The Adult Child's Struggle with Lagos Traffic

I commute to work via public transportation. Keke to be precise. I am not allowed to stick my head out and shout "weeeeeeeee" as we are driving  no matter how badly I want to so I settle for just sticking a hand out when nobody's looking and when there are no Okadas whizzing by to come and collect that hand. Keke rides are fun. The bumpier the ride, the "funner"! Nobody offers to lap me in a Keke like they used to when I took the bus (danfo). They might squish me in the middle but that's just because I am little. They are protecting me so that I do not fall off the open side.

Driving in Lagos is very scary for this Adult Child. I got pulled over by a Road Safety Official once because I had taken my seatbelt off for a few seconds. You see, I had driven myself unto a very narrow street and I was trying to do a U turn. I took off my seat belt so that I could prop myself up on my seat and see properly for the Adult Child is short. Getting frustrated, nearing tears and sweating profusely as I tried to turn my car in the opposite direction, I discovered an exit. I drove out sharply! ALAS, I drove straight into the arms of this red cap wearing Uncle.

Uncle said "Park this way!". I did. Uncle asked me for the particulars of the car. I am told those are kept in the pigeonhole, you know...your car closet. He said they were expired. I said "No way!!! That happens???" Then Uncle asked me for my driver's license. "Hummm! Haaaam! Wawu!" I exclaimed. "I think it is at home. In our other car Sir!". "You see Sir, this is not my car. My Daddy sent me to buy something down there please, He now said that I should use this his office car because it is having fuel. You know there is fuel crisis now so the other car is not having fuel". "My house is just down there" I pointed. Uncle did not look. "So I just drove this car to quickly come and buy the something". Uncle then asked me why I wasn't wearing my seatbelt. I responded " Thank you very much for that question Sir. You see that street in our back, over there. That street is a very tight spot please. So I now found myself stuck in that place. I now had to remove my seatbelt to see very well, to be able to manoeuvre myself out of that place. As I just drove out, I now jammed you. You can even see that this line on my chest is wet, because I was sweating and it is the belt that now designed this line." Uncle said that I would need to come to his office to explain all this and collect a fine.  My voice became very deep and shaky. I said "Excuse me Sir, please just help me and understand what I am telling you. It is not as if I wanted to drive without my seatbelt please. It is just that unfortunate place at our back here that caused me to remove it." Uncle had me explain for 20 minutes and then looked upon my child-like face and teary eyes and said he had to talk to his boss about me and my numerous offences. I watched him walk up to his boss, then they both walked to the car. The boss asked me what the issue was and I started "Excuse me Sir, you see that street in our back over there?..." "TAKE HER TO THE OFFICE!" One tear fell. "No please, Let me explain!". "Sir! Sir! Uncle! Please I am talking to you and you are not even looking at me". I sat down in the car with my hands on my head, contemplating driving off with speed but then there was slow moving traffic..stupid Lagos traffic! I started talking to myself like I do when I am upset "And I did not even want to come to this stupid place! Is it not Daddy that said I should go and buy this something! Now these people have arrested me here now and  I only have 10 naira in my pocket.." I noticed Uncle started walking up to my car, he looked at me, smiled and waved me away, I have not driven by that road since. I wonder if he is still there. I should drive by one of these days and say hi..with my seatbelt clicked in of course.


Anonymous said...

Lol. At least you didn't get to go to their office.

The Adult Child said...

Abi? I will never go!

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