A-D-A! I heard o! That you’re now a bigz girlz! Only you! Working class! Driving your own car sef! Babes, please when will you start to remember us in this your paradise na?! *white noise*
Fashi the “Working class” part. A lot of you reading this (thanks for stopping to read by-the-way :D) belong to the “working class”. You’ll agree with me that more often than not, it sounds more luxurious than it really is. Let’s be honest, being a mere ‘salary-earner’ in the Lagos Metropolis (especially when you’re new to the whole “working class” thing) most times, just doesn’t cut it.
For the sake of my car’s feelings (yes, she does have feelings) I won’t say anything not-nice about her. She’s a darling. My partner in crime. My ever present help. My wife etc etc.
I’ll just share some of my top stressful car-palava-moments. LOL!
Driving along Ozumba Mbadiwe Expressway Lekki. The last 2 traffic light stops have been green. This must be some kind of
good omen. I’m approaching 1004 bus stop. My speed is somewhere between 80 and 100 km per hour. The lights at 1004 bus stop go from green to amber.
“Ada, you can make it” I said to myself. The 3 seconds the amber light would be on for, is more than enough time to speed past. Instead of slowing down, I increase my speed. As I step on the gas, the lights go from amber to red. Holy sh!t. What-the-?! The light practically jumped from amber to red without the usual delay. I am the first person before the light and I am torn between beating the traffic light then possibly having those LASTMA-leeches (please forgive me if your dad is a LASTMA official. Your dad is not a leech.) on my ass, and slowing down from 80km per hour to a halt, less than 50 meters before the crossing. Sweet baby Jesus. I hit the brakes. Hard. I come screeching to a halt just at the crossing. Good Lord. My Savior is alive.
Then I hear a very loud screeching sound behind me – the sound of the tyres of a very fast moving vehicle, struggling to come to a halt – the same kinda sound my tyres made.
(((GBOOOOOOMMMM!!!))). My car lurches forward and I find myself in the middle of the road crossing. My seat belts are the only reason my face (and many other body parts I guess) is still in one piece today.
As soon as I ascertain I’m alright, I step out of my car (in slow motion), still in a bit of shock. All I can think of is “My bumper must be finished.”
PS – You should’ve seen the hood of the car that hit mine. Total disaster.
Three Weeks Later…
I’m driving on the same gaddemm Ozumba Mbadiwe Expressway. I’m approaching the same gadforsaken traffic light at that 1004 bus stop. This time around, all the traffic lights are out of service. I mean, they are not working and traffic is being controlled by those blood sucking LASTMA peeps. (Please forgive me if your dad is a LASTMA official. Your dad is not a blood sucking creature.)
Now a couple of things happened a few minutes before I got to that traffic light. I partly witnessed an accident.
I am on Alfred Rewane road Ikoyi. A biker speeds past me. I almost forget I am driving, because I am lost in thought admiring this power bike. The guy disappears around a bend up front. 2 minutes later, after I come round the bend and drive for about 300 meters, I see the young man and his crushed bike under a water tanker at a cross road. My guess? He didn’t see the tanker in good time and was going too fast to stop his bike in time. If not for his helmet, his brains would have been all over the tarred road. He is unconscious as he is dragged out from under the vehicle, with blood gushing out of his mouth. I am shaken. I mean, I was admiring that bike 2 minutes ago!
Back to the present.
So I am a little absent minded. The car in front of me is an SUV, so apart from the back of the car, I can’t see nada. I can’t see the traffic warden raising his hands and asking us to halt (thanks to the non-functional traffic lights). Thanks to my absent minded-ness, I do not also realize in time that the SUV in front of me has slowed down. And thanks to the human being that owns the SUV, his brake lights are not working. So no brake lights, no traffic lights, I can’t see the warden, I’m absent minded… I do not realize that I’m supposed to be slowing to a halt. I keep going at my 50km per hour and the SUV guy is really just right in front of me.
When I finally awaken from my reverie, I’m a little too late. I go hard on the brakes like never before and I hit the SUV just a little bit. This right here is the definition of Deja vu. Same spot, same kind of accident. Only right now, the roles are reversed.
It goes without saying that I stopped going through that Ozumba Mbadiwe Expressway till about 4 months later, after I overcame my phobia for traffic lights.
Heheheee.. This one is funny.
Its a Friday morning. Its raining HEAVILY. I have to get to work. I’m lucky I have a car. Heheheeee.
I get in my car, feeling very happy with myself.
The going is good and sweet until I turn into Lekki Phase One from the 3rd gate.
If you are familiar with that area, you’ll agree with me that the flood that area experiences is really something to write abroad about. Last year during the rainy season, it was a terrible ordeal. That reminds me, the rainy season is here. Prepare yourselves.
As I drive into Phase One, I’m momentarily confused as to whether I’m in Lekki Phase one, or I’m on the shores of Elegushi beach. The water level is pretty high. And by experience my car does not do well with water.
I’m now torn between the options of finding high ground somewhere around and parking my car or plunging into that mini-river. I contemplate for a bit and I forge ahead. Big mistake.
My car does not last 5 minutes before it stalls and goes off. Wonderful.
It is still raining heavily. The car refuses to start. I open the door and try to come out. The water level is just a little below my knees. No exaggeration. I sit inside it for a while wondering what to do. Meanwhile, the car is already flooded. 😥
There’s a young man by the roadside. I remove my pumps, roll up my jeans and together with this young man I push my car out of the water to dry ground. I part with some money too. Oh, and the rain communed with me properly.
(At this point in my life, I’m thinking some pedestrians are better off than I am. Lmao!)
A friend happens to be driving by. She’s on her way to drop her kids at school. Ah, my savior is indeed alive!
I get in her car and she drops me at my office.
By 12 noon, I walk back to where my car is parked. I get in, start it and drive away.
Goes without saying: As far as this car is concerned, the fear of water is the beginning of my peace of mind.
Trust me when I say that there’s a lot more where these came from. But hey, who wants to hear all that boring sh!t anyway? Toodles! 😀