Your lagos story post reminded me of my first BRT experience in Lagos. It was my second day in Lagos and my friend, Maria whom i was staying with had already given me instructions about how the whole BRT thing worked, from waiting your turn on a queue to purchase a ticket to Maryland, to orderly entering the bus and shining my eye so that i can press the bell when i got to my destination. Before you start yabbing me, i had lived in Ondo all my life but forget, i still be babe in my own lane. That was by the way sef, so my babe said i should just not fall her hand o, that was how i jejely went to BRT queue, there were about 500 or more people ahead of me,i was tempted to ask the people on the queue if i was in the right place but my friend had described it so accurately that i was cocky enough to just watch as the queue slowly moved.
About 30 minutes later, it was my turn and I proudly said “give me ticket to Fadeyi” the guy selling the ticket looked at me and my well packaged self and said “Fadeyi is on the other side, na ikorodu this one dey go, go and use overhead bridge and join the queue for Fadeyi bus”. I was still trying to comprehend what he said when the middle aged woman behind me said in an irritated voice ” Aunty, e sun, ti e o ba lo mo ( shift, if you are not going again) and with that she pushed me aside. I looked at the other side that i supposedly belonged to and saw that the queue was even longer than the one i was about to leave. I sighed and continued my journey up the pedestrian’s bridge and down to the queue and even though there was no doubt in my mind about the destination of the buses, i still asked the tall guy ahead of me “Sebi this is the queue for Fadeyi?” He looked at me inquisitively and said “Yes, it is. Is this your first time?” I laughed at the many meanings that single phrase could translate to and said “yes, it’s my first time, taking a BRT bus” i added quickly. He laughed good naturedly and said “Oh, i got that by the way, my name is Charles” he said. Naturally, i started to give him a closer look because Uncle was obviously shooting his shot, i decided he was worth the risk and answered “I’m Dedun(obviously not my real name)” He wasn’t looking bad at all but i was barely two days old in Lagos and i had heard of Tales of all the ‘demons’ in lagos. I found a way to disengage from the conversation but the reprieve didn’t last long as he managed to find a seat next to me on the bus.
So, have you always lived in a part of Lagos where you didn’t need to take BRT or you just came to Lagos?” He continued as soon as were both settled in our seats. I smiled gracefully and said “It doesn’t really matter as long as i get to my destination safely” I thought he would take a hint and shut up but he continued to quiz me till i almost got to my bus stop. I remembered that my friend had told me i should press a red button that was supposedly almost anywhere in the bus,i searched frantically for it because i was seated at the back of the bus. Charles asked if i was getting down in time and asked someone to press the button on our behalf, we got to our stop and i quickly made for the bus door to get away from Charles before he started another conversation outside the bus, but as i reached the door, i tripped on a bag i didn’t notice, tumbled outside the door unto the floor outside, i tried to get up quickly amidst the sympathizers in the bus and those gawking at me outside too but it was a hard fall and i had lost my balance for a fraction of second. Almost instantly, Charles was by me in a matter of seconds, helping me up and brushing dirt off my clothes. I finally stood up and he removed his jean jacket and gave it to me, i looked up at him confused and he said “For your skirt”, i looked down and realized that my skirt was torn in the middle all the way from the slit to the other end such that my butt was almost hanging out. I murmured an embarrased “oh, thanks” and took his jacket to tie it on my rear.
To cut the long story short, when Charles wanted to propose to me a month ago, he said “I knew you were the one from the moment you fell through the door”. In all, I am loving living in Lagos.