Hello favourite reader!
Welcome to another exciting danfo episode on ericotrips.
This is where we talk about the legendary Yellow of Lagos.
Depending on how you choose to get around in Eko, private or commercial options are two sides of the same coin.
The Mega-city and one-time capital of Nigeria has evolved significantly, generating the highest revenue out of 36 states in the Federation, it’s no argument that Lagos stands out and it’s symbol, the danfo does too, the city is really incomplete without the popular Volkswagen van.
“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.” – John Hope Franklin
DANFO is the landmark of transportation and hustle in Lasgidi, they are rickety and the drivers are reckless. It is an operational business with important segments, the conductors, agberos (touts), LASTMA and daily commuters from different works of life are a part of the danfo equation.
This is a collaborative post, PART II in the series.
#1. COLLECTIVE EFFORT
I’m sick and tired of conductors doing this thing where they “join” or “marry” passengers together because of change. The annoying thing is I always speak up whenever I don’t have smaller denominations, I respect their mantra, “enter with your 50 Naira change, mi o ni change oo” and I never go overboard.
After the trip, the conductor says, “oga collect your change from this man.” I then have to follow the person around in search of 50 Naira!
Sometimes, we eventually find traders willing to change notes, other times I give up and let the money go.
#2. LAW ENFORCEMENT
Erm… I can’t count the number of times I see LASTMA going hand to hand with the drivers all for bribery and whatnot.
They should be ashamed of themselves for behaving like lowlifes. At least, have some dignity and respect for your uniform jeez!
#3. SARS LIVING
Beat by Sarz! OK, I’m serious now.
These guys calling themselves SARs are a dangerous bunch.
Once I was in a danfo and they alighted from their vehicle with guns, the SARs officers started attacking the drivers because they were driving “nonsense.”
At some point they even started breaking mirrors.
Duxkyd is a lover of anime and games, he has dedicated his life to innovative technology and currently invests in crazy gaming laptops.
#4. SECURE THE BAG
The first time I visited Lagos I was paranoid. I boarded a danfo in the fiery city at Ojota transiting to my destination – Yaba and I clutched my bags tightly to my chest.
I heard stories of people that were robbed in these buses and they made me really scared but after some trips in the buses, I adapted to the whole process.
As my first danfo experience slowly came to an end, I silently wished for other passengers alighting at my stop, I knew drivers can be abusive and not that I was scared of insults or anything, I just didn’t want any confrontation on that day.
A couple minutes after wrestling with my inner thoughts, I signaled to the driver that I would be “dropping” at Yaba market and no I didn’t say “owa.”
Sincerely, danfos’ are not that dangerous and I didn’t have to be fearful afterall.
#5. PETTY ARGUMENTS
Countless times I’ve come across people that insult themselves on buses. It’s vexing to see old men and young lads insulting themselves.
I’m like, grow up already!
#6. DON’T KEEP THE CHANGE
All these conductors will just hold someone’s change thinking you will forget. Although, I prompt them all the time, what gets me worked up is scurrilous conductors or drivers, they verbally abuse passengers whenever they’re in a bad mood.
Segun has future plans to be rich! He is currently enjoying his service year (NYSC) in Osogbo.
I’m sweating in the danfo and this man comes along with an old photo.
He starts talking, “brother, my son is in the hospital right now and I need money for surgery.” He’s barely done when another fella with a placard comes along.
This “placard man” doesn’t utter a word, he points to the placard hanging over his neck because he’s dumb! It reads, “deaf and dumb, pls help”
I don’t want to sound mean but this has to stop. In my opinion, the beggars deface my beautiful Lagos city.
Where is the Government?! They should be in the best position to take care of these folks, the truthful ones and liars alike.
#8. DRIVERS SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE
There was a time close to Ojota that we (commuters) and the driver were exchanging words at each other.
The funny man instead of keeping his eyes on the road kept looking at us and all of a sudden, “the man just match brake.” Everything inside the bus shifted, the seats pulled off and for a brief moment we were in the air.
I won’t lie, I was one of them shouting at him, I think it was over change or the route he took. He was going to make us cover some distance on foot before arriving at our destination.
It was a bad experience, since that time to date I stopped disturbing drivers, I fear for my life and I’m not really ready to die yet.
Learn from me.
#9. SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
This one seriously upsets me. It is quite understandable that most people barely get enough sleep by morning since they have to be up early to join the Lagos hustle. But Bros, we are all in this hustle together so why would you think it’s okay to put your head on my shoulder in a bus while sleeping?
culled from The “Danfo” Tales by SugaRush
Mercy “SugaRush” Emmanuel (@KingSuga_Rush) is a content creator, she shares her travel discourse on Medium and occasionally blogs at cars45.com, Nigeria’s largest car buying service.
Mercy has a blog too, Irish Sugar, Check it out!
#10. YOU OWE ME!
The first thing drivers or conductors ask for is their fare, they always expect passengers to pay up with change cos they never have.
Sunday morning I got up early to observe the sabbath and walked to the bus stop to “enter” a sturdy danfo. A little into our journey, the conductor asked for his fare.
Everyone paid up except for one elderly man. We arrived shortly at the church and the man alighted the bus without dropping a dime, that’s when all hell broke loose.
The conductor held the man’s shirt and threatened to deal with him. They continued their scuffle until a lady paid the fare, inasmuch as the mischievous man had no intent of paying, she was only been nice.
It was plain annoying.
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