I was on the bus this morning and the following conversation happened between me and the bus conductor. I was in a particularly troublesome mood hence my choice of the English language.
Me: may I have my 100 Naira change please?
Conductor: (Grunts) Elo lo fun mi? (How much did you give me?)
Me: 200 Naira abi is the fare not 100?
Conductor: Ogbadun, To ba fe change e wa so Yoruba… oyinbo oshi ni ko ma so nibe (If you really need your change you will speak to me in Yoruba you’re not ready)
A few minutes later, I was almost at my stop so I called his attention; still speaking in English, he said elo ni change e? (How much is your change?) I replied 100 naira he looked at me and calmly gave me my balance. Then I started to think. Why did he throw a tantrum earlier? Why did I not get angry at his pseudo insults and ramblings then I realized I have become one of them. This inspired me to make a list of things public transport will teach you.
- You are smaller than you think: ok, I am a UK size 18 with an ample bum but that doesn’t stop me from fitting in a 4 per row system. In fact, there was a day I was going to get on a bus and I saw the space after the size 22 woman, the size 10 lady and the other man had shifted, it was so tiny like what I will fit my little niece into but I took the step of faith and climbed onto the bus, I lowered my bum into the seat it fit! Public transport gives you the power to shrink! Let me just tell you.
- You are more patient than you think: This is the most baffling part of public transport for me. I am not particularly short tempered but I consider myself a bit sensitive to words. There are times that I have killed, dismembered and roasted some conductors in my mind but on the surface I just smile and say you must be crazy or something, I mostly keep my reaction calm. Ok! I must tell you of this incident. A while ago, a conductor chose to flirt with me! ME! With my three degrees!!! He kept making weird remarks and I ignored him and kept looking into my phone. After a while, he said, “ahh, you can’t even answer, upon say you fat”.
Of course I wanted to go all out and se were (go to town on his ass) but then I asked myself, do I really want to get into it with a conductor who has nothing to lose? Moral of the story: public transportation teaches you patience.
- Everybody is your brother/sister: This irks the shit out of me. My sister abeg shift, bla bla. Some people go to the extent of touching you, some try to have a full on conversation with you and you’re just like, Baba God please pick up, I don’t want Range rover, ordinary Toyota Camry will do! I just zone off. Earphones on, eyes straight!
I have a lot to write about taking the bus and public transport generally, for example my cab pricing skill is superb! Would you like to know how I decide either to Uber, take a nice cab or go for the yellow cabs… hehe let me know if you want me to share my public transport chronicles.
When I officially resign from bus gang you shall hear from me. Lets pray is sooner that I am hoping!
According to Larz.