Have you recently heard that local slang which says, ‘I can’t come and kill myself’? I’m sure you have and that phrase is a perfect definition of my experience In Chronicles of an Abuja road user today. It’s one of those days that makes me think of going into 40 days dry fasting or just ‘gathering liver’ and visiting one ‘babalawo’ to give me the mumu button of one senator just so I can have a car of my own.
While you’re laughing at my fantasies, just hear my story then judge for yourself too.
On this faithful day, I was in high spirits as I locked my office after work. I was excited because it was the first time I was leaving the office early ( at 5:05pm) in the last three weeks. As a result of the nature of my dear 9 to 5 job, I had been leaving as late as 8pm; other times, at 9pm. I would get home at least 1 hr 30mins before midnight, exhausted and with barely enough strength left to even sort out my outfit for the next day not to talk of cooking.
So, you can imagine the joy I felt knowing that I’d have enough time to eat dinner ‘early’, create content for my blog and my YouTube channel and still have enough time to relax before going to bed.
My joy multiplied when I got to the busstop and didn’t have to wait for up to five minutes to get a cab heading towards my destination. I was so excited that I didn’t even notice that it was an elderly man who was driving the quite-rickety cab I entered.
I’m usually mindful of these details but was obviously blinded by my excitement that day ( I dislike entering their vehicles too because they drive really slowly and with too much caution….Lol. Are you like me?).
HAVE YOU READ? – Oh No! Chronicles of An Abuja Road User #1
Some other people were reluctant to enter the cab and by my female FBI intuition, I assumed it was a result of those obvious reasons that I had earlier ignored. I only remained sitted because I had entered the vehicle already and felt that it would hurt his ego and hustle-pride if I alighted just like that…..you get?
Two others decided to be nice like me and joined us, after which we had to continue the journey as the ‘agberos’ (also called touts, area boys or street urchins….depending on your location and if you decide to act like an ajebo or ajepako….. Lmao) were getting uncomfortable with ‘our’ presence.
Five minutes into the journey, another driver from the left lane shouted something that I didn’t grasp immediately until my driver muttered his thanks and looked at me. I followed his gaze; looked at him, at myself and back at him. The only thing that came to mind was that I definitely wasn’t going to touch that seatbelt, after all, he wasn’t using his. So (I shrugged), we were even.
The next thing he said was, “madam, close your door”.
“How?”, I asked.
“That your door no close well, just open am small jam am”, he replied.
“Oh, ok. Oya, slow down or park one side let me close it. No vex”.
“No need. Nothing go happen. Just open am sharp sharp, close am again”
“For this middle of express?”, I stared at the old man unbelievably. “Me, I no fit do that one o. I no go even try am”.
At this point, the other passengers at the back lent their voice to the matter and laughed at me, saying that it was a small thing oo but I “too dey fear”.
“Wait, this people are serious oo”. I wasn’t even ready to do what they wanted me to do so I just switched on my ajebo button. (you know, that moment when you suddenly start to speak Queen’s English while talking fast the way Nollywood actors do it when acting as someone who just returned from Yankee).
A MUST READ: Naija Palava – Saturday Morning Dilemma
“I’m not even gonna try it. Like……it’s risky. I don’t joke with my life please. Like seriously? We’re on a highway and you expect me to just open the door of a moving vehicle just like that? Huh….no way. Let’s just keep moving like that since you won’t stop or slow down”. I shrugged immediately while keeping and straight face.
Unfortunately for me. Or him (the driver). Nobody had time for that drama that I put up. The driver just hissed with his eyes. He made a face like he was concentrating while the others shook their heads at me. I wasn’t bothered by all that.
As soon as we go to the next traffic light around First Bank, I opened the door and shut it or openly just before the green light came up. I’m still too young to exit planet earth. Besides, this wasn’t Lagos where everything is always on the fast lane….