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Chima Onyewuchi: What Do You Do in Transit?

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Generally, people in Lagos spend more time in transit than any other state in the country. This is largely as a result of the traffic situation in most parts of the metropolis. The word traffic has become quite synonymous with Lagos. Most Lagosians spend a lot of time getting from point A to B as a result of this – for some, it could be as much as four hours on a daily basis.

It is worse when you live on the Island and work on the mainland and vice versa. Let us put this into perspective, imagine someone who spends an average of four hours in traffic everyday, that is 1,440 hours out of the 8,760 hours in a year – one sixth of his/her time. Some, or I would think all, of us have come to terms with this and have therefore come up with different ways to put this time spent on the road into good (and in some cases) bad use.

I have categorized these into 8 groups. They include:

The Shoppers
Raise up your hand if you have never bought or considered buying an item when transiting. Yes, this is almost impossible given the wide variety of items you can find inside the Lagos traffic. From snacks to clothing to livestock. Yes, I have seen someone selling a live goat in traffic. A friend once cracked a joke that you can actually cook a meal on the road from things you purchase in traffic. So I’m sure a lot of us can’t go through traffic without whipping out our wallets to purchase one item or the other. I even recently bought an air freshener – so I most definitely fall in this category.

The Thinkers
Again, I think I am a proud member of this category. I always see it as my own alone time, especially when driving. I see it as the perfect time to reflect on a lot of things – from how the day went to what I could have done better. Sometimes the thinking even gets extremely deep. This is, however, not advisable because you can lose concentration if you are driving or even forget your bus stop if you are in a public vehicle. So hey if you must think, please try not to get lost.

The Sleepers
Some people can’t get on a moving vehicle and not sleep off. It is like the perfect sleeping ‘medicine’. Some sleep so hard and forget where they are. Turning their seat partners to pillows, even drooling and/or snoring. Countless times I have seen people shove the person sitting next to them because he or she mistook them for a pillow. Some even sleep off when hitching a ride. I believe when you are hitching a ride with someone, it is rude to fall asleep. Even you do not gist with the person, try as much as you can to stay awake.

The Toasters
These are the ‘predators’. They get inside a vehicle, spot a fine he or she and start strategizing on how to chat her up and eventually get his/her number. Guys are the usual suspects. Some throw caution to the wind not minding that there are other people there – and start telling the babe how she is the “apple of his eyes”. Right!
A female friend mentioned that she can never answer any guy who tries to start up a conversation with her on a bus, let alone giving out her number. Anyway, salute to the toasters – your courage is on another level.
By the way, if you see any fine person on a bus and you think she is your missing rib, you can type a small note on your phone and give it to her. However, if she runs away with your phone, please don’t say I told you to do this.

The Dreamers
Very similar to the thinkers, this group of people use their time in transit to dream or fantasize about different things – from being the richest man/woman in Nigeria, to being in another country where traffic won’t be an issue. Some dream so much and start smiling. I am guilty of this sometimes.

The Planners
The planners are the most strategic of the different categories. They lay out action steps for what they want to do during the entire day or the next day. Some even make plans for the coming month, week, year, etc. For these people, the best time to strategize and plan is when in transit.

The Molesters
These are most disgusting of the bunch. These people try to get funny in public vehicles, they use ‘style’ to touch people. Let me share my personal experience. I was in a tricycle AKA “Keke NAPEP” and this woman, probably in her late 40’s or early 50’s kept bending down and touching my leg. I thought it was a mistake but she kept doing it. That is when I realized what she was doing, I glared at her and she stopped. It took a lot for me not to scream at her, I felt so violated. Another experience, I was on a bus when this young girl started raining abuses and cursing this man. The rest of us were lost so after a while we realized that young man was trying to touch the girl’s breast. To cut the long story short, he had to alight from the bus to save himself a beating. Please if you are one of these people that do this, kindly desist because it is very wrong!

The Thieves
I guess I saved the best for last, or in this case the worst for last. So many people get into public vehicles just to steal other people’s property. If you have ever stolen something from someone before, please pray for forgiveness and do not do it again – I feel like a priest right now. If you are still doing this, better stop before you get lynched.

In addition to the groups mentioned above, there are a whole lot of other things people do when transiting from point A to B like dancing, eating, etc. If I were to mention all, you will not be reading this right now because our dear Bella will never publish. Also, I am quite certain that some of us fall into more than one group. I would say I am a thinker, planner and an occasional shopper. So where do you belong?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Rocketclips, Inc.

Chima studied Demography & Social Statistics at Obafemi Awolowo University and currently works as business analyst in a leading online marketplace. He loves music and is a part-time DJ. You can find him on Instagram @chiwuzy and twitter @_wuzy_

37 Comments

  1. yellow sissy

    July 7, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    You didn’t mention body odour.I’m sure some Lagosians don’t take their bath before they leave house in the morning.

    • nikky

      July 8, 2015 at 1:31 am

      Don’t forget mouth odour and alcohol breath.

