that I had been made to spend more because I followed the mass. I not only paid more, I also realized the group leader did not even have as much accurate info as she claimed. Chai! I have suffered. I still cannot say what happened but I know I got home having learned my lesson.
And then there was the pregnant lady who lost her phones and was stranded with the rest of us at that time of the day with no means to reach home. We became a team, suffering had made us bond and together we went looking for another bus. I paid afresh and watched the new driver also claim not to have change. As if I had not had it to here! Now, I have to look for something to buy just so others can get their change too. January ending oooo! Chei!
I finally get home and realized I had not the strength to utter jack to anyone…I was that tired and still groaning about the loss of my cash and consciously being in charge of “MY” own affairs. Alas for people who do not have this luxury!
(People who keep an everyday journal are to be celebrated oooo. This is tiring.)