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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Nigerian Headache

Each day when you get in the car in Lagos, there is no telling how bad the traffic will be on any given day. Some days it can take you almost 4 hours to go 5 miles and other days it can take 20 minutes to go 20 miles! One thing that you can always depend on , however, is the many interesting things you will see through your car windows in the streets of Lagos. Today when we were taking Jeremy to school, there was a traffic jam at the light. No one was moving and Fatai was in the middle of the intersection with nowhere to go. of course the traffic police were there, and of course they weren't doing anything to help the traffic. When we got closer to the source of the jam, we saw it was two Nigerian drivers who were in a fight about something. The road was too narrow for both cars to pass , and neither one would give the other car the right of way. So, while they were arguing about who would go first, we just went ahead and went around them on the curb, of course.:) After we dropped Jeremy off at school, I saw a sight I see almost everyday, a broken down danfo ( Lagos public bus). When you look at the picture of it, you can use the term "bus" is really more like a van. But, believe it or not...about 18 to 20 people cram onto one of those buses at a time. I saw those men pushing the danfo and I knew they must really be having a head ache...
After passing by the danfo, we went over the bridge to Ikoyi to take Elizabeth to her school and on the way there...surprise , surprise, there was another traffic jam. This one was caused by a multi car accident. There is something about accidents here in Nigeria that prompts people who have absolutely nothing to do with the accident to run over to the accident and take some one's side...just for the sake of arguing. And arguing loudly is something Nigerians can do very well.:) So, needless to say, there was a huge "go slow" when there were three vehicles involved in the accident.

By the time I got home today, I had a really bad headache. I was really feeling frustrated that things here are always a little more difficult than you expect them to be...okay...they re ALOT more difficult most of the time. But, then, my little girl came up to me in her purple plastic shoes with her beads and her pig tails and I couldn't help but smile...

She was the best medicine for my head ache today.:)

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