My Public Transport Diaries: Episode 2
P A S S E N G E R S
or should I just say fellow passengers? ?They can either be your headache, worst day mare or best travel buddy throughout the journey period or beyond! Yea, I’ve met some of the people I travelled with again when I never thought I could even see them again.
There are different types of Nigerian passengers’ o! Today is for those ones that can sing ehn that you’ll begin to wonder if they ever made it to The Voice Nigeria audition. I had quite a little pet peeve until I started experiencing the Nigerian transport system and then I realized there were more pet peeves I was yet to discover. . .
I remember when I was travelling back to Kebbi in April, there was this sister that was sitting beside me in the second row (I couldn’t make it to the back seat this time but the middle row wasn’t that bad because it was a coalition of slim people – so there was kinda a little space for everyone to breathe). It was a Sienna and our driver was the most rugged driver I’ve ever seen – that man can drive some nonsense and had to fix his car like three times during the journey. . . Nigerian drivers can just nauseate someone especially Yoruba drivers (I’m Yoruba so I know what I’m saying)
I remember one particular early momo in Ibadan (the morning of the previous night I had passed at Ojo Garage), there were all these buses that do taxi igboro entering and calling on passengers who were off to the places they were headed. So this one was Mokola around past 6 in the morning; I dropped my luggage at the back of the bus and then I sat. . . do you know we haven’t walked 15 minutes when the bus’ gear started having epileptic seizures and before we could even say jack robinson, the exhaust pipe was on another level and you know that thing that smells around the steering part like a particular belt has cut off, that was what we were dealing with throughout the journey except I almost forgot to mention the part where the conductor (imagine the nonsense, bus wey no get life, dey get conductor) had to push the bus around that UCH side when the driver dropped off a woman who had just gone to the bakery to collect fresh bread and I was like what a wawu! How can someone put a car/bus on the road knowing fully well that the bus is not okay. . . as in it’s just annoying the kind of god-factor Nigeria drivers have given themselves putting passengers life at risk and not valuing it; they won’t even apologize (that’s the annoying part)
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Now let’s assume that was Ibadan – within igboro Ibadan but na so e dey start na! The journey of Ibadan to Kebbi is almost 20 hours if not more than and if a driver could afford to put a car he knows was not in a good condition on the road for that kind of long journey, believe me; he has been practicing it when the journey was within a town! But that thing is sad though – sometimes I believe as Nigerians, we tend to give drivers too much power when they shouldn’t have none. . .
Anyways to passenger story – so I was sitting beside this sister (she was sitting by the door on the right and I was right beside her); at a point in the journey we had to swap sitting positions because I was on (one thing I hate to be doing while traveling) and I needed the fresh air coming directly into my nostrils and my face. So what was unique about this sister? First, I don’t know her name – how many of you knows passengers names unless . . . I donno.
Second, she plugged her ear and was listening to songs since we left Ojo and got to Jebba and she probably would have continued till we reach Kebbi (anyways she did but not with the same tempo she started with) I was so uncomfortable with it from the moment she started and no, I wasn’t irritated because I was on ‘cause I wasn’t at that moment until we entered Mokwa. . . When we got to Jebba, I was caught in between telling the sister how I felt about her music thang and not wanting to be rude or intrusive but really, there was nothing intrusive about inconveniences in a public bus. . . So I started meditating in my spirit like I would try to construct what to say to her. . . hmm, I haven’t even told you what the problem was.
See ehn, if some musicians have spirits that walks around where people are singing their songs, they’ll be giving some people hard knocks like if na so I sing am, people for like am. . . especially all those The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran song. . . o ma ndun mi gan!
In case you don’t know, this is something I learnt very early and probably a common sense thing – some people don’t know it, when your ears are plugged, don’t sing out! Number one, you’ll be singing rubbish (not lyrics this time but bad sounds because you can’t hear you technically and others can and ear drums can be very hostile to nonsense). Two, if you know you’re like me who can’t resist singing along, humming or muttering some of those lyrics, plug one ear so you can ‘musically’ hear yourself and know you’re not putting others at risk – sound wise and lyrics wise because there might be someone around who knows that song and if I’m around you and you’re singing nonsense (like you have remixed a song, I can cough o or be doing hmm if I know I can’t correct you because I don’t know you!)
So, what the sister was doing was that she had her ears plugged and was singing – she had no control over her pitch, volume etc and nobody could talk but hey, she was sitting right beside me and my right ear was directly proportional to left ear and I did hold it from Ibadan to Jebba, mehn! You gotta give it to me if you know how far that journey is – so when we got to Jebba, I had to tap her and then I said to her, try and use just one ear piece, don’t plug the two. . . then she was like ‘I was singing aloud?’ I said, ‘quite aloud’ then she smiled, removed it and continued her thing till the battery of that infinix zero probably went off (iz nuh infinix zero sha; I just remembered that phone is a pain in the ass). Imagine if I had probably tapped her and spat out the words harshly, she probably might not have even answered me – believe me, one of the places that makes you realize you’re not the only one that has skuri and maybe you don’t have sef – it can gift one is public transport. . .
Lastly, always speak up – if you’re having problems with the driver’s speed, tell him to do it kandakanda like someone said to the driver when I was returning to Kebbi from Abuja two weeks ago that ‘driver, small small o, I never marry o!’ everybody laughed but that’s the truth – indirectly, maybe driver is tired of seeing his loved ones but him never get wife talkless of children and if a fellow passenger is making your journey a little bit of uncomfortable, speak out! Y’all were charged the same amount – you don’t have to be unnecessarily cute; there is no wisdom in that – made me remember the story of some passengers that were spraying perfume inside public car (story for another day)
Anyways, dear readers, if you must plug your ears, let your mind sing along – you can try it at home, plug your ears and start singing where your sisters are or friends and watch their reactions. Finally, if you must sing along with your mouth, plug just one ear!
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