Have you ever seen anybody moving at a leisurely pace on the streets of Lagos? Take a moment to think about it. Have you ever? I can bet you that everybody, young and old, moves as if their heels are on fire or they have somewhere very important to be.
That is why it becomes easy for pick-pockets to pilfer items easily from moving targets. You are moving so fast with your attention focused on where you’re trying to be so you just won’t notice! With all that hurrying, a bump on your shoulder is all it takes. Your wallet or phone is gone. That is if parts of your body (or your destiny) don’t follow.
It’s like that Snake game in those old Nokia phones where the snake just keeps growing longer and moving faster through different obstacles. It ends up getting too long for the screen and eventually ‘kills’ itself. Game over.
This fast-paced life seldom leads anywhere good. So, where are we rushing to in this Lagos, please?
Somebody said it’s the hustle. You have to be fast on your feet to achieve anything worthwhile. Is it Gala we are selling in traffic? Another person said people will take advantage of you if you’re not sharp. Does being sharp translate to acting in a frenzy? How efficient and smart movements became equal to imbecilic behaviour is beyond me.
The funny thing is that this fast-paced attitude so prevalent in Lagos is also one of its mantras. Lagos is sharp sharp o.
Eko no dey dull.
Eko no dey carry last.
Small wonder life expectancy for the average Lagosian is less than 55. I don’t expect anybody that wants to enjoy old age and retirement to live in Lagos in their latter years. It just won’t work. With all the high blood pressure hovering in the air, it will be a miracle to even see your grandchildren start primary school if you stay here.
This is not an exaggeration.
When last did you enter a bus that stopped long enough for you to properly take a seat? One driver almost flung a lady out of his bus some time ago because she did not jump into the bus to take a seat in one swoop like a superhero.
She started to shout at the driver in anger but what was his retort? Madam, you know say this Lagos na hurry hurry. As if that was enough to explain away possible injuries or even worse, death.
I think it was Charles Darwin that said something about evolving parts to suit circumstances (don’t quote me here, my science is selectively weak). So, I have learnt to fly on my feet and be as quick as possible. It is not me that living in Lagos will kill for my mother.
My feet are lighter now and I have mastered the art of dodging moving or static obstacles. It is not that I have joined the madness o. I have just learnt to move out of the way. I don’t have anywhere I’m rushing to that I won’t reach if I take my time.