What's that one street lingo that you grew up hearing about Lagos?
"Shine your eyes" resonates in my head like the large bell from the catholic church that was located few poles from my home as a teenager. As hilarious as that may sound, not all who look, see.
Shine your eyes in Lagos is a street lingo to remind you to be ever vigilant about your immediate surrounding but some people just never play by the rules.
Mondays are crazy. Infact, I have been feeling crazy for a while. Being an adult is enough to make you go crazy, there are always responsibilities; at home, at work, circle of friends, social groups; but what can a woman born of a man do? Nothing!
You signed up for this voluntarily or involuntarily when you stuck out your pink head from that contracting fetal path screaming out your lungs out to a group of nurses urging your mother to 'push.'
Today, I am standing at the bus stop waiting for a bus heading to Victoria Island. There are many other people with the majority dressed in business clothes; suits and ties, skirts, gowns and jackets, plain trousers and shirts.
The rain does not have an inkling that it's a Monday. The silly thing is about to weep like an overpampered baby. There is an uneasiness hanging in the air. Are we going to get to work wet or not seemed to be the common worry.
There is a noticeable checking of timepieces and wristwatches by bystanders. Suddenly, a bus pulls up before us. One thing is certain. It's a move for the strong and swift. There is a mad rush to get in the bus.
I wriggle my way into the bus holding my phone and wallet then watch while the others wriggle in too amidst some 'mild kickboxing.' This is Lagos, you need the personality of being refined yet a gangster when the need arises.
There are three young men seated by my side. Soon the guy seated close to the right window yells
"Where my phone!?"
Passengers on the bus are staring at him like a crazy man but we know what has happened. The 'real owners of his phone have come for it.'
He looks dazed and shaky. "Jesus! Where my phone?" He fumbles through his pockets and empties his bag. There is nothing in them obviously.
"Abeg, bros help me call am!" He appeals to a guy seated at the front seat.
The young man asks for his number and dials it, "E dey ring"
We are listening intently to hear it ring but silence meets our hearing sense. The perpetrators are often never close to the scene. His phone was definitely on its way to a corner where it would be exchanged for a paltry sum. That's just the way it is.
The driver's empathy period seemed to be over, so he zooms off leaving the confused and shaking young man at the bus stop phoneless.
I am still basking in empathy for the brother who had started his week on a sad note. We had barely driven for fifteen minutes. There was a bit of rough manouvering in front. A black SUV in front attempted to overtake our bus. Our 'fast and furious' driver tried to practise some 'asphalt ride moves' and rammed into the bumper of the SUV.
I look back and there is a Nigerian Police (PCRC) - Police Community Relations Community tag on the windscreen pane of the SUV. I am already weeping for the driver. He sits pretty in the bus and insists that the SUV driver made her mistake too.
The driver alights and she is a woman. Soon our driver alights too. I see where his confidence came from. He is a mobile Policeman dressed in a white polo and his military trousers. He goes over talks in a low tone with her for a while then bends over to fix the bumper himself.
They both shake hands and leave like nothing ever happened.
Even if you don't have an identity card in this country. Ensure you have money, influence or power.
Lagos PickPockets 1 Vs Brother Bus Rusher 0
Mopol 1 Vs Madam PCRC 1