Episode 22 here
Drama will never cease to be a feature of our daily lives as we commute from one place to the other especially in this part of the world. Some border on the hilarious while some others are outrightly ridiculous. Whatever these dramas are, they add spice to our daily lives when we retrospectively take a look at them.
On this fateful Friday evening, I just closed from work. My Fridays are always very busy, as in terribly busy. I only finished my work for the day twenty minutes before my closing hour. As a result I could not meet up with the staff bus which always made my movement easy on the days when I close late. I just got out of the gate only to see that the bus was gone. Rain just stopped so the commercial motorcycles which served as alternatives were also nowhere to be found.
I looked at the my colleague with whom I was stranded and told him the next course of action, which was to move to the junction. Luckily, we got a motorcycle almost immediately we got to the junction. I thought of letting the motorcycle guy go because his breath was nothing but “ogogoro” (concentrated local gin). Taking a look at my wristwatch and the threatening sky, I decided against it and urged my colleague to climb. The guy kept muttering different incoherent words as he rode into bump after bump, pothole after pothole without any consideration for the passenger.
Thanking my stars, I paid for two and did not wait for any goodbyes with my colleague because that was just the beginning of my long journey home. I crossed the road and joined the cab that was loading to my next destination. I was feeling lucky and happy at the same time because I would ordinarily wait for some minutes before getting a cab heading toward my destination.
I felt the quick movement was the compensation for my missing the staff bus earlier.
There was one more person for the cab to have its full load of passengers after I boarded. I was seating beside a woman who carried her son on her laps. The first taste of drama happened. The passenger we were waiting for showed up and it was a very heavily built woman. Tall, big in every part obvious, the classic example of A plus sized woman. I looked up and shifted grudgingly, knowing it would be a long journey because the cab itself was a Nissan Micra. She tucked herself in and I was sandwiched between big madam and mother and son.
Fate had gifted me an uncomfortable trip and I was just praying that the driver matches the throttle harder when the lady with a son spoke.
“Uncle, good evening”, she said. Her voice sounded vaguely familiar. I responded and she started reciting a line that was familiar in Yoruba language – “Uncle e saanu mi nitori Olorun. E o ni toro je” (Uncle please I beseech you to help me for God’ sake. You won’t beg to survive). I blanked her out as I tried to scroll down my twitter time -line for news about the victorious “Golden Eaglets” who spanked Mexico earlier that day. Her voice came back to me and I remembered hearing her particular lines severally.
Here was this woman who always stayed at Mokola Roundabout begging for alms who I noticed had suddenly disappeared from that spot. I however started seeing her at Challenge area of Ibadan where she had relocated to carry out her nocturnal alms begging exercise. This fateful evening, she was neither in Mokola or Challenge, she had gone mobile. From accosting you at Mokola and the Challenge filling station, she had taken her trade into cabs.
I quietly zipped my bag and put the zipper in front of me while paying ‘total’ attention to my phone. My other mobile rang and while my brother was speaking in heavily accented Ibadan Yoruba to ask how close to the house I was, I made sure I replied in English Language send a clear message to the professional mobile beggar that I don’t speak Yoruba.
When we were to alight, this woman started telling the driver to stop. We were approaching her former ‘office’, or should I call it ‘begging spot’. The driver was oblivious of what was happening, Aunty “Fatso” acted not bothered while this begging woman kept telling the driver to stop. There and then, I guessed she was avoiding the old spot maybe for one or more reasons.
Fatso got down and I did immediately after her but the beggar cowered into the seat. Anyway, I got a cab to Ojoo almost immediately, praying for no more drama as I was already tired.
Watch out for “face me, I slap U ’10’ soon”.