Prior to now, I have always thought that Lagosians are the craziest set of people in this country and are more often than not mean. I may in fact be one of those mean lagosians. This opinion changed two weeks ago.
So, my parents went out of town for a couple of weeks earlier in the month, as a result, I had access to my mum’s car for two whole weeks! The day I heard I was going to have the car the whole time, the first thought that came to mind was “mo ti bo’saye!” that literally translates to “I have entered life!”, it’s the Yoruba expression for “you are living the life!”. I was so excited, I couldn't wait, this was on the 30th of December. My first rude awakening came on the 31st when I counted #5,500 of my hard earned money to fill the tank in time for cross over service that night(bear in mind that the tank was just half way empty at the time o). After I dusted that, cross over service passed then my sisters had to go to church on Saturday morning and then we went to church on Sunday. I was sha travelling all over Lagos and it was fun! There’s just something about knowing you can go anywhere you want without worrying about bus stops, conductors, danfo passengers and co. By Sunday evening, I had to buy more fuel again. I jejely borrowed myself brain and parked the car in front of the house on Sunday night, and didn't touch it until Friday morning.
On Friday, I checked the oil, put water in the radiator, and warmed the car, everything seemed fine. My baby sis was to resume school the next day and I hadn't bought her provisions and Kabuoy and I needed some stuff for the house too so we decided to shop for the stuff at Spar after work and just come home together. That day though, things didn't go as planned. I left the payment of my sister’s school fees till that Friday and spent too much time at the bank. In my rush to leave the office to go and make the payment at the bank, I made a mistake in the report I was preparing for my boss so when I got back at around 6:30pm, the report was waiting for me and it was a quarterly report for the whole of 2015 with a lot of formulas inside and my excel dexterity is only good when my head is calm. So after I got back from the bank I spent another 1 hour 30 minutes going over the report and trying to find the error and correct it. By the time we left the office, it was almost 8 o'clock.
Now, on a normal day, I would have been worried that I had my sister outside so late at night but since we had the car, I figured we would be fine so I didn't think much of it. We headed to spar, did our shopping and left at about past 10. On our way, I figured we should fill the tank since it was a weekend and we had a lot of runs that weekend so we headed to NNPC on Alfred Rewane. We spent another 10 or so minutes there then we headed home. When I got to Awolowo road just before the link to hit the express, I noticed that the horn had become faint, I didn't think much of it so I continued going. 3rd Mainland hold up was still there so we just joined them. By the time we got to the Unilag end of the bridge, I knew something was wrong. The battery icon on the dashboard was on and my horn had stopped working altogether.
At this point, I figured that maybe one of those things on the battery head had shifted and the battery wasn't charging. I didn't want to alarm my sis so I kept it to myself thinking that the battery will work until I turn off the engine which I had no plan of doing until I got home but, man proposes, God disposes. As we descended 3rd mainland bridge, just before Iyana Oworo bus stop, there was a broken down truck on my lane(far right), as I turned the steering to switch lanes, the engine went off.. ha! I quickly steered the car back into the lane but my butt was still on the road. If you know Lagos very well, Iyana Oworo is one place you don't want your car to break down cos they're notorious for robberies. I was so scared that night. The bad thing was, our main phones that had all the important phone numbers were very very dead, mumsie was out of the country and the phone I had with me had only work contacts in it. Luckily, when I put on my dead Samsung, it stayed on long enough to get my uncle's number out, I was so relieved.
My uncle told us to shift the gear to Neutral and push the car away from the road (Kabuoy did most of the pushing). Just imagine two small ladies pushing car on 3rd mainland, it was laughable. Next, he suggested we push the car all the way to the bus stop and park it there, this is the one that angered my sister. The bus stop was at least 150 meters away from where we were, it was just the two of us in the car, and we were on the farthest lane from the bustop and traffic was heavy, how did he expect us to push the car. Meanwhile, as both of us were there wondering what to do, cars kept speeding past us (I don't understand this part, how will you see two ladies stranded at such a dangerous spot and not stop to help? I still don't get it). Eventually, one guy in a Lexus salon car parked in front of us and asked what the problem was. I swear, that guy is the nicest person in all of Lagos.
He stopped because according to him, that place is not a good place for anyone to be stranded much less women. Fortunately, he had this lil kit in his bag that had jumper cables, a portable battery, torch light, spanner, etc. He used the jumper cable on the battery and the car roared to life, see jubilation. The car ran for a few minutes and I got back behind the wheel. As I tried to move, the engine went off again, I just quickly flashed the guy with my lights, it took a few seconds (which felt like a whole minute) but he eventually stopped. At this point, we figured that the alternator had probably packed up and wasn’t charging the battery. The next dilemma was how on God's green earth we were going to get the car away from that place.
After a few minutes of trial and error, the guy decided to leave the jumper cables and the portable battery on our battery so we could take the car to Atunrase Estate in Gbagada where we have a couple of family friends. So he drove in front of us real slowly, the battery amazingly took us to the estate from there. We were so relieved, Kabuoy cried. We kept thanking the guy and he in turn kept shrugging it off like it was normal stuff, I had to beg and beg for his name and phone number. By the time we got to Atunrase, it was already past 11pm. He took his cables, confirmed that we were safe and drove off. I haven't been able to get that night out of my head.
Before that night, I am very sure that if I'm driving and I see a broken down vehicle, I would not stop but from that night, I know that I will render as much help as I can to any one I meet. That guy didn't know us from anywhere, was on his way back from work and probably tired but he was patient enough to wait with us and also go out of his way to help us. Each time I remember that incident, I marvel about him and pray for him. The car is back at home now but if I hear say I enter am! My sister was still telling me last night that shey I won't drive to work today ni, emi ke? Lai! Na mumsie go come carry the car commot...lol
Anyway, that was my first experience with the nice, compassionate humans of Lagos.
I hope you all are doing very well and life it treating you well? Thank you for always coming back to read. I hope to be able to find my blogging rhythm soon so y'all won't have to wait for weeks before a new post comes.
Have a fabulous Wednesday.