Lagos is not the biggest state in Nigeria, but it is without a doubt the busiest. There are so many cars on the roads; private cars, commercial buses (danfo) and taxis and let’s not forget the keke maruwas and the bikes. The latter are known to constitute nuisance on the roads.
The out-pour of all these vehicles and the bad roads of Lagos combine to result in a heavy traffic. Lagosians would not be surprised to spend 3 hours on a journey that should take 45 minutes. “We are used to it”, they say. But are we, really??
The traffic would have been more bearable but for the addition of impatient drivers and riders, impatient pedestrians, bad cars exuding thick exhaust and dust. A combination of all these factors really make the heavy Lagos traffic unbearable. We must not forget to pay respect to Lagos heat; imagine being in a vehicle for 3 hours under hot sun, stuck in traffic (insult upon injury). Frustration is bound to set in.
Recently the rain has even made things worse; Lagosians spend 6 hours going from the island to the mainland. These things are enough to drive a sane man crazy.
Here are some tips to help you survive Lagos traffic;
Prepare your spirit soul and body
Embarking on the Lagos traffic is not a task for the faint-hearted. It’s a serious business. You just have to come to terms with the fact that there will be traffic on the way. You don’t want to disappoint yourself by “hoping” that the traffic will be light.
Leave home early
This applies mostly to the morning. If you’re going to work or to class or for a time sensitive appointment (irrespective of the time of the day), then LEAVE HOME EARLY. Or risk getting stuck in traffic. Leaving early guarantees that you’ll beat the traffic and you might spend less than half of the regular time. Another thing that could happen if you leave late is that you might not get a bus or you’d have to really hustle for it (if you’re moving by bus). So, put that alarm to work, people.
Take your work with you
If you have a time sensitive work that can be done on your mobile device or laptop, then take it with you. You really don’t want your excuse for not doing your job to be a pitiful “I was stuck in traffic”. This even shows that you are very good at managing time and non-conducive situations.
Of course this would be easier for the chilling ones e.g. the Uber riders and car owners that have drivers. Nevertheless, it even keeps you company in the traffic.
Don’t you dare forget your earpiece
With heavy traffic comes terrible boredom. It’s in the constitution. We all know that a good way to kill boredom is to listen to music. Now, if you’re in danfo , you don’t want your music to disturb others, so be a gentle lady or man and make use of your earpiece. It’s either this or you listen to the deafening tunes of a million car engines around you.
Have a Handkerchief onyou
The butties may think this is for when you cough or sneeze. Yeesss yes, it’s for that too but in Lagos, your handkerchief is a multipurpose material. The major function (if you’re in danfo or an Air Condition-less car) is to guard yourself from the agent of lung destruction called car exhaust and dust. You don’t want to inhale smoke or dust when you can easily cover your nose. It might not be foolproof but it’s better than risking direct inhalation. Your health is important you know; don't mind how anybody looks at you. Alternative for the butties is to buy a nose mask.
Make sure you’re not hungry
Now, we know a hungry man is an angry man. Please eat before you leave for your destination. You don’t want your stomach growling in 4 hours traffic.
Buy gala and be happy (for the culture)
If you have forgotten to eat, then there’s always the option of Gala (Saving lives since 1952). You don’t even need to be hungry to buy it. Gala is best accompanied by a cold drink.
Make sure you don’t oversleep
Sleeping in danfo is a dangerous sport. Rest your eyes but stay at alert so you don’t miss your bus stop. Bus Conductors don’t care if you get home or not as long as they’re getting paid. And er… you don’t want to risk getting kidnapped either. This is Nigeria.
Take your patience with you
This is applicable in the entirety of Lagos. Patience is a virtue. Work on your temper and avoid getting into fights. We all know already that everyone is angry. Just try to keep yours in check
Relax and enjoy the ride
Just relax. You’ll get home sooner or later. Anxiety or impatience won’t clear the roads or accelerate the vehicle.
Shop on Wanabuy
Last but not the least; this is a fun thing to do while in traffic. Just go to www.wanabuy.ng and place your orders. Easypeezy.