In recent times, road and travel specialists have extensively studied the possible causes of Nigeria’s most densely populated city and major commercial hub, the Lagos Metropolis. The results of this study have proved inconclusive, as researchers have tried to come up with the ultimate water-tight reason for Lagos traffic. Is it the Danfo buses? The number of cars? Are there witches and wizards stationed on the highway to ensure that you never get home early? That’s a discourse for another day.
Not to worry, you have a rare opportunity of being one step ahead and increasing your life expectancy as a resident of West Africa’s busiest city. Scroll down, and learn how to survive the hours laden with exhaust fumes, uncouth bus conductors, and vehicles that take thirty minutes to move three steps forward (no, this is not an exaggeration).
First thing to note is the need to wear light clothing. We live in the tropics with unpredictable degrees of heat, and what that means is that if you’re not in an air-conditioned automobile, you are at the risk of dehydration. Wearing clothes made purely out of cotton helps your chances by a little stretch.
A school of thought is of the view that Nigerians who wear fabric made out of wool in a climate such as ours are capable of mass murder.
If you’re much of a reader and given to long text, you could find interesting blogs to read as a means of passing the time. Use the minutes (or hours, depending on how heavy the gridlock is) to surf websites like Medium, The Naked Convos and Nairaland, and (hopefully) you could learn a thing or two while you’re stuck in traffic. If you’re into humorous posts and threads, between Zikoko, Joro’s mail box, and Twitter threads you’ll surely come across something that floats your boat.
More importantly (at least for the sake of your personal comfort), if you’re a commuter, sit near the window, that way you can cushion the effect of halitosis and offensive odour from sweaty bodies. It’s not advisable to sit closest to the door, which translates to frequently adjusting yourself every time passengers have to hop off the bus. Sitting close to the window also affords you the opportunity to purchase edible items from roadside hawkers more easily. However, on no account do you make payments before the roadside vendor has given you “change”.
If you are a vehicle owner and you are going to have your hands on the steering wheel for the duration of the trip, tune in to music-heavy radio stations. Cool FM 96.9, Sound City FM 98.5 and The Beat 99.9 FM revel in playing the latest tracks, so they are your best bet. If you’re a commuter, plug in your headphones and listen to a preset playlist. It could be a blend of Afro pop, EDM and trap music. You need headphones with proper bass, not those types that actually reduce the quality of the sound. A quality pair of headphones is a priority for a commuter.
Beyond all these, have a bottle of water with you, so you don’t get dehydrated. Don’t forget to look out for the Gala sausage roll to, you will need it. By the way, the rumours that Gala and the La Casera beverage drink go hand in hand are true, in fact it is in the constitution.
Photo Credit: topsimages.com
If you are a commuter, find the cutest girl/guy on the bus and strike up a conversation. It could be about anything, ranging from Sigmund Freud’s theory of sexual behavior to which part of the toothpaste tube (middle or bottom) should be pressed. Hopefully, she doesn’t alight too early. If she does alight early, move on to the next good-looking individual, company is essential when the cars won’t move as quickly as they should.
Ultimately, please don’t fall asleep in the bus (if you are a commuter). I know it’s easy to cave in to fatigue after a long day, but yielding to slumber is not a wise line of action to take when navigating the Centre of Excellence. Not only could all your valuables be stolen, you could also miss your bus stop: Imagine boarding a bus heading to Yaba and then waking up at Ikorodu bus stop. There are absolutely no words in the English Language that would do justice to your likely reaction. Shine your eyes, THIS IS LAGOS!