Before you get it into your head to tell me to hit the gym or go on a diet just shattttttttap, I already know what to do. But that is not the issue. What then is the issue, you ask.
I hate it. Oh how I hate it.
Does it make me a horrible person? Snobbish? Elitist? Well f*ck what you think! I just hate it. Wait, BRT buses I can manage. Keke marwa, I can tolerate ONLY if I am taking 'drop' ie, I'm paying to sit alone in that wheelbarrow. Buses, Danfo buses? Those I absolutely HATE!
And it's not only because I lack the grace that some people have, to enter a Danfo bus all nicely dressed and made up and come out looking like they just walked off the pages of Complete Fashion magazine, while I'd enter a Danfo bus looking fairly decent, sit in it for fifteen minutes and disembark looking like a homeless drag queen on crack cocaine...
Not only because the conductors some times tap my bare flesh with their bare hands that I imagine having not being washed for days and that I try not to imagine the holes and crevices they might have fingered...
Not only because, thanks to the heartless Lagos heat people are all damp and sweaty and there's no way they can sit beside you without rubbing up against you...
Not only because everyone seems so angry, aggrieved, embittered and slightly mad...
Not only because when the conductor sees you sitting calmly and spies your clothes he thinks you must be an aje butter and then automatically proceeds to bully you... Yes, this happened to me in January when my friend's boo was meant to give me a ride from Ikota to Chevron. Le boo who had promised my friend he'll drop me off suddenly changed his mind and said "Nwando, please let me put you in a cab, I'll pay.". Angered and enraged I asked him to keep his change and stomped out of his car. This girl waited to flag a cab down when it occured to her that she had only 100 card with her. Haha! I could imagine le boo bursting into a fit of laughter as I jumped into the first bus I saw. I asked the conductor how much the fare cost and he told me 100H, so I paid but I noticed people stopping at the same bus stop all paid 50! I asked this guy for my change and he started to 'tear eye' for me. As in, he actually began to shout at me and dared me to collect any change from him. I looked at myself... 50 bucks... That's not money but the principle, the principle... Omo forget principle, when they reached the bus stop I quietly came down and found my way... Bloody eejit!
No, it's not because of all that. So what then? I'm losing my train of thoughts...
Ok, found it! Those buses ARE JUST NOT OROBO friendly, Gaddemmit! I always tell whoever cares to listen that I'm not built for public transportation. Of course I'm referring to my status in life, my (real or imagined) buttiness, my qualifications and my "levels". What they don't know I also mean is my large frame, my broad hips and my fleshy arms.
So last week I got on a bus (it should have occured to you by now that at the moment I'm carless, story for another day... And I'm not sure I make enough money to spend on LAGOS taxis every time I run around, and the distances too... Don't worry, this isn't story for another day as its only VERY temporary. Ehen, moving on...) and my legs couldn't fit into the leg space so I had to sit to the side, taking up space for almost two. The conductor said "Abeg madam you go come down or you wan pay for two seats?"
Thankfully at that moment my sister called and said she'd sent her driver to pick me up. You should see the way I jumped down from the bus, I think I stuck my tongue out at the conductor and laughed in his face but I can't quite remember...
Two days ago I got on a bus and one phoooooooooool said, loud enough for me to hear "Why this conductor carry this fat woman?" (Wait, when did people stop referring to me as a 'girl' and start referring to me as a 'woman'... Oh, and at what point did these conductors and bus park agberos start hailing me; "Mama!!!"?) That was it, the straw that broke the elephant's back. I tried to live economically, to "manage myself" and my resources, ignore the voice of my boss that rings in my head every time I'm about to take public transport; "Thelma, take a good look at yourself, God didn't create you to enter public buses". I try to ignore those voices but it's pretty obvious that God didn't.
So father daddy, eternal God, you hear that? People keep saying I'm not meant for that life (their words, not mine) DO SOMETHING!!!
I've called Simon my cab guy and I told him "we need to talk". Simon sputtered nervously for a few seconds before he remembered that I'm not his babe and it's not that kind of "talk". You see, Simon is just going to have to give me very discounted rates. Imagine I'm going from Lekki or VI to Alausa to conduct a search, and back again, the cab fare would probably be the same amount I'm getting paid for the job, as opposed to the 500H I would have spent on the bus... So Simon has really got to work something out. I'm done taking buses but I absolutely refuse to spend my life savings on these vicious Lagos taxis!
I'm not about that public transport life, TTB readers, I'm too good for that, and more importantly I'm sick and tired of hearing people grumble the second I hoist my fat ass into a bus. I cannot stop them from fat-shaming me, but I can stop giving them the privilege of seeing my beautiful plus size butt in their stuffy rickety komkom.
And now that this is off my chest, tell me how you feel about public transportation. What say you;
Don't mind it?
I don't know because I've never been in it?
Never be caught dead in it?
Only take it if and only if I really reeeeeeally need to?
And have you ever felt angry when a very fat person is about to sit beside you in a bus? (I know I have, and here I am asking you not to fat-shame me. Tsk tsk...)