Saturday, November 29, 2008

A walk down the Muson Bridge

November 14, 2008 started out on a funny and a strange note for me. I was due for a meeting in Victoria Island slated for 8:00am. My driver showed up late, I had to drive myself (fortunately, he caught up with me as I was leaving my estate). Everything was going fine till we reached the over head bridge near Muson centre (the one you use to connect VI or if you are going back to Marina).

For some strange, reason traffic was just not moving (there was no accident or anything like that, we were just at standstill). We stayed in one place for over 20 mins. In between all this I had time to snatch a quick nap and snored too. When I could not take it anymore, I stepped out of the car and started walking down the bridge (sloping towards the Muson centre). For added measure, I left my phone in the car (not so business or Nigeria like)

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to find out what it felt like to stand by the road side and watch Nigerians hurry to work or to their various places of endeavor.

I share some of the things i observed with you folks;


a. Most of the people I saw were pensive; they had this worried look on their faces, ever serious. Some people sitting on the passenger side (of the vehicle) slept (I could swear I heard some snoring)
b. Very few people read anything (probable lost in their own thoughts). Most of those that had drivers slept. Women surprising had something to read. Most women had a bible in the back seat of their cars
c. In any case no one slowed down to ask me if anything was wrong (Lagosian no care). One or two persons wanted to but thought otherwise (who knows may be the way afraid, too many horror stories in Lagos you would say)
d. I saw 4 people that I knew; they all offered to give me a lift (which was quite comforting!)
e. Married couples in most vehicle had long faces (who knows may be the fought before leaving home or may that is the look of seriousness that they like to keep when going out)

a. Most of the cars were dirty, not washed ( i want to start a car wash business)
b. Most of the cars had one bodily scratch or the other (in some cases, it was a gash)
c. Most cars were wound up (guess everyone had air conditioners, it means most commuters spend more money on fuel and air-fresheners :- if not the cars would be hots, sticky and stuffy )
d. Most women drivers had they bags in front (partially opened that you could see the content;- it means they open to easy attack by area boys)
e. On the average , the users had “ROSE” serviette at the back seat with an umbrella
f. Most people had 2 phones (kept close to the gear section), a large percentage if not all spoke directly on the phone (no hands free - ummh)

Driving Behaviours;

a. The drivers honked when there was absolutely no reason too but they honked anyway
b. For some reason, some drivers still brushed the car tires against the culvert under the bridge (a lot of people need to take driving test in Naija - what happened to the driving schools)
c. A total of three accidents happened within the 45mins that I waited for my driver
d. No cop or LASMA staff was in site (yet there was some semblance of order that morning)!
e. After a few shouting matches, accident victims (ok they are not accident victims in the really sense of it, I meant those whose cars have been hit or scratched), entered their cars cursing then drove away (Its the Lagos way; Much Talk Less Action)

General Environment;

a. Looking down the bridge, you could see a muddy, dirty, stinking water with refuse at the edges (not one you would even wish you enemy to fall into – ok I exaggerate here but I am trying to say is the water down below was ugly to look at)
b. The roads were littered with paper, empty pure water sachet everywhere
c. People worked briskly past me, no good morning or even “Hi”(ok lets be fair I didn’t greet anybody either)

What about me the "keen" observer

a. Let’s be honest I was a little bit uncomfortable; I was wandering what would people be think about me, was I lost?, some people may have recognized me but because they were in a hurry and did not want to lose time, decided to sneaked by (just remember I saw you guys!)
b. It was nice experience, I saw some business opportunities (don’t know if you should be sharing with my thought with you here though if you go through this article carefully you can pick a few things or two but what the heck why bother you, when you have your own problems anyway)
c. Having done this for the first time, would do I it again?. Yes, Yes, I will. I see what they mean by perspective changes things. November 18 changed some of my perspective. Has it changed yours?

In the end, got into my car and some how got to my host by 9;15am. Did i tell you Ileft my house by 10mins to 6am. I apologized to the person I was meeting that I was stuck in the usual Lagos traffic (don't know if he believe me though),

I just did not tell him about my Muson experience but at least am glad that the I was caught up in traffic for once!. Please let me know what you think and if have any similar experience, please share it with me. Xman