Hello BellaStylistas! I’m Amanda – a young, vibrant, skinny foodie (yes! You read that right) enjoying this wonderful journey called life. The most important things to me are God and my family. I work in the luxury PR industry by day but have a thing for project management and events. I’m delighted to share random but real stories on BellaNaija Style from the perspective of a Naija babe keeping her head above water in Las Gidi.
While one always anticipates traffic in Lagos and factors it into the amount of time spent commuting, Lagos traffic remains unpredictable and there’s no point getting mad about it anymore because that will only add to the fatigue from manoeuvring through it. Whether one’s windows are up or down, it is important to take in one’s surroundings when stuck in such situations. Mostly for safety reasons but also for the entertainment that could be derived from the unfortunate predicament.
I was slowly making my way round the bend at Costain, trying to get onto Eko Bridge. A bus to my left, a trailer to my right. I notice the trailer has no side mirrors which explains why even in the thick of traffic, he’s moving closer and closer to me. His conductor suddenly pops out and yells “aunty, turn this side nooow” while making gestures. I completely halt to enable them carry their wahala and go.
Finally, I’m able to proceed a little and I notice the bus in front of me is shaking somewhat violently. I’m now focused on the activities unfolding inside the bus that I slightly get carried away. I noticed a lot of hand movement and I thought “this is either about to get ugly quickly, or someone must be getting a rather stern warning, or this person is a very energetic storyteller”. I notice a hand from the back of the bus reach out to the person in view. Next thing I hear “my friend! My friend!” I turn my head to my left and the first thing I notice is a medium sized yellow croc handbag. Then realize this lady is speaking to me. I finally am looking at her without uttering a word and she says “I beg help us now, we’re just going there” (she’s pointing straight ahead of me. I figured she meant where buses offload and pick up passengers).
I’m looking confused between her and where she’s pointing. I noticed there were two of them walking together. Both very fair in complexion, face beat, clad in monochrome. “Going where?” I finally asked looking back and forth between both ladies. Again she points to nowhere in particular and I finally got the message that they just wanted a lift (keep in mind I’m on one spot this entire time so those walking are possibly better off). “Where are you trying to go?” I asked again. “CMS” she responds. I reluctantly unlock my doors for them to hop in (This is Lagos! And it’s almost December. But I’m a Christian, therefore, I MUST be a helper). And that is how I became a chauffeur.
“Chai! Thank you, my friend!” *Begins insulting men who I guess refused them a ride* “Is it not a fine woman like us who is helping us now?” *speaks Igbo* I raise the bulletin in my hand to block the sun hitting my other arm and the talkative lady in the back snatches it out my hand to fan herself. Literally! “Eheee you’re even our Parishioner?” I glance at her and smile “What Church do you attend?” I ask. “Gbaja now!” she replies “that’s nice” I reply. *continues speaking Igbo* All I hear is “fine girl, fine girl… My friend is your ac not working?” Really???
So rather than introduce herself and her friend, I’d automatically become “My friend”. Me too I didn’t bother with introductions. The one sitting beside me reached for something in the back seat and I was uncomfortable knowing she hadn’t put anything there and I had stuff there. Alas, she just needed something to fan herself and grabbed some sachet spices that have been sitting in my back seat for weeks. She looked at me and asked, “do you sell things?” I politely replied “no!”
A part of me just wanted to help. We slowly made our way through the traffic and the lady behind ran commentary nonstop. I was glad to assist them but all that talking made me dizzy. We were now descending the Apongbon bridge and the construction workers stopped us due to the cranes moving pillars. *speaks Igbo* but this time, I interpreted a bit of what she was saying. She was talking about the incompetence of the government and how this construction ought to be done at night because it can be deadly for anyone passing by.
Finally, we’re at CMS and I had done my good deed for the day. They thanked me as they jumped out and I proceeded to my office. I didn’t realize how drained I was from the drive until I got to my office and literally staggered out of my car.