    • Akeem

      July 8, 2015 at 4:56 am

      Body odour na activity ?

  2. yellow sissy

    July 7, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    You didn’t mention body odour.I’m sure some Lagosians don’t take their bath before they leave house in the morning.Use public transport you cry for oxygen.

  3. Ada Nnewi

    July 7, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Shopper, planner, thinker, singer, dancer, bella naija reader, I play plants vrs zombies, candy crush, roll my hair, eat, apply makeup, fix false lashes, read novels, call into radio shows, paint my nails…the possibilities are endless…VI to lekki traffic these evenings is great for bella naija and candy crush…

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      July 8, 2015 at 10:43 am

      That application of make-up in transit will surely be my downfall one day. As long as foundation, powder, blush and base shadow have been applied at the flat, I’m good to fly into my clothes and shoes and down to my car, leaving the finer details like eyeliner, mascara, base lippy and lip-liner to be applied at every red-light that marks my journey to work. I’m forever holding a mascara wand in one hand, or a tube of lipstick between my teeth as I try to also clutch unto my steering wheel and change gears at the same time (the travails of driving manual cars). Bad as e bad, if na the day wey green light just dey flash as I dey go, na for office car park wey I go finish the beautification.

      It’s bad oh… and I call myself a “confam” babe. *side eye*

    • red

      July 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      una don forget say na traffic for abroad una fit do that kain thing, in nigerian traffic, everybody’s face and eyes are on how to manoeuvre or beat the next person to the traffic. lol. apply make up ke? although i saw one man eating eba while driving in traffic, i was amazed especially as i know men are not so good at multi-tasking.lollll

    • red

      July 8, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      do you have a driver? cos that’s the only way you do these things.lol

    • Ada Nnewi

      July 9, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Lmao! No driver

  4. hehehe

    July 7, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Lolz… The browsers nko… Som ppl don’t lift their heads from their fone till they get to their destination… I fall within… The readers… I am an ACCA student.. I read my text at night and catch the highlights using my jotted notes in traffic… Traffick has never bin so productive… Buti get to work super late… I need my job

  5. Wale

    July 7, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I seriously doubt BN readers ride that keke you mentioned or even use the local buses. Perhaps über, or sharing private vehicles with coworkers or company transportation etc. But that “keke”, I absolutely cannot imagine it. I imagine a good portion of our readers drive their own cars or are chauffeur driven in Lagos. But I am almost certain, we’ve all purchased something on the road especially on the arduous travel to the mainland from the island. Even I have been known to purchase gala once, just for nostalgic reasons when I was visiting naija. But it was with a chant of Hail Mary.

    • Olu

      July 8, 2015 at 12:43 am

      BN readers dont ride local buses??
      This one don enter one chance o!! LOL

    • canadian-igbo

      July 8, 2015 at 6:28 am

      nna wale has been fooled by hype lmao

    • chi

      July 8, 2015 at 4:13 am

      ??? This is the most hilarious and ridiculous comment ever. LOL!!! How can you know who the BN readers are and what they do…

    • Tosin

      July 8, 2015 at 7:52 am

      Wale o.
      keke + bus + keke to my job and back. but yeah i also do private jets and swaggy things. usually when i’m sleeping.

    • haha

      July 8, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Hahahahahahahaa… U r funny!

    • cleo

      July 9, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      this Wale sef.NA your type dey go airport comeback with scottish accent
      That you own a techno that can browse does not mean you fly private jets

  6. Nonye

    July 7, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    I fall under the dreamers category. I can day dream! I see it as a perfect getaway from the frustration that can come with Lagos traffic. I also enjoy window shopping or should I say window traffic shopping. Lol. Great piece!

  7. chifire

    July 8, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I don’t stay in Lag, in fact I hate Lag cos of d traffic & d “I don’t care” attitude of it’s citizens. But I’m a planner & day dreamer, dtz d main reason I have a driver, I normally miss my turns it’s not funny.

  8. The real D

    July 8, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I am may be naive but what was the older lady trying to do when she was touching you legs??? or do you mean your thighs??? that’s if she was trying to catch a feel for your “member”

  9. Bukola

    July 8, 2015 at 9:26 am

    When i got to the Molesters category i just went like YES!!! stupid bunch, like this idiot of a man actually came on my from behind. Let me explain better. I sat on a sat in a danfo 5 row bus, then this stupid bafun sat behind, now there is enough space between my sit and the sit behind ooo, but this idiot kept pressing on my ass, and considering the road was bad i just figured it was his knee that kept hitting my ass when the bus hit a pothole, it was when it was too much i turned back and gave him a stare like he should easy. then i just decided to dust my ass only for me to fill this slimy liquid of a motherf**king nigga on me, he’s useless sperm, i was so angry my response was “what the f**k was that”, the idiot just started apologising, to cut the long story short, he alighted from the bus fast. Useless bunch mtchewwwwww

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      July 8, 2015 at 10:45 am

      What???

    • AAsh

      July 8, 2015 at 11:29 am

      That’s a horrible experience!

