I am on my way to Bwari as I am writing this. I miss home already but what can I do?
I prefer to travel within Nigeria by road. I have no idea why. It’s nothing to do with the stories of plane crashes or anything, I just prefer it. I’ve been on flights within Nigeria. There was a flight where my ticket from London was booked for the wrong state and I had to make my way to the correct one. There was another when I was travelling last June for law school and that was with Arik Airline which you can read about here and here. Had no problems with the any of the flights I’ve been on at all. I enjoyed my flight to Abuja from Lagos more than my flight from London to Lagos. The rest have been pretty normal.
I have been using public transport since I was 11, when I first came to Nigeria. My family and I used it to travel to the East. The names that are chosen for the bus companies tend to reflect Nigeria’s strong religious beliefs especially of the Christian kind. I have been on Chisco, ABC, Ifesinachi (Things come from God), The Young Shall Grow and so on. My favourite is ABC even though I haven’t been on it recently. People snap the tickets up quickly. The best thing for anyone to do if they want to travel with them is book online so it is guaranteed. Chisco is also good and that is what I used going and coming.
Anyone using public transport in Nigeria knows that it is very eventful with the mixture of characters that are on the coach and the staff as well. People are always arguing, coming onto the bus late therefore making the journey behind schedule and etc.
To deal with the staff a lot of the time, one needs patience, street smart and a fresh pair of healthy lungs that you can shout with because instead of talking to you, they shout at you. I don’t have any of these unfortunately and in reality, you don’t need to raise your voice just because someone else is raising theirs. Some of them really look like they don’t want to be there at all.
The funniest part of the journey is the impromptu appearance one can get from special people. Today, we had a pastor who got people on the bus to sing and pray. He did a mini sermon, prayed again and asked for offering as “seeds to put in the hands of God”. He left soon after. When I was going to the East, there was a man called Dr Honey who was selling two items called “Bitters” and “Moringas Olifera”. I don’t know if the latter is spelt correctly but he says you can google it. Both are “medicine” that can cure diseases such as HIV and fibroids and can substitute viagra for men and cures pot belly in men and women. I was going to write an entire post on him but I’m not sure. He had a lot of stories about people who allegedly took the medicine and said the funniest things. If anyone would like me to post it, please put it in your comments.
The rest rooms on the way are not that great sometimes. If you don’t want to use them should avoid drinking anything (it doesn’t work for me). The restaurants are ok. The rice I had last time wasn’t the best but the gizzard was really good!
Travelling on the road gives one an opportunity to look at the scenery. Nigeria is an interesting looking country. If you don’t have music to listen to or something to read, you might get tired of the journey. Abuja to my part of the East is not a small journey! At a point in time, I got tired of seeing the same state after 25 minutes. It doesn’t help matters when Chisco takes a different route. When coming, the coach went through the four Igbo states which is unusual for the destination. It felt like an Igbo tour of Biafra! The bus driver was somewhat nice.
That’s all from me for now. I have got to read and I am tired. Woke up really in the morning.
Does anyone have an interesting story about using public transport?
By the way:
When I was coming to Nigeria for law school I read a very good and funny article in Arik’s magazine. The article was from one of wordpress’ very own: Tolu Ogunlesi. He is an accomplished writer.
Till next time people!