As I sit in the front seat on this rather rickety bus on a rather bumpy ride to Lagos State for a few days of reprieve before I start work at my PPA, my mind flashes back on a few things.
First, I really need to do a widal test. Never have I been more grateful for having an injury just before camp that made me take antibiotics till this very moment. I have eaten weird things, I have dined in even weirder places and I have drank the water of affliction. From impure borehole water with a metallic taste peddled as bottled water at camp for exorbitant prices to sachet water where I could literally taste the sand in the water even as it tasted like tortoise meat. Have I had a tortoise dinner before? Absolutely not! But I have a feeling it would taste like that water. I haven’t tasted metal either before.
Secondly, I am extremely pleased that I did not choose Lagos State as my state for national service. Now, Lagos is very posh, comfortable, and very civilised (at least some places). It will be more suited to my tastes and needs than the ancient city which I chose. But here I am thanking my stars that I didn’t pick it. For just two reasons: one being the level of human and vehicular traffic. It reminds me of my dear Oxford Road. And the other reason being the amount of “yellow” in the state. It is so blinding. If I lived in Lagos I would pray to the Almighty to make me colour blind temporarily. You turn everywhere and you will see a bright stunning shade of yellow. You see yellow is the official colour for transport buses. That wouldn’t have been much of an issue if those buses are not too numerous to count and if they had a timetable or schedule of some sorts on when to appear on the roads. But you see, they don’t. You look left, you see yellow; you look right, you see yellow, you look front or back and you get the same outcome. Even the traffic light poles are painted yellow.
Would you look at this!!! A never ending stretch of yellow fever.
Maybe because I have never been a fan of bright colours, but I am yet to understand why the government chose yellow. Yellow as a colour signifies sunshine, hope and happiness. I don’t see anything particularly cheery or hopeful about Lagos State. I have heard it is the land where dreams are achieved. Well I hope my dreams get achieved here as well before I go.
Thirdly… okay this is more of an observation, I have drank more garri since I started this national service journey than I have done in my entire life. And that is not even slightly funny. I really need to resume my workout immediately I start work because I can feel that my “village pipo” are planning a flabby tummy for me.
Fourthly, did you know that riding on a motorbike is like having sex, cowboy style 24 hours non-stop? So, while I was house-hunting, I had to go to a location where I had to be on this bike for 45minutes straight without stopping because there was a road diversion. The bad road and impromptu bumps didn’t make it feel any better. After that journey, I could hear my inner thighs begging for mercy and my poor feet suffered from pins and needles. You would think that I will be successful after so much stress, I wasn’t. Such was my luck.
And the last prize goes to ghosts. So I never used to believe in ghosts till I came to this town. Now I believe in them. Here’s an example, in the middle of the night, all the dogs in the neighbourhood in unison will start crying. Now I know that dogs generally howl when other wolves not part of the hunting pack are howling to direct the hunting pack to their location. So here’s my question… Why should all the dogs be crying in the midnight when there’s no major forest or bushes in sight for hunting? Why should the dogs be crying when there is actually no wolf, not to talk of wolves in a residential area? Why should I be hearing strange footsteps when no actual human is outside? Why should the said dogs be running around the compound when there’s no cat in sight?
Another example, there is actually a house, where ghosts wash your clothes for you. Any clothing they find dirty. I have seen the said house. It had a “To Let” sign in front of it. And I made the mistake of asking about it…
Well, let’s just say I learned never to ask questions at least while I am still here.