Seeing Lagos Through The Eyes Of A Newbie
I have been away here for an incredible long time. I know 😢, I have also missed having a safe space to let out everything.
So, I made it to Lagos, I have been here for three weeks and some days and my first introduction to Lagos was a loud driver who was angry by default.
Let’s rewind, to how my road trip began. I had to leave the city of uyo. The bus ride was great, except having to experience terrible service from the guy who sold the ticket to having to struggle with my luggage with no help from the bus attendents. For a government owned park, the service was abysmally poor.
I only talked about uyo so I can insert this picture I took, I loved the skies here 😂
Getting home, my grandma couldn’t recognize me because I cut my hair. Everyone was excited to see me, I have been away for so long, even my younger brother got me abacha, 😂 which was really sweet of him.
My next road trip was enroute to Port Harcourt, in a bus filled with mothers talking about their babies, what milk they are giving them and marriage. Listening to them overwhelmed me and made the thought of motherhood beautiful and scary to me.
So back to Lagos, my road trip was pretty long, uneventful at some point, the experieince was new too and I spent most of my time finishing up a book I have been reading for months, (by the way, I still haven’t finished reading this book).
When I arrived Lagos, I met head long with chaos, noise intertwined with the blaring of car horns, molue buses everywhere and so much people in one place. Until Lagos, I never actually figured that so many people could be in one place at the same time, with every one all up in your face.
My first contact with madness was having to struggle with others to get into a bus or seeing a female corper cry after her phone got stolen or reminding a driver a second time about where I was going to stop because I didn’t know the way and getting shouted at, that he has heard me already, like why you so mad bro?
I still think Lagos is overrated. Apparently everyone here is mad, their minds are malfunctioning from endless hours spent in traffic, enduring bad roads and having to wake up two hours before their work time to make it to work in time. Everyone is basically sleep deprived zombies.
Oshodi night market. So much energy here!
But here’s what I find interesting about Lagos, everyone is minding their business and focused on the hustle. You can literally do whatever you want to and nobody gives a hoot about it. But there’s a downside to this, it has made Lagosians less empathetic to others, like someone could be dying on the road and people will walk over the person like nothing abnormal is going on. Everyone is so fixated on themselves.
I have gotten lost a couple of times or gotten wrong directions, I have also been thankful for days I didn’t have to sit close to a driver who is angry by 6am already. The best part are the nice bike men, on my first night, one told me welcome to Lagos and thrilled me with how there was so much money to be made in Lagos and how you would spend all of it in Lagos too, he complained about the roads, the cost of house rents and how Lagos was a scam.
My biggest shock came when I got into a bus and found a stool (the kind you use in a kitchen), in place of a front seat. The molue buses are like a death trap, they are so noisy and rattling like the bolts have come undone. My second shock was having to struggle to get into a bus and then the guy next to me was bleeding from his hand after struggling to get in too. Nobody deserves to live that way, I thought. Most of this molue buses have doors that don’t open from the outside, I remember trying to get off one and breaking a finger nail, or sitting in the front seat and the door suddenly opening by itself while the driver was driving or the time that I was alighting from a bus and the driver drove off so quick that I almost fell down into muddy streets.
Yup, I actually broke a finger nail 😪😫
And OMG, Yoruba women are so loud, you can’t get into a bus without outbursts of Yoruba being tossed around. The average person speaks Yoruba and expects you to understand. Most drivers don’t even know the routes they take. Also, I never knew a “maruwa” was the same thing as a “keke”. And the food is incredibly cheap, I was amazed, I once got akara for 10 naira each. The Yoruba are very expressive people, if they are sad, angry or happy, they express it by loud talking and gesticulating. There’s less room to actually calm down 😂. Don’t ever tell a Yoruba person to calm down, they will just explode on you, well the average Yoruba.
My first sunset experience in Lasgidi ♥
I get mad when people talk about how Lagos is the place for hustling. Like how do people get used to and comfortable with suffering? People are actually suffering under the disguise of hustling. Imagine waking up by 5:30am for work and returning by 10pm and having to barely sleep to wake up again by 5:30am. You are sleep deprived, unproductive and you have to deal with traffic. It’s tough on people who have to leave the mainland for the island every day. It’s sad that a lot of people work their asses off just to one day leave the mainland to the island. That’s not how a normal human being should thrive.
While I’m settling to life here, I will be sharing my experiences often, blowing off steam from all this madness. I still love bits of Lagos. I have missed it here and more so missed you guys more.