Narrow roads with potholes, ditches, and floods
Traffic jams turn a 20 minute trip into 2 hours
Petrol fumes may cause asthma attacks or vomiting.
Motorcycles on the wrong side of the road
Going the wrong way on a wide bridge
Squeezing through tiny cracks and crevices determined to get ahead of the game
Battling with mini-buses, taxis, cars, pedestrians, and street vendors for the right of way
Who will win this aggressive tug-of-war for space on a crowded street? Loud honking incessantly makes one wonder if Lagosians can even hear car horns anymore, or have they become muted, inaudible like the call for Muslims to pray
Like the background noise of conversation
Like the hum of car engines?
Who needs online shopping when there’s ‘Go Slow’ shopping?
Buy anything from phone cards to games from cups and bottled water to sausage rolls from fried plantains to cell phone accessories all while sitting in the (dis)comfort of a vehicle in traffic.
Young boys magically appear at my window
Make kissing noises to get my attention
Perhaps they think if I only saw what they had to offer I would surely buy it.
Taxi drivers want to charge me triple the price cuz [they think] I’m Oyinbo
Mini-buses triple the price cuz it’s raining
Taxi driver tries to charge more for evening traffic
Mini-bus conductor tries to increase the fare because there’s a crowd of people getting on.
In the rush to exit the mini-bus, someone sticks their hand in my friend’s purse but was unable to reach her cell phone or wallet. Luckily.
But it’s the thought that counts.
As I walk through the market something/someone tugs the bottom of my skirt
Children from Niger sent by mommy to beg on the streets because young ones elicit more sympathy.
“Sista, sista” he says grubby hands outstretched
“Aunty please” she asks with pleading eyes
My friend shooes them away and tells me NEVER to give them anything.
It’s all about that naira, that dollar, that pound
People will suck you dry if you let them.
Posted By Erica Williams
Posted Jun 17th, 2003