First off bitches, we see all of you creating your versions of the “How to…” series and we would just like to say a big fuck thank you for swegg jacking. Errbady knows that we started that shit.
Yeah. Bitches. Sweggu.
On to today’s post. No?
Let’s cut this long story short.
“Good evening people. This is your Captain speaking. We are now landing (safely, alive, and in the same piece as God made you) at the front wing terminal of the Murtala Mohammed International airport. Lagos. Please fasten your seatbelts (if they still work) and prepare for landing (God help us all)” Heard these words before? No? Not even in home videos? Ok, let me remix. “We don reach Lagos o, who dey drop for Ojota, Mile 2? I no dey stop for Maryland o, I no get 20k for LASTMA, my papa no be Fashola oh! Come dan here now o, ehen!”
Forgive my introduction; usually I’m not like this, I’m more posh and composed but for the content of this post, allow me to come down to your level for a bit. No this doesn’t mean I’m condescending, it just means I respect you well enough to step off my imaginary high horse and grovel at your feet for reason of reasoning together. So yes, my introduction ought to have passed the subtle message of what this article is about but if you haven’t deciphered it yet, fear not for I shall spell it out for you. Today, we shall talk about “H O W T O S U R V I V E I N L A G O S”.
See? I keep my word.
This isn’t information for just newcomers to the city but for you all who are here but do not even know Mile 2 from Mile 12 (I’m not sure I do either but that’s not why we are here). I’m not about to give you traffic updates or directions (That’s GidiTraffic’s duty) but just some street savvy advice to ensure that the “Centre of excellence” doesn’t drive you crazy enough to take up accommodation at the left side of Yaba.
So here’s the thing. Lagos is a fast paced city with things moving at the speed of light, everyone is in a hurry, we don’t know where we are rushing to but it’s the status quo. You cannot be doing ‘sme-sme’ in Lagos. Even if your Life’s Good you’ve got to be Sharp.
Yeah, I did that.
There are a few things you have to know to survive in this state. And your favourite blog is here to deliver these tips. Listen close; I will only be saying these things once.
- 1. Traffic
A typical morning in Lagos starts at 4am so do not be surprised when you see neighbours getting up that early to head to work. If you are lucky enough to reside in a populated area like Ketu, you just might not need a clock alarm. Just open your windows before you sleep and keep your ears open. The Imams will practically come into your room to wake you up for prayer. We’re talking every day, on the hour. These alarm clocks sound every weekday at 5am and on weekends at…well, 5am. So adjust accordingly.
Traffic is the reason people get up this early in Lagos. There are too many cars and this makes me wonder if we shouldn’t emulate China’s bicycle situation. Like everyone on their BMX’s n shit. It would help keep us fit and eradicate all that “Big man chilling in the Owner’s corner” type shit. (What’s funny about this is that some people will still find that two-user bicycles and sit in the back) Fuck you if you think it’s hurting me ‘cos I don’t have anyone to drive me. Arrant Nonsense!
So yeah, Traffic is like a tourist attraction in Lag and you should make the most of it. Those people who travel all the way to Shoprite to buy stuff don’t have sense, Most of them are just show-offs who need a good location to snap pictures and set P. You know why?
You can purchase everything in traffic, from household equipment, magazines and newspapers, rat poison, food, guinea brocade, lace, wife material, girlfriend, boyfriend, children, and even down to common sense. These hawkers are selling it. Here in Lag, the big boys go to Debonairs Pizza to have snacks, but our most common man traffic food is Gala and La Casera, to survive in this city, you must have your gala and La Casera money for such traffic situations. It’s necessary; it’s like vex money yanah. It’s the difference between arriving safely and not arriving at all. It’s the difference between life and death.
- 2. Police/LASTMA
Since we are talking about survival, there are two sets of people you must avoid if you want to live long and survive in this city: The Police and LASTMA. (I would have included women, but this is not a blog post on how to survive during Valentine). Forget what you might have been told, the Police in Lagos is MOST DEFINITELY NOT your friend, I’m telling you now o. If you ever have security problems like a robbery attack, just co-operate with the robbers, it’s easier to do so.
