What Lagos Does To You

VIVIDMETAPHORS

The conductor’s tribal marks – three long horizontal lines across each cheek – along with his wild eyes and scraggly beard, make him look like a tiger. The bus is full, so he supports himself against the door frame while collecting money from passengers. He does this as the bus speeds down the expressway, all the while calling out as we near every stop.

When I came to Lagos, I was always amazed – and worried – at how fast danfos go along this road, especially when there are bus stops every few hundred meters. Everyone else ever seemed to be used to it. The possibility of accidents definitely didn’t frighten them as much as it did me. The fear of labelling myself an outsider is the only thing that kept me from screaming every time a bus I was on shook or lurched, or almost crashed into another vehicle…

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