Lagos Traffic Story #1
The big yellow bus in front revved its engine. The blue smoke shot through the open window and sawed into my sinuses. The air conditioning in the car wasn’t working and it was too warm to wind up the glass so I sat there, coughing, almost retching and semi-blind from the poorly burnt diesel.
The bus didn’t move but then neither did any of the other cars, buses, mini buses or vans packed into the junction. Even some of the mopeds had got themselves wedged, stranded amongst the four-wheeled transport around which they usually flocked and mocked. Four roads slowly deposited traffic onto the roundabout where we were marooned.
They were being sucked into this painfully slow maelstrom of metal just as we had been ten minutes before. A tight woven ring of vehicles, no lane order discernable, each driver displaying the long term tactical awareness of a chess grand master, seizing every emerging inch of road and deftly manoeuvring to an advantage only they can perceive.
In the centre, the island, clouded with blue smoke like some Pacific atoll at the height of a sea battle, the cars on the other side, hazy through the fumes. The smoke is so thick even the number plates of cars a few feet in front are too indistinct to read. I pulled out my airline ticket and glanced at my watch. So far we’ve gone two miles.
The hotel manager’s words play through my mind. “The airport? Well I’ve done the trip in twenty minutes but then it can take four hours. This is Lagos, It’s impossible to tell. Leave as early as you can”. My Lagos traffic Story #1 @Huw Williams.
Regrann from @jesseniva - THE HUSTLE IS REAL
BROAD STREET LAGOS
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