One thing you should note is that when you get in such an incident, by all means, call the police. But don’t expect them to come to your rescue. They’re not Spiderman. Please. If you’re calling them, it’s to report a case.
The police will charge you for fuel if (note, IF) they get to your place and they normally arrive long after the incident is over. If you have a car and encounter these guys on the road, just have your N50 ready. Don’t get me wrong, I do not support bribe.
I just believe in living long.
LASTMA ought to be the Traffic monitoring agency of the state; they have however become a menace to motorists, cyclists and even pedestrians. Do NOT for any reason attempt to beat a traffic light (even if it isn’t working) Just sit there till they pass you. I still wonder what “illegal parking” actually is because in Lagos, you get arrested and charged for parking your car anywhere. One day the government will probably come to your house and lock your gate because you parked inside. There are hardly any “no parking” signs but you’re expected to telepathically know where to and where not to park.
At this point, I must talk a bit about ‘okadas’ these are the bikers you see everywhere in this city. I advise that you learn a bit of Yoruba and Hausa to communicate with these guys. It’s amazing how these guys know so much math but so little English. They calculate excellently when it’s time for you to pay them but understanding where you want to go is a problem. The hausa ones among them are the WORST. These ones nod to your every statement as if they understand. Be warned: THEY DON’T! I also believe most of them have death wishes because they ride their bikes like the devil is chasing them from behind. You must ensure you SHOUT at them to control their speed or they just might accelerate your meeting with your creator.
- 3. One Chance
Basically, it’s only God that can save you mortals from the evil that is One Chance. How does one even begin to explain how to avoid these? If you’re a big boy, just go ahead and take your cabs like a carbohydrate addict. However, if you jump bus like the rest of the mortals, you might want to note that you should as much as possible avoid entering buses that are not painted the usual colours. You know, yellow and black stripes, white and blue stripes…
Lemme stop before you people will start yabbing my danfo skills. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never entered danfo in my life.
Those of you that did yimu and said “Yes, but he has entered molue” will enter molue in Jesus name. Say amen.
Last last, the important thing is to be watchful. Some tell tale signs give the criminals away. One just knows these things. They’re hard to explain. “Discretion is profitable” is all I can say.
- 4. Agege Bread
Fourscore and three decades ago, the seers and the legends foretold of this great invention. No one knows when or where exactly it was created, but the Agege natives believe it fell from heaven like manna or some shit like that.
Guys, listen closely, Agege bread is life. Legends have lived on this, old men have told tales by the bonfire about how this great invention was created and destinies have been changed upon encounter with this bread of life.
Agege bread cures sicknesses, lifts moods, settles family disputes and has been known to make people taller. No joke. If you ever see the bus/van that delivers that fresh Agege bread, ask God to open your eyes and I bet you this blog that you would see angels surrounding the van, keeping the bread safe. Yes people. It’s angelic.
I shall stop here on the Agege bread rant. If you haven’t had any, you should try some. And Agege Bread goes with anything, from pure water to tea, to pap, to ewa agoin, to more Agege bread…
So yeah, cop that shit.
Lagos is a fun place, space won’t allow me delve into other survival issues like how to eat at canteens and/or restaurants, how to alight from danfo, how to avoid getting your pocket picked at Obalende, etc…There really is no city like Lagos, like New York, it’s the city that doesn’t sleep, the City that parties non stop, Ah! The city with the girls that come out at night under bright lights…Oh! I must say this: Learn the art of PRICING. Never accept the first price of an item or service, slash it by 60% and negotiate always or else…
In spite of what you’ve heard or read, Lagos is for the strong and in Lagos, only the strong survive. Do feel free to add your own tips in the comments section.
Yeah. This wasn’t long.
– Cumical & Sirkastiq OUT!