There was a not so long queue at the garage tonight. However bus drivers hiked the fare. They said the traffic was bad. Some even had to park their cars. Anyways, it was my turn to board. All 7 passengers did, some grumbled about the extra 50 naira we were to pay… Driver (knowing the hike was uncalled for) collected his money right in the garage. He started to say that passengers should enter with their change. Trust us now, “Baba, tell agbero to change the money for you”
Agbero: I will change it for you. He added “if your car ‘coughs’ on the way, these passengers will not hesitate to booe you o”
Good advise! We all laughed but held unto the reality as we cruised on in the old rugged Peugeot 505. (we couldn’t wait on the queue any longer)
Passenger 1: 150 naira for transport fare no easy o
Passenger 2: one cannot budget for transportation in Lagos o, else one risk getting stranded.
Passenger 3: afi ka ma mu ATM kiri. (one would just have to carry ATM all around)
Passenger 4: what will ATM do for you? Will you give the driver ATM or what?
Passenger 3: abi…
Passenger 5 (me): all you need to do is put extra amount while making your budget…
Soon everyone was unto other things. My colleague reported to me of how one of the banks asked that their staff bring in six thousand customers in a month. I was aghast! Directing her talk to the driver, in a bid to tease she said “Baba you need to show your asset o”
Driver: I don’t work for the government! I be chop alone…
Passenger 2: chop alone ke? With all the money you are collecting from us
Driver: can you do the work I’m doing…All those people ‘eating our money’, after they have coveted and done the havoc (mentioning pensioners as the worst hit) they go to church and start to sing “mo fe ki n da bi Jesu” (I want to be like Jesus) and mosque to say “Allah akbar “. We all bursted into laughter. He went further “Ghana as a people brought themselves together and built their country” we are our own enemy!
Diverting his attention, one of us chipped in “if there is no traffic on the way as expected, we will get a refund of 50naira o”. Driver replied “Owo ti lo o” (that is a tall order). That means you also “chop” money be that, I said. No o I did not use biro, I used service he supplied.
As envisaged by the agbero, the car ‘coughed’ but Baba was able to resuscitate his old, rugged Peugeot 505. And for the records, there was bearable traffic on our path. One of us supplied that she noticed overtime that the price gets hiked when it rains because the drivers and their cohorts know that passengers are always in a rush to get home.