The City of Lagos, located in Nigeria, West of Africa, one of the biggest and busiest commercial cities in the world, known for its hustling and bustling, it is very much the most interesting place to live and make good money in Nigeria.
Having lived here longest and it never gets old, the traffic, the businesses, people outsmarting people, hoodlums, and on and on and on but every day you learn to shake it off not because you want to but because you have to put on a brave face and face it anew.
But why write about Lagos on this post? Well, I just wanted to share a personal experience on a particular topic in this city and that my dear is the elephant in the room – TRAFFIC!!!
People say the traffic situation in Lagos is more spiritual than it is physical because most times you get to that bottleneck responsible for the traffic situation and find out there is nothing there.
Well obviously the traffic situation is due to bad roads, sometimes broken down vehicles but I have come to realize more often than not that it is simply due to IMPATIENCE on the part of the road users.
From the sounds of honking to the bashing on people’s cars to the Keke driver to the ‘Okada’ rider to the hawkers to the law enforcement officers to the bumpy roads to the road-side beggars name it, the roads are full of activities and hence very chaotic. So imagine driving on these Lagos roads for 10years or more, Mondays to Sundays (Saturday owambe and Sunday church service) you should better have your medical doctor on speed dial even your medical doctor has a medical doctor on speed dial.
Hence My Challenge
I decided to try out an experiment on the Lagos roads, which is; successfully go by a whole day without having to use my car honk. The only place I know honking is a crime is in the UK, where honking is considered an insult to the Queen.
So for this exercise, I had to prepare myself for the good, the bad and the ugly, on the chosen day, I was so conscious of my driving and that of my fellow road users, I was 100% alert at all times, I was calm, patient with other road users, I avoided anything and everything that would make me honk, looked out for cars jumping out from connecting roads/streets to hawkers struggling to sell their wares to other road users to pedestrians crossing the express. I just had my car USB play my prearranged music selection and I drove. At the end of the days’ exercise I found out I was relaxed, for the first time I enjoyed driving in this city, I was fulfilled.
I then went on to do this exercise for a whole week and just like that, I began to enjoy driving in this city.
“A wise man once said in a world full of problems, be the solution”
The stress from driving in this city emanates from impatience. Pressing on the honk alone aggravates one’s stress level. Most drivers use it to push one off the road, some use it to curse at others, some jokingly use it to say hello. But at the end of it all, it is all Pollution, NOISE POLLUTION and like any other pollution, it is toxic to the system.
Lagosians are known to always be in a hurry since you cannot control the other drivers you can learn to control yourself.
Take back the control of your driving and pace, be a smart road user and be patient. It never hurts to let another driver drive through a junction before you, or join a connecting road in front of you. It takes less than a minute to be patient to avoid been insulted, honked at or an accident.
Try this exercise and tell me how successful you were in the comment section below.
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