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 “You’ll complain and list the cardinal reasons that stop you from leaving when truly you love what Lagos does to you. She ‘restoreth’ your soul. She readies you, she is a brutal teacher, but you learn – my God – do you learn”

Flyover Bridge

Flyover Bridge

I may not know a lot of things about myself, but of these two things I’m sure – I am bad with roads and I make a mean pancake (more about this later). My friends and family have tried everything to redeem me lest I end up in the valley of the shadow of death but they find out soon enough that even though I fear evil, I am pathetic and unredeemable – they call me hopeless and let me be on my way (if I can find it).

I have gotten lost more times than the non-retard’s average – and an in-depth sort of lost, no place or situation at all shallow regardless of the number of times I have traveled the same road.

These are the only times my contemplations about relocating from Lagos re-surface. I’ll rant about how the roads are very confusing and regret one after the other, every reason why I shouldn’t be living in Lagos. This and when I’m stuck in traffic so overwhelming that the thought of hell is a palatable alternative. I promise myself that I would surely move out of this city until I see some light at the end of the tunnel, and suddenly all uncertainty is lost.

Last week for example, I had just had a lovely evening attending one of those infamous pretentious kiss-on-both-cheeks gatherings. I stopped on Awolowo road rather than go straight the route I was familiar with because I thought somewhere on the back of my mind, I had this and once push came to shove, I’d shove.

Wrong!

I was to get to my intended destination in about five minutes but long after then, I came to stop at a place that was brimming with men of certain poise, their voices ruined by years of substance abuse and conditions that make crayfish ‘bend’. Once they realized I was lost – imagine their excitement poorly disguised as concern – they rushed up to my car and the fastest one there said in the huskiest voice:

‘Bros, you miss road?’

‘No, not really, I’m just trying to find my way to Dolphin Estate.’

‘Correct! Na that side I dey go. Make I join you.’

Fear overcame my mind, body and soul.  My ’no, thank you’ must have come out unformed when I zoomed off.

Take this as gospel – you have never been lost until you are on a bridge that only leads to Ijora at 1:00 AM when all you wanted to do was go from Awolowo Road, Ikoyi to Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi for a drink that you could have quite frankly done without. Those who know these places understand the sorts of trials and tribulations one encounters after driving for 30 minutes and only to see a blue sign that says ‘Ijora Bus-stop’. And for those who don’t, Imagine you are going from your eyes to your nose but end up at your left nipple instead.

But the thing is – you’ll wake up the same time you did the day before, and you’ll go! You’ll complain and list the cardinal reasons that stop you from leaving when truly you love what Lagos does to you. She ‘restoreth’ your soul. She readies you, she is a brutal teacher, but you learn – my God – do you learn.

Credits: Jide Odukoya Photography.

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