Friday, September 3, 2010


The yellow bus is a market place . You find severe hustling, money changing, heavy negotiations, harassment from buyers and rude attitudes from sellers- like a market place a yellow bus can be. Some days are never complete without a buyer staging a scene i.e. brawl between a passenger I call the “buyer” and the seller-the bus conductor.

The conductor: A "uncontrollable, violent, wild-eyed" guy. He hangs like a commodity on the door of the bus. He’s one guy with a coarse husky voice& a mean character: sounds like rusted zinc sheets dragged on a rough edge;ruffled pitted face, black lips, a pierced haggard probably hard look with rumpled, unkempt dressing, an ear ring, sagged jeans, bare chest with overgrown hairy-oozing armpit(yuck).Though some appear neat but a greater percentage are proud to look as violent as touts.No age limits for this occupation!

The Driver: Exasperated, worn out, wild-looking,always aggressive, inconsiderate to commuters.

Types of Drivers: The calm Staff using his bus to raise additional income, the opportunist out to extort and frustrate commuters, the haggard “eko” boy fighting for a living, the middle aged father, the “wanna be”, the drunk and red eyed guy, etc.

Today, the yellow bus was noisy: there is always a hassle over hiked fare, “conductor” quibbling over not having change or holding to people’s cash and stressing the life out of angry passengers returning from a stressful day’s work.

Day’s ago, I boarded a bus as quiet as a grave yard. Everyone including the driver looked serious, thoughtful, maybe somber and a “mind your business” kinda look that if I pinched my skin, people would hear it taut!

Once, I stepped into a musical auditorium: call it “MTV bus” where hot Osupa/Pasuma-Yoruba Fuji buzzed like alcohol. In this case, the “conductor &driver” are on the high not considering their passengers-ever ready to shoot abuses like blows on defaulting passengers. I pity one who sits by crazy/ready to fight passengers (some are ready to lose their scarf, ties etc just to go to battle with a driver/conductor who has no repute to protect or face to hide-wagging war is part of their work description. Some drivers/conductors are surnamed trouble or Aggression!. They always stir a quarrel, prefer to“demand for T-fare” grudgingly, so filled with angst perhaps some transferred heat on all passengers - no decorum, no friendliness whatsoever; “I de tell u now, if u no get change ,com down now”,1k,500 no enta o,no shanse(change) i don tey u now’’ , “wole-wole”, “nah 100( for a N50naira distance o!) if u nor wan enter come down”… and lots more-always hostile!

I entered a bus where the livid driver abused a passenger to his ancestry because of a fare. He said;”I’ll feed your family’’ and the rather irate and ever ready-with-a-reply passenger responded like;”for that statement, you and your family will never excel” on and on they went ….I was dead stiff- all for hiked fares?Hmn!

What of when we're made to jump in like frogs, squeezed like lemonade and squashed like sardine in a bid to make extra bucks for seats made for three people?

Some buses are perhaps the driver’s living room-you find personal effects kept in a corner over our heads.
Some have “attaché” -wooden seats-that don’t only wound buttocks and rip clothes but cause friction around the “bom-bom” – imagine how the makers of these cars would feel?

Some buses genuinely looking like burial grounds and refuse dumps.

Some buses are scraps with no speedometers, no seat belts, neither are there fuel gauge nor brakes, no car keys and no shock absorbers etc. At times, they look like they’d fall apart on high speed. Most won’t accept new tires, engine, and people. Some do not have spare parts anywhere in the world ‘cos they are extinct...Dead!