20 Things You Observe While Commuting In Lagos
1. To be a Danfo conductor in Lagos, you should be blessed with the talent of how to scream as many bus stops in a single breathe.
2. During rush hours, windows are also an excellent alternative for entering Danfos and Molues.
3. Agberos (touts) at the different bus stops are very literate. Because they are always writing, using coloured makers, all day long, on the body of Danfos.
4. You observe that traffic rules does not apply to the following: the Police, the Army, Government convoy, EMPTY bullion vehicles, Danfos (especially one that has as a passenger who is an official of the police, army, Man’O’War, etc.).
5. You observe a small crowd, on the street, gathered around a TV set. You inch close to find out if you are missing an important English Premiership match. Lo and behold, it is Saheed Osupa, performing at a funeral event in Ogbomosho.
6. In traffic jams, motorists deliberately avoid making eye contacts with fellow motorists so as not to be asked a traffic favour.
7. Road signs indicating “One-Way” traffic doesn’t necessarily mean it should be taken seriously, especially if you are a Danfo or Okada carrying a passenger that is a member f the armed forces.
8. Danfo drivers, their conductors and agberos communicate in a special language. In the language, Five Naira (N5) note is referred to as “Kala”, Ten Naira (N10) note is referred to as “Fiber”, Twenty Naira (N20) note is known as “Shandy”, Fifty Naira (N50) note is referred to as “Wazo”, Hundred Naira (N100) note is referred to as “Ten Fiber”.
9. There is always traffic after it stops raining in Lagos.
10. While stuck in traffic, you get approached by a street peddler. He tries to sell to you a fake Rolex at the cost of N15, 000! Further haggling, especially when the traffic gets in motion, eventually earns you the same wristwatch at N650!
11. The standing position, as opposed to sitting, is the preferred position by Danfo conductors to conduct activities inside and outside their vehicles.
12. When you are about to board a danfo, you just find yourself hesitating after the offer by the danfo conductor for you to occupy the last remaining seat in the bus after seeing the faces inside the bus. This is known as “one chance”.
13. You get into a combat with a stranger over the right to sit in the front-seat, window-side position in a danfo.
14. When stuck in traffic, you observe how hawkers and peddlers try to interest you in all manner of household commodities, from the essential to the outrightly ridiculous. e.g. bootleg DVDs, expired Gala, livestock, pirated books on esoteric subjects, counterfeit designer wristwatches, fake iPhone 6, cooking pots, etc.
15. Teenagers emotionally blackmail motorists when they jump in front of stationary cars in traffic and embark on unsolicited windscreen leaning exercise. The victims of such blackmail typically part with some money especially when they realize that other motorists, pedestrians and the entire city are watching in anticipation of an act of charity from them to the kids.
16. After you eventually get to the end of a long and agonizing traffic gridlock, you discover that nothing caused it.
17. Daily, you keep getting fresh reasons to believe that mental instability is a primary condition required for individuals to be licensed as danfo drivers.
18. The most strategic places to display and sell commodities are (i.) few inches way from major roads (ii.) on top of pedestrian bridges (iii.) inside Molues (iv.) In traffic.
19. You flag down a taxi. You inform the driver of your intended destination within the city. He then slams you with a fare that is sufficient to transport you to Accra, Ghana.
20. You observe how Agberos extort Danfo drivers and their conductors all sort of levies. For instance, “owo booking (booking fee), owo chairman (chairman’s money), owo ero (passengers fee), owo olopa (police fee), owo Lastma (Lastma fee)”, ‘owo weekend” (weekend money), ‘owo environmental (money for environmental sanitation)’, ‘owo task force (task force money), ‘owo organizing ( what is that?!),’ ‘owo traffic,’, etc.