There are some things that are overrated about Lagos. Then other things that are underrated as well.
For example, many think it is difficult to jump out of a moving bus. The truth is it is not, at all. All you have to do is jump. Now what is difficult is staying alive after you jump out of a moving bus. There have been various outcomes, ranging from a twisted ankle to death. You might have to attend the Lagos Bus Conductor Training School to master the art. Moving Bus 101 is a compulsory course.
Then we have the issue of ‘change’. Many people new to Lagos treat this matter lightly. They think to themselves: the conductor will look for change. So they go out with a 1000 naira note. Well let me explain something to you. ‘Change’ is a serious matter; in fact it is as serious as global warming, even more serious. People end up with broken noses and bruised heads because of ‘change’. A man dressed in a suit might spend the better part of the early morning following a student around, because the conductor ‘married them to each other’. The man will go late to work, get sacked by his boss, who is still fuming from having to fight a conductor for change. He will later give up on life and become a conductor too. The student will go late to school, and get flogged by the teacher. He will take out the frustration of walking around begging people for change by punching the teacher. Suspension. Change of career choice. New career? Conductor. You get my point now?
Have your change before you get inside a Lagos bus. It makes for a more peaceful Lagos.
A overrated aspect of the Lagos experience is the traffic. I see you all, even the idiot writing this, acting like Lagos traffic is bad. Truth is it really is not – except you are heading to Ikotun from Cele Express by 7:30pm. 7:00pm and you might be fine. But from 7:30 pm, you might as well come down and start trekking.
Or you are on the Third Mainland Bridge from 6:00pm heading to the mainland. I would suggest you sleep in the office. This is actually what many people do. Some men go decades without seeing their wives in direct sunlight. Out by 4am, back by 11pm. Some would not even recognize their children if they ran into them on the road somewhere.
Then the way people rush in Lagos. Almost like a normal walking pace is a sin. Please ignore them; most of them spend the day walking really fast aimlessly. Walk at your own pace. And do enjoy the rest of your day.
Written by Chika Jones, tweets @chika_jones