As everybody knows, what best embodies Lagos, is its traffic. I am late because I was stuck in traffic, is like the best excuse ever here, because it is most likely to be true!
So living in Surulere, when I have an appointment on the Island, I always plan to leave my house between one hour and a half or two hours prior to the meeting.
The following surreal events, you are going to read about, took place early July, during working hours, when schools were not yet closed and when the traffic situation should have been at its peak.
The appointment being at 12:30 pm, I left home at 11 am, totally unaware of the unexpected turn of events that were yet to unfold.
I should have suspected something, though, because when I reached Iponri market, it looked like this, unusually deserted:
But I didn’t worry at first, as I still had to go through Eko bridge, CMS, Bonny Camp, all the hot spots!
Hmmm… Beware and behold, Eko Bridge was free too!
But I was still pretty confident, at that point; I knew I could make it in good time, e.g. Lagos time!
How could CMS possibly deceive me?
At that moment, I was becoming really anxious, and I started praying to Lagos Gods for this curse not to be bestowed upon me: will I be the first human being ever to arrive early to an appointment in Lagos?
This can’t be! @officersmess, please, don’t disgrace me!
At that moment, my heart had started beating loudly. Why me? I didn’t want to experience such a shame: was I really going to be one hour early to an appointment in Lagos?
Did Lagos Gods take pity on me? I don’t know, but, all of a sudden, a miracle happened, in front of Mega Plaza:
A go-slow in the making, at last!
You know how the Gods like to play tricks with us humans, that was what happened: in front of the anticipated building up, I had regained my confidence and my pride (as a Lagos Resident I am a fierce guardian of Lagos most emblematic tradition: heavy traffic); But, all of a sudden, circulation regained an abnormal fluidity!
A few minutes later, I was sweating profusely, because here I was, in front of Muri Okunola Park, only twenty minutes after having left Surulere Stadium! What kind of a malediction was this?
But, in the midst of my profound despair, Lagos spirit finally decided to intervene in my favour: she didn’t let Oyinbo technology vanquish her. Due to her potent intervention, Google Maps refused to show me the way.
I kept going around in circle along Afribank street, Idowu Taylor street, unable to reach the nearby Close where my appointment was.
It turned out I arrived late! And I was so relieved about it. Imagine me, tarnishing Lagos reputation about its heavy traffic, just like that? No, no way, I am not playing that game!
And I have told you this tale of how, a poor unaware woman, nearly defeated Lagos Spirit, and nearly shook Lagos foundation to his chore, by almost arriving early to an appointment in Lagos, so that you can tell this unfortunate story to your grand-children and hopefully them in turn to their own grand-children!