I have a thing for places. It's unexplainable. All I can say is that I have certain emotions about certain geographical locations.
I remember once taking a trip to see a house where I was raised as a kid. My findings made me sad, the house had dilapidated, the children of the landlord had been in court over a tussle of inheritance. I expected a lively compound filled with people but it was an abandoned shadow of itself. It's a weird thing to say but I felt emotionally drained.
Some places make me nauseous, some excited, some sad and some really angry. One thing I can say is I will always long for a feel of Lagos irrespective of where I am.
The yellow bus is rolling on the tarred road. One glance at my Google map tells me there is traffic ahead.
My mind is on a wanderlust trip. It is always wandering. The conductor has been petty and rambling. He is lashing out insults at whoever he thinks deserves it.
"Idiot, see as you keep face like wizard wey never suck blood" a thin lady with a shrill voice lashes at him in retaliation.
He mumbled something that I didn't hear but he had been humbled. He keeps calm and looks really sober. He has a match. Good stuff.
Burna Boy’s sonorous his spilling lyrics from ‘Collateral Damage.’ His voice is desperately trying to drown the harmony of beats from the groove box, guitar and cowhide drum. I just hope he knows how vulnerable he make me feel especially with the happenings in the country lately of which the #xenophobiattacks in South Africa is chief.
As for the Nigerian Government, forget about it. We have no government.
"Owo da?!" The conductor jolts me back to reality. He collects his fare from the passengers then taps an older man on the second seat.
“Paapa! Your money?” He asks the older man in his coarse voice.
“Na me you touch like that? You dey craze” Paapa’s voice is obviously more coarse than the conductor. He appears to be in his sixties.
“Oga, give me money. I no wan hear story” the conductor says carelessly.
“You dey mad! Come collect am for my pocket. Since you just dey run mouth for this bus. Abi you no know say the bus tight? I go give you when I dey comfortable.”
“Oga, you dey find my trouble. Give me my money o” the conductor warns.
“Shebi you be hulk hogan wey wan beat everybody for this bus before? You go beat me if I no give you now? I go show you say when I do Agbero work, dem never born you. You know who I be? From Onitsha, Aba to Lagos, no just try me.”
Some passengers are laughing behind. The driver warns his conductor to calm down and allow the older man give him his fare when he can. The young man sits on the makeshift position for conductors with his face facing the window.
Perhaps, only old gangsters (OG’s) can make younger ones calm down.
There is a sudden serenity. I slip out my phone to check the time then feel the bus slide in a pothole. There is a deep pool of water ahead. An obvious aftermath of the rain the previous night.
A mess belonging to My Nigerian government, Salvager of Xenophobic attacks, Clumsy protector of it's citizenry and Builders of imaginary roads.
“Oga, that place deep o!” A conductor that had alighted from another bus warns him.
“I go fit manouver am,” he says confidently as he turns his steering.
“Driver, you no dey hear say that side deep?” a lanky dressed in a navy blue suit warens again.
There was a plunge and a surge of water. One that will forever remind me of how Jack and Rose felt when the Titanic hit an iceberg.
I make a fast move to leap on my seat.
“Driver, water go chop person for here. Come open door.” a short plump man yelled in his thick Igbo accent.
I am laughing, I honestly shouldn’t be laughing but overtime I have trained my mind to laugh even when things seem not too pleasant.
His several attempts to fire his engine to power was futile. We were in the middle of the deep pool and I am lowkey wondering if this pool has a mini Papi Water.
Some young men offer to help the passengers out of the flooded bus for a fee.
The last I checked I have no tendency of becoming salt like the biblical Lot’s wife. I wade through the water, thankful for my choice of shoes for the day. A clean up at the office was inevitable.
Old Gangster 1 Vs Young Gangster 0
Deep pool of water 1 Vs Entire Passengers 0