Jones! Jones!! Jones!!! These were the words spilling out of the Keke Maruwa (Tricycle) driver, distracting every passers-by with his loud voice on a clumsy Monday morning in Lagos. I had stood by the roadside for almost 20 minutes waiting, fidgeting on the spot, eyes focused on every Keke that passed by like I could go blind if my eyes missed a sight of the vehicle. So you can imagine how I jumped at the sight of the oncoming Keke that was screaming Jones.
I hurriedly found a seat to relax my hurting legs for the next 10 minutes of the trip to the office. I checked my wristwatch it was 8:50 a.m, I searched my bag for my wallet to get out the money for the fare just to make things fast when I alight.
I was already looking stressed due to the 20 minutes exercise of scouting for a vehicle, I quickly freshened up my oily face with a face towel while the journey went on smoothly as people were coming off at different bus stops. I knew I needed some distractions so I browsed through my phone, opened the Facebook application to view pending news feed that will lighten up my mood. Waiting for the app to load up, I looked up and noticed an unpleasant sight. A beautiful car had bashed into a street light. A young car enthusiast who sat next to me couldn’t help but lament about how someone could bash a Bentley Muslanne. I just felt it must have been due to Sunday Night’s “activities”.
The next time I looked up, we had approached the bus stop to my office so I alerted him, “Driver O wa o! (Driver I will stop here) He pulled the vehicle to a halt, I alighted and gave him ₦50. In an attempt to cross the road, I just felt a tap on my shoulder “Madam my money neva complete”. I looked back at the sound of the angry voice and I replied “what money, No be ₦50?” He lost patience and threw the money at me. I tried as much as possible to comport myself by replying him in a polite manner to make way for me as I was almost late for the day’s job. At this moment, all i could picture was me driving my own car(no matter how small it may be) to work. I would have avoided such embarrassment. I think i better start looking into one of these car finance schemes being advertised nowadays.
I was called back to reality as the driver suddenly started raining abusive words on me uncontrollably, spitting out words I couldn’t comprehend and then I lost my patience. ”Oga wetin be your problem, na ₦50 we dey take Jones since when did it increase to ₦100” When passengers in the Keke couldn’t condone the scene, they came to interfere in the misunderstanding. Then one of the passengers, a young man in his mid-30s tried pulling the driver to the order side when he was beginning to jump and make gestures like he was ready for a fight. The young man told him that he should come drive so the rest of the passengers can be taken to their different destinations.
The next statement the driver altered was ”no be bank you dey work, after all the money they pay you no fit pay ₦100, abeg waka joor! ” After he made this statement, I didn’t know when I busted out laughing uncontrollably till my stomach hurt. It was then it occurred to me he was using my appearance to charge me for the fare. Passengers in the Keke couldn’t help but insult the guy as he had displayed an act of greed. I was embarrassed as though I couldn’t afford to pay the balance but the feeling left me the moment I realized he wanted to cheat me.
On a second thought I don’t blame the guy as the economy is not smiling, men must hustle for the fastest way out of the situation in the country. ⋕Smiles⋕