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Musings

A Glimpse of God

I’m one of those people who went cashless even before there were enough ATMs and POS terminals around. I just conveniently forget to withdraw. Somewhere in my head, it helps me spend less. In real life, it ruins my budget plans and makes me spend twice as much! Nonetheless, you’d still catch me with insufficient cash four out of seven days, and yes, today was one of those days.

I didn’t withdraw last night – conveniently forgot again. I’d thought “I’d just ask someone at home to loan me a tiny bit plus some more for emergency“. I had the thought till I slept for the night. Still had it when I woke up this morning. For some reason, I did nothing about it. My mum had put me in a bus already before I realized I hadn’t gotten any money from home and I had just a fraction of the total amount I needed to get to work.

The thing about this morning is it’s about 5:30am, it’s raining “elephants and horses” and the distance between where this bus would stop and the next ATM is probably 5kms (I do not really know what amount of distance this is though) away. I couldn’t believe my life. 

Somewhere in the middle of not believing my life… the bus guy asks for our fares and from absolutely nowhere, the guy beside me reaches out and says he’s paying for two; for both of us! There had been no prior conversation or anything. He just paid.

***

I like to think that there is a glimpse of God everyday, in the most mundane day to day activities that we experience. They are like tiny little miracles that we didn’t even ask for but we needed and they’re His way of letting us know He’s here. I live for those moments.

24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear – Isaiah 65:24

Categories
Musings

No Stranger, No!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Middle Seat.”

‘Cuz I like to paint the perfect picture everytime;

If you know a bit about Lagos, Nigeria, you do know it’s largely divided into many sects; the most profound division being the Islanders and the Mainlanders.

There’s this mini sect between the two, we’re the “betweeners”

We basically dwell on the mainland, but we spend the most part of our weeks on the Island. I like to think that we’re simply waiting for fate to take it’s course and we’d move up! Literally!

So, everyday, I take a bus to the island, to get to work.

Now, I’d like to cue in again, that in some unexplainable way, there’s some sorta communal feeling when you’re on a bus in the wee hours of the morning. So, we catch the last bit of the sleep we missed together, our heads falling on each other’s shoulders unexpectedly. Then, we wake up and have devotion together; the unexpected preacher starting off with “Let’s just zing diz worship song together” after which we get off wishing each other perfect days.

Mine has an extra twist to it, ‘cuz I take the same bus from the same spot every day, so at least 70% of the people on my bus are the same, everyday! All that’s left is to pack lunch boxes for everyone, in the spirit of communal living. Really.

On random days, roughly between the traffic and the fatigue, the person sitting next to me just glances my way… It’s always my cue to plug my ears and start nodding enthusiatically to sometimes  no song.

I’m not a snob. I’m just following instructions and avoiding a weird play of events.

On a given day, some months back, for some reason, the person sitting next to me and I were the only two awake. When he glanced my way, I reached into my bag quickly to avoid the conversation I was sure was coming. I had no earphones. 🙁

He waited a bit till I was settled and then began his onslaught. The conversation went thus:

Stranger: I’ve been seeing you everyday, you work on the island?

Me: Yes

Stranger: Where?

Me: Karimu Kotun

Stranger: No, I meant the name of the office.

Me: You wouldn’t know it

Stranger: Oh, Ok. I work on the Island as well. You might not know it too. 

Me: Ok

Stranger: Ahn ahn. Won’t you ask to see if you know it

Me: No

Stranger: Why?

Me: Nothing

Stranger: What’s your name?

Me: ‘Deola

Stranger: That’s a beautiful name

Me: Hmmm

Stranger: You won’t ask for my name

Me: No

Stranger: Are you always like this? Giving one word answers and all…

Me: My parents said not to talk to strangers

***

*Conductor screaming “Obalende bole o*

I shuffle off quickly, leaving Mr. Stranger bewildered 🙁

I’m not a snob. I’m obedient. 😀

Categories
Musings

Of Tyres and Death

A few weeks ago, on my way back home from work, I encountered a little fiasco afar off. People were gathered, chanting different things. Some were stuck on “Ole” – thief in yoruba – others on “Kill him” and a lot less begging – almost silently – for mercy. I asked some passerby what was stolen and he said gala. I walked away bewildered.

***

 I live pretty much at the end of Lagos and I work on the Island. On a day with minimal traffic, this commute would take about 3 hours if I left my house later than 6:30am. So, in order to spend less time commuting and get into work early enough, I leave my house at 5 a.m to catch the bus and spend the time sleeping.

This morning, I sat in the front of the bus, next to the driver – asleep as usual. Suddenly, the driver taps me and hands me money, I wake up, collect it, hold it and go back to sleep. He does this two more times before I realize he’s handing me passengers’ fares as they were passed from behind the bus so he could concentrate on driving.

After everyone had paid, he told me the expected total was 5,500 and asked me to count what I had. I had 5,400. With that, he shouted “Who never pay? Money never complete”… I drifted off to sleep again…

Suddenly, I’m awakened by angry shouting passengers and a parked bus. You see, from the 5,400 accumulated, two passengers still intended to  collect change summing up to 900! ONE WHOLE THOUSAND NAIRA WAS MISSING!

We spent the next twenty minutes trying to find four people who hadn’t paid. Everyone swore they had. The driver said he wouldn’t move an inch till he got his complete sum. They all continually screamed in frustration. I sat still, blank eyed, wondering why I woke up in the first place. Someone suggested we help the situation and contribute 50 each for the driver to make up for the lost amount. I dipped my hand in the side zip of my bag – where I put my change – to contribute my quota. I found a stray 1,000 naira note…

You know the rest of the story.