Tag Archives: traffic

Lagos madness

It was a Friday. A family event was taking place that evening. I asked for permission to close an hour earlier to be able to participate in the event. 5:00pm, I drove out of my office on Awolowo road, Ikoyi. I should be home in two hours, I said to myself.

The traffic on third mainland bridge snaked all the way from the beginning to the tail end and I began to wonder if I would still make the journey in two hours. 7:00pm, I arrived at Bolade in Oshodi. I did a mental calculation. In an hour, I should get to Iyana-Ipaja.

8:00pm, I was still at Bolade. 9:00pm came and met me right on the same spot at Bolade, Oshodi. It had rained earlier that day and for those who understand Lagos; rain and Lagos roads are like sworn enemies. I was extremely tired and my feet were hurting. Driving a manual car in traffic a’int attractive. Movement was at snail speed and I kept switching off and switching on the engine to ease the stress on my feet.

In my tired state and my feet on the brake pedal, I lost traction and bumped into the car ahead of me. Oh Lord, not now; I thought. A man stepped out of the car. He looked at me and bent to look at his bumper. I tried to signal an apology to him but the man just turned and went back to sit in his car. I guess he was too tired to get into an argument. I immediately switched off the engine to avoid a recurrence.

“Hello ma’am, you look extremely tired. Can I join you and keep you company?” A guy who had been standing at the bus-stop with other passengers as they awaited a bus asked. I looked at him; a total stranger but at that point I needed company to stay awake.

I unlocked the passenger door and he eased into the car. He introduced himself and started talking about the traffic situation and various issues. I listened and his conversation kept me awake.

At about 10:30pm, some army men emerged from God knows where and decided to help our situation. They began to pass traffic and as we moved forward, we realized that some cars going towards Oshodi had decided to face oncoming traffic; thereby causing the total lock down.

As usual in Lagos traffic, immediately the army men passed their vehicle out of the traffic, they zoomed off leaving the rest of us to our fate. Moving ahead became a survival of the fittest game. Thankfully, I scaled through without a scratch. I got to the GRA Ikeja junction and we saw traffic still ahead of us. At this time of the night, I thought as I shook my head. I wondered if I should go ahead or make a detour. My new found friend asked what my intention was. After 3 hours on one spot, I was not ready for another long wait.

I turned into GRA Ikeja and manuveured my way through to Oba Akran through Mobolaji Bank Anthony way. It was a smooth drive and I was glad I took that decision. Driving out of Oba Akran, I decided to pass the inner Dopemu road parallel to the Lagos-Abeokuta express way. As we went on, we could see the tail lights of cars in slow movement on the express way. I smiled as I congratulated myself on the smart move. I dropped off my new found friend at his bus-stop which was on my way home and he was full of thanks. I was more thankful because his conversation actually helped me stay awake on the steering.

I arrived home at a quarter to midnight. The celebrator for whom I had closed from the office one hour earlier was already sleeping peacefully in bed.

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Photo Credit: http://www.ABC7.com

The Search

She walked into the premises where the construction of a massive building was taking place. She looked around and saw some of the construction workers passing by her with bowls of cement on their heads. They all looked dusty and their feet were caked with a mix of sand and cement. She asked where she could meet with the site manager and she was directed to his office. The office was simply furnished and the man sitting behind the desk welcomed her with a smile.

“Good afternoon sir.” She greeted.

“Good afternoon. How may I help you?”

“I want to join the workers on the site.” She said.

The man gave her a confused look. She did not look like one who could work on a construction site. She had a small stature and he figured she would not be strong enough for the tedious job.

“Why do you want to work here?” He decided to ask.

“Because I need a job. I am tired of sitting at home doing nothing.”

“But I doubt you can handle the stress of working on a construction site.”

“Please, I will do anything assigned to me. I just want to earn a living.” She pleaded.

“I’m sorry but I can’t.” He said. “I would have loved to help you; maybe with an office job but I really don’t have one to offer you now.”

She had left home with raised hopes. She had gone to the site with a mission – to get a job. She had heard that construction workers got paid daily and she had been ready to get her hands dirty to earn a living. But the man before her had dashed her hopes and she burst into tears.

“Please understand.” The man said; shocked at her tears.

 

She was still seated before him when they heard a knock on the door and a lady walked in. The lady had come to visit a friend in the vicinity and had decided to check on the site manager who was her friend. She noticed the lady who was crying and wondered what was amiss. The lady tried to compose herself as she looked away from the stare of the intruder.

“Is there a problem?” The site manager’s friend asked.

The lady looked up on hearing the voice of the site manager’s friend. Surprise registered on the face of the site manager’s friend as they looked at each other. “Sis, what are you doing here?” She asked the lady seated before her.

“She came to ask for a job on the site.” The site manager responded.

The site manager’s friend looked from her friend to the lady seated before her in confusion. “You are a graduate; why will you want to work here?”

The site manager’s jaw dropped. “A graduate?” He asked in astonishment.

The lady seated simply nodded.

“She is my friend.” The site manager’s friend said to him.

“Hmm…” The site manager sighed. “I really wish I could help.”

The lady stood up and wiped her tears. “Thank you sir.” She said to the site manager.

The site manager’s friend moved close to her friend and hugged her. “It will be okay sis. You can’t do this job under the heat and heavy weights. You may even breakdown.”

The lady nodded and smiled sadly.

 

As she got home that evening, she met a letter inviting her to a multi-national organization the next day for a chat. She could hardly sleep that night. She thought about what to wear to appear presentable. She eventually settled for an old skirt suit she had kept for occasions like this.

She left home early enough the next day, so as not to be caught in traffic. She got to the organization way before her appointment and waited in the lobby as directed by the receptionist.

An hour later, she walked out of the organization with an instruction to resume work in one of the branches of the organization the next day as a contract staff. As she sat in the public bus taking her back home, her eyes welled up with tears; but this time they were tears of joy

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Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com