I went out a few days back and to return home I took a bus- (a public commuter aka danfo). Just in case some of us don’t know. So on entering the bus, the only person in the bus was a police officer reading a paper magazine.
I sat on the second row behind her but not directly hence I could see her paper magazine clearly- The headline read Celebrity gives birth to twins, false prophet mocked. I looked away and got out my phone
Soon enough, other passengers came in and the bus was almost full. The bus conductor then came to ask the police officer to leave as she was occupying the space an actual passenger wanted to sit. “Oh she sat in just to read the magazine”, I thought to myself. For reasons I don’t know, the police officer asked for some money. The conductor apparently didn’t have that exact amount and borrowed it from one of the passengers.
So we began the journey and as usual the conductor started collecting the bus fare. It was the turn of the woman that had borrowed him money, and she says she’s given him money already and he had to even return some change to her as she gave more than her fare. This was when the trouble started. The conductor denied having collected money from her.
“Abi this one dey craze ni”?Give me my money. I detected her accent- she was from Warri. The conductor kept arguing and her voice grew louder. Then out of the blues amidst the argument the conductor started talking about the going to the market, how had gone to the market one day and saw a material and a babe, a fine babe—that was when we realized that this man was HIGH
Everyone had their own reaction. Some people looked at him incredulously for a while before shaking their head, some laughed, I mean it was funny. Some two guys told the woman to calm down, that she would collect her money later.
The guy proceeded to collect the remaining money as if nothing had happened. Now passengers like me who didn’t have the exact fare were scared to pay him.
So the Warri lady sat close to the door, you know the seat that the conductor is supposed to sit but they would rather stand over the bus as it moved than lose money for that seat- yes that one. As the conductor continued collecting the fare from those at the back seat, he towered over her and she kept squeezing her nose and turning to the side, apparently his armpit was directly on her face and well…..it was probably stinking as she was uncomfortable. “Abeg watch me, you wan kill me?! I pay money for this bus now! She would say at intervals until she couldn’t take it anymore. Suddenly she used her bag to push him and cover her face.
“No b me you go kill ah, everyone in the bus laughed.
The next victim was a guy at the last row. He gave the conductor 1000 naira- bad move. Before he released it, he told him several times the amount he was handing to him and asked for his change immediately but the conductor told him to wait a while so he would gather change from other people. After about 5 minutes, the guy asked for his change and the the conductor looked at him blank, “which change? I collect money from you? You didn’t give me any money.
All hell broke loose, everyone in the bus had seen him give the money so they were all shouting on his behalf. The warri lady started shouting again, “give me my change oh! You better give me my change because my anger no good at all”.
The conductor didn’t budge and kept shaking his head and at some point he wanted to pull off his trouser. “You wan see am! You wan see am! One woman screamed and he pulled it back as if regaining his senses. At this point, everyone was quiet. Sigh…he didn’t regain nothing.
He started swinging on the moving bus and looked like he was going to fall.
After the Warri woman, the second most active person in the bus was a guy in front of me. He asked the conductor to sit inside since one person had left the bus, so he wouldn’t fall. In his words “e no mean say he high, na human being too”. After much persuasion he entered and sat down, it wasn’t up to 2 minutes when he started dozing, serious one, his head was going back and forth. In my seat at the corner, I wondered what exactly he was ‘high on’ because whatever it is was messing him up.
After about one minute of silence in the bus the Warri woman pushed him again as he almost slept on her lap, she gave a long hiss, “you no know say people way dey high for this time, dem dey inside Jacuzzi”. Everyone laughed again.
I looked at the conductor, he was now fully rested on the seat as a few more people had left the bus.
We were at the toll gate now, and suddenly the driver who had been mute had a voice now, asking the passengers for change. No one answered him. He was still looking for the change when the conductor woke up, alighted from the bus staggering, he pulled a sac from under one of the seats, tied it and left. I mean he just started walking away, Some people in the bus started calling him, ‘come back!come back! He suddenly stopped midway and looked around, talked to himself a bit and continued walking. He had finally lost it, I shook my head. This guy is gone oh! One passenger said.
The driver paid the toll free and zoomed off not paying mind to his conductor at all. “Was he still high? I thought to myself or did it escalate to a mental issue.?
One would think this was the height of it all, but the 1000 naira guy hadn’t collected his change so he moved over to the front seat and demanded his change from the driver, the warri woman started shouting again. At this point I was tired.
The 1000 naira guy removed the ignition key and the driver pulled over. A fight broke out. The driver had an alternative way to start the bus and kept threatening to drive off when the Warri woman went to open his bonnet to pull out the battery. It was like a film, they were all fighting. After a while another bus parked right in front of us, ready to exploit the opportunity knowing that some people like me would make the run for it. I alighted from that bus and joined the other one, exhausted from the day.
All I thought about going home was how my goal had changed from saving money on transport to making more money. I did a quick math on when I’d be able to afford to buy a car. Lagos does that to you. Don’t take the bus kids, better to walk😂
Hey there, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thank you for reading! Have you had any crazy public transport experience like I did , please share in the comment.
XOXO, YINKA MOOR