Lagos has many twins and one of these days, I will tell you about all of them.
…but let me first tell you about rain and traffic in Lagos. First sets of twin.
To start with, you can never predict traffic situation in Lagos. Except the one in your own house. One minute the road is clear, the next minutes cars are going bumper to bumper. If a private-car happens to hit or scratch another private-car, or a Danfo (commercial bus) against a private car, you will hear grammar that will bring all other vehicles to a stand-still. Right in the middle of the main road. Until the arguments are over nobody goes anywhere.
…but if it rains, forget it! Even Lagosians would be surprise if the roads are free.
If you have a deadline to meet in situations like these, pray that your lateness will be like tempering justice with mercy.
My appointment was for 10am at Surulere, coming from the University of Lagos axis, I imagined within 30mins I would be there. I gave myself an hour just in case…
Just as we navigated into Herbert Macaulay we met a gridlock. Cars at a stand-still. For another hour we were at same spot. Then I remembered, it rained that morning. Like almost everyone in the Danfo I brought out my phone to browse or chat. We always use this consolation.
In Lagos, the moment it rains, it is immediately followed by Go-Slow (slow, I mean very slooooow movement of vehicles. And sometimes humans).
“Driver move the vehicle.” A man behind me yelled.
“Make I fly? See water for my front.” The frustrated driver yelled back
10am. This is a business meeting I cannot afford to miss or be late. I called the man to request for more time with the excuse that there was a terrible traffic.
“My sister don’t worry. Please take your time, I am in the same Go-Slow at Allen. We can shift the meeting to 12 noon.” Sigh of relief.
Almost immediately, others began to make calls informing whoever that they would be late.
If you are new in Lagos and have an appointment to keep at a place more than an hour journey from your home, please give yourself nothing less than an hour to get there. Especially when it rains.
Then wear a cap of patience. You will get there.