NYSC DIARY: [Port Harcourt Girl] Port Harcourt Vs Lagos Traffic Behaviour

The office couch is my favorite place in the office. It is soft, warm and beautiful unlike the regular, hard office chair i was provided with on resumption. The office couch reminds me of my bed- my single most valuable piece of furniture.

The office couch is a comfort place and i have made it mine. I work, eat and sleep on the couch. Occasionally, someone comes to share the couch with me, i always grudgingly make space for such intruders especially those from downstairs. Though when i’m napping, i never make space for anybody.

I nap in the office almost everyday – 30 minutes power nap. My body always demands the naps. It’s my way of taking a break from real life.

Did i mention that i no longer leave home by 5:30am? . Quit doing that early this month because the traffic is crazier than ever. Best to laze around the house and be late than sit in over 2 hours traffic and still be late. Somedays it’s fun getting stuck in traffic for hours, other days it’s disgusting.

For two days prior to today, any bus i board always gets impounded by LASTMA (abeg google the meaning if you don’t understand). LASTMA officials are like mini gods on the streets of Lagos- they decide what is right or wrong and sometimes end up seizing buses for no just reason. LASTMA officials also behave like soldiers, i think there is something intoxicating in government uniforms that makes people high- good thing my Khaki hasn’t been infected.

LASTMA officials make you understand how docile Lagos people are. I’m yet to see a driver who has successfully stood up to them. In Port Harcourt, people beat up TIMARIV (equivalent of LASTMA) guys when they misbehave. Nobody cares about your government uniform. You can’t be playing god because of one yeye uniform – Port Harcourt people do not take such sh*t. You misbehave and a well dressed banker will take off his tie and teach you a lesson. Lagos people know how to make noise but ‘dem no get power’. Lagos people remind me of the empty Milo tins i and my playmates constructed into speakers.

Enough of Lagos people. Laughed my troubles away this morning on my way to work. Got a lift from a banker who stays in my estate. We talked about Lagos traffic and other useless things. The conversation flowed naturally, nobody was forming , not that he would have tried forming. He was wearing his work trousers and a black singlet because the car A.C wasn’t working and he didn’t want to sweat in his work clothes before arriving – Real G.

Let me share one of his stories with you : When he was 5, a thief broke into their house and stole the Television. Himself and his other siblings were sad ‘what a loss’. His father, a Benin businessman went to church to hold thanksgiving for the theft. ‘God took away destruction from his children by taking away their tool of distraction’ . For years, his father made them fill TV time with books. The man refused to buy a new TV even when they begged him. They then retorted to watching TV through the window of their room which overlooked onto their neighbour’s living room.

He said some days, when the window was closed, He and his siblings would lie down and listen to the TV sounds. Through the sounds they could actually explain the shows better than kids who had TV. He never watched Tom and Jerry, Willie willie and other screenplays that rocked the early 90s but he could still sing their soundtracks . I could see the sadness in his eyes when i had to alight at Lekki bus stop – i’m good company like that.


Source: Nigerian Bulletin

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