What to expect when traveling in Nigeria on the interstate

Interstate In Nigeria
Interstate In Nigeria

 

Things To Expect When Travelling Interstate In Nigeria


Unless you are from a wealthy home, you have probably travelled outside your state before using public transport. Especially during the festive period when your family is in another state or for just a quick business trip or even to your university for your sessions, you have probably gotten on a bus to travel interstate.
People that fall in these categories will testify to the things listed below as an endless experience while travelling:

1. The waiting

This is when you happen to be one of the first people to board the bus. The driver will make sure to fill in the seats before taking off and sometimes travellers hardly come by on time. The constant stare out the window in the hope that every passerby will board is frustrating.

2. The hawkers

YES! There’s always a couple of them on every road and car park. Those people who always have something to sell to passengers on the bus are busy waiting for more travellers. The things you might want to buy can come in handy and others are necessarily not. But somehow they always know how to be on your neck to buy their goods. Saying you not being interested must be cruel, the best trick is to make no eye contact and be deaf to their calls!

3. The beggars

They are similar to the hawkers but maybe with a slight difference in their advance; they pray for you and your generations to come, some make those piercing gazes that it will almost or always buy your pity, all in a bid to get a small change from you. So if you’ve no intention of sparing change, look away!

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4. The prayer warriors

Your eyes might catch a glimpse of these scenes; where men and/or women, dressed in religious attire call out and urge in massive prayers and chants. These strangers offer no scratch just that after the display of their show, sometimes they expect payment. Since hardly anyone pays attention to their noise, I see them as a public nuisance!

5. The odour

When the bus is finally loaded with strangers and ready to take off, that is when you’d perceive a mixture of funny smells and body odours. The stench smell of sweat can make you puke. But hey! Don’t make it obvious that you are covering your nose, especially if the culprit is right beside you. Just hold your breath and exhale.

6. The potholes and speed bumps

Ah, what’s a good trip if you don’t bounce and vibrate with the rhythm of Nigerian roads? Some drivers will pretend not to see it sometimes and your head will collide with the roof of the bus. The almost annoying but funny part here is when you are already sleeping off the long tiring journey and you collide effortlessly with co-passengers and the metals of the bus. Bang!

7. The checkpoints

The good old police extortion. It’s illegal, unethical and shameless, but it happens anyway because it has been normalized, so there’s hardly a thing to do for a remedy. You don’t pass a police checkpoint without paying a fee with no incurrence. Drivers even pocket special cash for this purpose, in the end, everyone has to make ends meet.

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Just smile despite the extortion

8. The traffic

When traffic is building up

The heat from holding up under the hot sun is always blazing enough to roast chicken, might seem a bit exaggerated but that’s how enormous the heat is. One time, after waiting one hour in traffic, I found some corn seeds in my bag fully converted to popcorn, ready to be eaten! Bon Appetit!

9. The breaks and stops

So you’re tired from the heat and you want to get to your destination as fast as possible, but there’s one person on the bus that’s always asking for the driver to make pit stops. Sometimes, it’s the driver that quickly wants to buy akara or change a tyre. Or those that only go to buy petrol after loading the bus.

Are you serious!?

So, if you want to travel interstate, use a private car, or hire if you don’t have one. Otherwise stay in your house,if you can’t cope with the above experiences. And please avoid travelling during rush hours, like the festive periods, or there might be worse testimonies.