Wednesday, February 20, 2008

on a journey in a rickety...

Some weeks ago myself and my fiancée had to travel to a neighbouring town about 25minutes away, to be able to attend to some pending issues and spend the weekend with our friends residing there.
Well, we packed the things we need and nothing much really, since we would be spending a night there, but really we all know that the overnight bag a lady will pack will equal the bag a guy will pack for 4 days out of town journey. I am not complaining that my fiancée had much to carry compared with me whose major load was my laptop!
We got to the garage (Nigerian parlance for bus point, where passengers board buses travelling to different locations); really you have no choice of which bus to board since they are all on a queue, and each bus as to wait its turn. So you the passenger would have to take the available bus, that is loading at that point, or else you wait for an unpredictable length of time.
So we boarded the available bus, the words to describe it eludes me, but all I can say is that it's lived long past its age of viability. The word rickety hardly describes it; it was a vehicle that had had its initial design altered beyond recognition, the wiring system, its ignition and engine had all being tampered with a one point or the other.
We embarked on this journey in this metal held together by unforeseen forces, and it coughed and spluttered to life. Within 4 minutes of starting the journey, the rear seats which were never part of the original design of the vehicle was filled with smoke emanating from the engine I was sitting atop in front alongside the driver and my fiancée!
As if that was not enough, the driver had to make forward jerking movements whenever we are ascending a hill all in a bid to get the vehicle to the top of the hill. All I could do was hope and pray we arrived at our destination safely. Ha! Nearly forgot to inform you, to get out of that bus you have to do it slow motion style or else your cloth will be caught on the angry looking metals sticking out of the bus frame.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Transport Billing in naija

What determines how much we pay as transport fare is unknown to me. Initially I thought it was the distance covered but alas I am confounded each time I am on a trip within or outside Lagos and the many other cities in Nigeria.
You get to the park this morning you get a bus heading to Ibadan for example, you board it for say two hundred naira, you can come back later in the day and board the same bus heading to Ibadan for twice the morning price, and the reason cannot be fathomed.
My personal experience, some few days ago I was leaving Lagos after spending a hellish 48 hours within the metropolis; really Lagos is a Pandora box. How I survived growing up within the reach of the jaws of lion called Lagos is right now beyond my comprehension. Like I was saying I got to the park and was informed the fare I would pay if I travelling to Ibadan is 400 naira, I was wondering what was happening, I moved a bit further down I got another bus saying I should pay 350, this bus I am sure won’t fly through the hold-up that is purported as the reason for the hike in transport fare. I moved further down and the further I moved away from the initial point the cheaper the fare became and I am quite certain, this other buses won’t pass through another route. I finally got a sole (privately owned cars trying to make quick money) car and I paid 200 to get myself to Ibadan!
I was so comfortable that, I got to type this in the car. Given, I have heard of many stories of how people who boarded such vehicles where robbed, killed or taken away and never found, but what do I do?
O! I was nearly forgetting to say this; there was hold-up between Lagos and Ibadan, caused by the impatince of motorist and we where in that hold up for barely 20 minuts!! So you see what I am saying.
We are simply being exploited. It’s so sad but alas what do we do?
The society is froth with all sorts of imbalances due to our greediness.