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​JUST ASK: Memoir of a Lagos Commuter

Photo credit: Gettyimages.com

So as I stood on the bus stop, thinking of how to locate the bus going my way, I remembered that I could actually save myself the stress by simply asking for help from somebody…anybody. I mean, after all, there were lots of others, standing right next to me, waiting for a bus too. I know at this point some of you might be saying: haba! No need for that, when there’s google map. But I’m sorry to say (I may be wrong) but I really think it works best if you are actually driving yourself down to the location. I remember how extremely helpful it was the day we (I, mumc and sister) were looking for the venue for a wedding.
Even the bible tells us to ask and it shall be given unto us. So why do we often fail to ask for help when we know that we may have lost our way?

After I was successful at getting a bus (with the help of a kind father-figure), as I sat there, I began to wonder why we sometimes rather choose to walk around aimlessly. Could it be pride? Or shame? We don’t want to ask and leave people saying, “Ah, this one na jjc o.” Lol. So what? Before you begin to worry about what others would think, stop to think about what would be worse for you: getting lost or the name tag? And even if you don’t get lost (I don’t actually believe one can get lost in Lagos or anywhere even, but hey, it’s my opinion) think about that extra cash you would waste in the time spent jumping in and out of the wrong buses. It has happened to me.

Trust me, you should choose to ask questions whenever you are unsure about anything. It’s way better and you know what… when you do call the attention of that uncle or aunty you meet on the road, bus stop, in the bus or even the okada man, keke man or bus conductor, they will be willing to help you. Yes, even that mean-looking conductor. I speak from experience, remember? Don’t even approach them like you are so smart or start speaking oyibo language; come down to their level, trust me, just doing this boosts your chances of getting a detailed description of how to arrive at your destination and if you are even lucky, some would be willing to guide you to an extent. Trust me, I’ve seen this happen. If there’s anything I have come to know about the random Nigerian you come across on the street, it’s their zealousness in assisting others.We are a very hospitable people in naija.

Then again, sometimes, you may need to ask several people and compare their responses when asking for directions. Lol. I don’t know why but I have also found that some would be happy to give you a reply even when they are not so sure. They would say it with so much confidence and unless you ask an entirely different person, away from the same spot, your own idea might actually turn out to be the right answer to your question in the first place. So be sure to confirm with other people. You can’t run out pf people to ask, so why don’t you just swallow that pride or shame and…

…just ask!

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Author:

Biochemist by formal training| Online Freelancer| oh cliché.. just an unusual Naija babe who enjoys putting her thoughts down. I also love having deep conversations (even with myself) :D. The perfect meal combo is Rice, fish, beans with plantain.

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