When I started work this year, I knew that given my desire not to get entangled with the drama that comes with driving and maintaining a car, I would have to regularly take buses.
Not that I had a problem with that. But some days, I’ve had cause to roll my eyes at the antics of my fellow passengers, the bus driver or conductor etc etc. But there are some days when I love the diverse personalities in buses. A while back for instance, after work, I entered a bus and after I’d paid, I decided to read a book I’d had with me all day. Then my seat partner to the right decided that it was as good a time as any to toast me. He introduced himself, I did the same and then I told him that I didn’t want to talk to anyone. But some people have selective hearing. So he kept on asking me questions, joking with me, jostling me when I wouldn’t respond and so on. It was annoying behavior but I wasn’t annoyed. I knew if I responded at all, he would capitalize on it. Then my seat partner to the left passed me a note, “Did you know this idiot from before?” And then I gave up the pretext of reading and started passing notes and doing my best to avoid letting my seat partner to the right see the notes while giving monosyllabic responses to his queries.
It was a very interesting bus ride all in all. My seat partner to the right, the toaster gave me back my bus fare, along with his card and my seat partner to the left rolled his eyes and made me laugh. Some days, I love buses.
Some days, I can’t stand buses. The endless waits for one, the uncomfortable seats, the unilaterally hiked prices. It can get quite annoying.
It got extraordinarily frustrating three weeks ago. In Surulere for CDS, a friend had introduced me to a cheaper method of getting home that would involve me taking an airconditioned BRT at Ojuelegba to Ketu/Ojota, then a walk and another bus to my preferred stop. Aforementioned friend not being around, I attempted the journey solo. And it would have been perfect. Except that a keke driver had driven away with my change, my phone battery was less than 10%, I needed to sleep badly because I’d deprived myself for too long and I didn’t have as much cash with me as I normally feel comfortable with, for some reason. BUT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THIS STORY TO NOTE THAT I STILL HAD MONEY.
Anyway, after a while, the horrible traffic situation had the Napep driver take a different route, I had to lug my super tired body up the overhead bridge and down the other side only for me to meet this incredibly long line for the Ketu/Ojota buses. The problem was that they couldn’t print tickets for the buses. Like really? Buses came, buses went, empty BECAUSE THEY COULDN’T PRINT TICKETS! I was extremely tired so I didn’t even have the energy to get mad. I tried to reason with the ticket sellers to get them to find another way to sort the mess out. No luck. I waited for a while when it seemed the machine had begun printing again, but it was only a temporary reprieve and it died again. So I went to the danfos. I just wanted to get home and quickly too. Then I entered a danfo, which only 2 weeks back was N100. When the conductor told me that it was N200, I was quite upset.
Reasoning that I’d pay the same N200 also to get the Maryland/Ikeja bus and whilst Ketu/Ojota was extremely foreign to me, it’s virtually impossible for me to get lost in Ikeja, I got off the bus. A bus driver nearby, it was a police bus but he wasn’t wearing the uniform, asked me why I’d gotten down. A bit irritated with the conversation, I told him it was because I didn’t have enough money to cover the hiked fare. Which was a big fat lie. Then I made to leave so I could board a bus to Ikeja and get started on sleeping and he stopped me. I turned back only to see him opening his wallet to give me money to get home. It isn’t often that I get gobsmacked. But I was. And ashamed. Very ashamed. It’s been a while since I met someone so nice as to offer money to a complete stranger who allegedly couldn’t get home. I refused. Whatever else, I knew I couldn’t accept that money. I’d much rather have paid the hiked fare and had to withdraw money for the second stage of the journey but my conscience wouldn’t have let me sleep if I had taken money from him.So I thanked him profusely but I refused. He asked me how I would get home and I said I’d figure it out somehow. Then I thanked him again and ran to an Ikeja bus. I paid and got started on my sleep.
It turned out that I didn’t have to withdraw money for the second stage either. I shared the bus with an old acquaintance and he paid both my fare and his. But still, I really like knowing that there are super helpful people still around.
On the 20th of July at 3:25am, I was deeply in my 4th hour of sleep having realized that an extra hour of sleep would greatly help my mood when I had to go and open the gate for my mom’s driver at 5:00am.
Then my mom came into my room and “Uju, get up. Uju get up. I think Mikey is dead.”
I vaulted out of my bed and ran to the door. As I was about to open the door, my mom dragged me back into the house.
You guys know the I pass my neighbor generators right? Well we have one. Usually, we use it on weeks where electricity supply has been marvelous and we just need light for the fans, the TV or to charge our phones. But last year, someone jumped our fence and stole that generator. We got a new one but chained it with the much larger generators. Then we noticed that someone had pretty much destroyed the support of the new generator, the chained part so they could take it.
When we got Mikey, we stopped bringing it inside. Present day, the generator repairman my dad uses, called my dad to tell him that he saw our generator in his compound. Knowing how high spirited Mikey is, I knew they’d have to have done something to him so he wouldn’t alert the house. My mom stopped me from going outside because, what if the thieves were still around? They had stolen my wallet before, torn through the window of my parent’s room and taken my dad’s trousers to rifle through for money and phones before.
When you are woken up because of a problem, then told that you cannot go out to investigate that problem and you happen to be a Christian, the solution is obvious, innit?
So I prayed, for my mad dog, that I wouldn’t find him with his neck snapped and blood oozing out. For our small generator that we’d find it, that I never be put in this situation again.
5:00am came and my mom’s driver knocked on the outside gate. My mom followed me outside. Safety in numbers and all that. Then when I got close to the gate, the dog came out, rubbing my legs. Apparently they had given him something that made him sleep, and then super groggy because he wasn’t coordinated and wasn’t barking and dragging buckets on the floor as usual. But he was alive, and later that day, we got the small generator back.
You may have 10 dogs, a 100 gates, a super security system. But unless the Lord keeps your house, your security is and will always be in vain. Thank you so much Lord. In case you guys haven’t realized yet, Happy ….days are testimony days. And this paragraph is an invitation to try the wonders of God for yourself. Try Him. Please. You won’t regret it.
Most years, I only fall sick once. But that sickness will be a doozy. I’ve had pneumonia, muscle cramps that leave me unable to walk without extreme pain or unable to talk audibly or write legibly or the sickness will be mental instead. And I know my body intimately. Whenever I start to lose weight, it always starts from my hips. Leggings need to be held with a belt, tight jeans become baggy etc etc. Then my face, then finally my stomach. I’m currently rolling my eyes.
So about two weeks back, I noticed pain in my chest and my ribs, trouble inhaling deeply and slight tenderness in my back and ribs. Symptoms of pneumonia. Plus a dangerous stomach ache, missing appetite, a painful tightness in the left side of my head and a racking, productive cough.
And I was like, Lord, we talked about this last year. That time my leg cramped up and I couldn’t walk properly, remember how I prayed? And the next day it disappeared? I need a miracle Lord. I don’t want to have pneumonia again. I don’t want to have ulcer again, I’ve been eating proper meals at regular intervals, haven’t I, I don’t want to have migraines and eyeaches either, I don’t have any plans to spend time in any hospital. Lord please, heal me. Then I went out with a friend, we got food, asun and ice cream at Coldstone. I got home and was only able to eat about 3 forkfuls. But I shared the asun with my dad and Nonso, shared the Coldstone with Nonso and kept mine in the freezer. And then I went to bed. The next day, the pain in my chest had greatly lessened, the tightness in the left side of my head had disappeared, my eyes were clear and not swollen, I had only a slight discomfort in my stomach which disappeared when I had a proper meal and I was so grateful. Please people, thank God with me.
You gotta appreciate the funnies: