Before you set out on a journey in Lagos, you must consider a couple of things. You must know (if you don’t already know), that you CANNOT take the estimated ETA on Google maps seriously. What does the satellite know? What do the Google people know about the mood of Danfo drivers that day? What do they know about the learners who won’t put the L sign on their vehicles? What do they know about those who have done blood covenant not to use their trafficators? What do they know about the bus that would suddenly cough and stop on the road?
So, say you wake up at 7am on a beautiful day (the day the Lord has made), and you check your itinerary and see that you have to be at so-and-so place by 10:30am. Guess what? You should start panicking.
You have only 3hours30 minutes to get to a place where Google maps says takes only about 50 minutes to get to.
Let me repeat it: you should start panicking! Do not, say ‘last last, I’ll spend one extra hour on road, so I have 1 hour and some minutes to get ready.
Because (let me ask you), have you considered:
1. The number of times your bus driver would stop to fill his petrol tank with fuel sucked from a dirty yellow keg through a dirty brown hose?
2. The number of times your bus driver would stop to pick and drop people?
3. How many okada men would try to commit suicide by swerving around thoughtlessly?
4. How many road blocks you would meet because a driver would choose to pick up (or drop) a passenger at the centre of the road?
5. If customs officers would stop your commercial bus (traveling within a local government)?
6. If your driver would decide to stop abruptly, jump down from the bus and run off play the lotto because he just thought of a lucky number. (for real, this has happened to me before)
7. The number of those crazy N.U.R.T.W moments you’ll have?
8. If your driver would hit a private car containing people who are not ‘nonsense-takers’?
9. If the police would arrest your driver?
10. If LASTMA would jump into your driver’s seat and purport to cart all of you to their… station?
11. The amount of times your driver would slow down and shout ‘ashawo!’, ‘ode!’ to a fellow road user?
12. Have you considered that you’re in Lagos?
P.S. Oh, and are you laughing at my caution-sermon because I sound like a bus-hopper? Like someone who does not drive around or have a driver? Or like someone who does not Uber?
Well, guess what? Almost everything the Danfo drivers do affects everyone on the road…not just in their bus. That’s the sui generis nature of the transport system in Lagos state.
P.P.S. Oh, and are you still laughing because you live after the Third Mainland Bridge and you really don’t understand this kind of broke-ass speech?
Yeah, well, keep laughing you entitled little twat!
P.P.P.S. (P.S. means ‘Post Script’.)