      Felt really VIOLATED one morning (2 years ago) when a guy kept ‘grinding’ me on the BRT bus. I was running late for work that morning and opted to join the ‘standing’ crew from Ojota to C.M.S………..it was so horrible cos the guy had a hard-on and combined it with body odour………….the bus was jam-packed; i tried to put my bag between his ‘device’ and my bum but the guy was ruthless.

      I admit that i was pretty naive and shell-shocked! Now i know better; anyone that tries that rubbish with me again will get a confirmed slap and embarrassment of his life.

      Nonetheless! I swore never to join the BRT standing crew again…..except if it’s a life and death situation; i would rather wait on the ‘seat’ queue till its my turn!………..Thank GOD i now have my personal car!!! It is well!!!

    • Blackbeauty

      July 8, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      WHAT???!!!! Eeeewwwww!!!! My mouth was open for all of five seconds. WTH? You should have slapped the idiot. I’m so disgusted on your behalf. Sorry dear.

    • cleo

      July 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      I am Horrified. I cant imagine how you felt

  10. Cee Kay

    July 8, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Well written!!

    @ Bukola that was GROSSLY IRRITATING!!!! Guess the bobo was a planner, and had immediate plans. There should be something stern to check this nonsense cos my friend told me of something similar that happened to her in the past….

    As for me, I’m a thinker and a deep one @ that

  11. Grace

    July 8, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I am the thinker,dreamer and planner 🙂
    I totally dislike the sleepers….and then other sort of things that happen in traffic. (Sitting close or behind another passenger who puts on an ear piece or head phone playing a Chris Brown song and imagines he/she sings like him too with a loud voice until someone will have to tap them,or is it the damned useless who will be chewing gum and disturbing your peace expecially for my type(thinker,dreamer and planner)I plan everything buh not the for the next month sha:) (I plan what i will wear the next day,the shoes the dress or skirt,the accessory to go,what i will eat or cook for my husband since no kids yet)the list goes on.

  12. gurl_wendy

    July 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    You my dear sir are desperately out of touch.

  13. red

    July 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    do you have a driver? cos that’s the only way you do these things.lol

  14. Adwoa

    July 8, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    hmmm the part about the molesters, brought on a memory I’ve endured for 20 years. I was 12 years old and my brothers and I joined the bus one evening, we were coming from my grandmother’s place. My parents were divorced and we were living with my dad so every day after school we will go to my grandmother’s (my dad’s mother) to eat before we go home. This man seated behind me leaned forward, stretched his hand and started fondling my breast. my youngest brother was sitting on me, he was about 6years. I was scared and couldn’t do anything. I just kept shifting in my seat. I think my brother saw what was going on, i don’t know but at a point he turned and looked at me in a certain way. Felt so violated. Now we are all grown but anytime my brother has that look on for whatever reason i feel like he has remembered that thing and is disgusted at me for not standing up for myself.
    Sorry for the long epistle but i felt really violated that day. Now whatever fondling hubby does with the breast, there’s just no feeling in there i just feel like he’s violating me. Never told him this though but i always find a way to make him stop it.

  15. Damseldami1

    July 8, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    mine has nothing to do with Lagos and traffic .. i just remember when i was younger (my uni days) i was on my way taking the tube at the London underground one stupid white drunk ass stop me and started chatting shit about how beautiful i was (then i was very busty and it always show even when am covered) then he felt he had a reason to be touch my breast while complementing me despite the fact that i was protecting my breast but his stupid hand still dey reach there menh i was super embarrassed even people were looking at me with shock and pity it wasn’t funny at all i felt like i wanted to cry. there is molesters on public transport even in the UK

  16. Blackbeauty

    July 8, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Just saying sha, Lagos traffic isn’t the worst, PH is. I’ve lived in both places and I’d choose Lagos traffic any day. At least, if you have the luxury of time, you can plan to go out at times when traffic will be reduced on your routes but PH, there’s no predicting it. Their traffic has no chill.

  17. chigurl

    July 8, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I am a singer more of the time! and occasionally i give a motorist a piece of my mind 🙂

  18. Ogamazi

    July 8, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I am a dreamer especially when am on the island. Imagining the big houses and cars are all mine. I also shop especially now that I’ve a car, but those days of public transport I don’t cux I don’t like load. Public transport days I also chat with fine girls but don’t anymore cux am married now n don’t go on pub transport anymore. Interesting article and to Adwoa ur experience is so touching, but I feel u shld tell hubby, with that ur healing starts.

  19. Anita

    July 8, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    I love the radio show where people rant in the morning on cool fm, its very early though but I leave mine at 5.30am so I always catch it. Coming back I like to listen to traffic radio and I dance a lot when there is music on, I also talk to myself especially when I need to plan for the next day or later in the day.

  20. Ada Nnewi

    July 9, 2015 at 10:19 am

    OMG u need to talk to someone, u need to talk to ur hubby. He will think he’s the problem…

  21. Solape

    July 9, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    The one I hate most are the chewing gum chewers, they are very annoying.

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