Sunday, September 6, 2009
Musings on Ozumba Drive
Last night, Guy and I went out with some people who also live on the same compound. We were driving down Ozumba Drive and talking when all of the sudden I saw it!!! One of the signs that I am definitely in Lagos. I guess it was a small miracle that it took six weeks for me to see this somewhat common occurrence...public urination!!! I was just looking out the window when an okada driver got off of his motorcycle and peed right in a puddle ..facing the street...there was absolutely no shame about it at all. People who have lived here for a while told me I would see it one day...and yesterday was the day. As I was just getting over what I had seen, I looked out the window on the other side of the car and a little ways down the road, another man was peeing on the side of the road. At least this man was a little modest...he faced away from the cars.:) I couldn't believe it...I hadn't seen this appearance for six weeks and in one night I saw it twice! I started thinking again about how crazy it is here in Lagos. Even my driver Fatai knows it is crazy here. He will see the people on the sides of the road and on the okadas and laugh at them, too. A few weeks ago, we saw a man, a woman , and what looked like no older than a 6 month old baby strapped to the woman's back on the okada. I was stunned, and I asked Fatai if he saw it. He said," Yes, madame. That is how they are doing. (His English isn't all that great.) You must have a brave soul to ride through the streets of Lagos." I can certainly see that is so. I kept thinking about how crazy it is here, and he said, "In Nigeria, everyone must find his own way." I am not sure if he was talking about finding a ride or if he was being more philosophical. But last night, all I could think was that those men who were peeing on the side of the road must not be able to find their own way...to the bathroom!