Impressions of a place are about comparisons, surprises as they contrast with expectations, things that impress us and yet also the daily interactions and familiarities that turn a place into one's home. I love living in the FCT and having relocated (at least for now) from Lagos, it's only normal to make comparisons between the two cities. I've been looking out for similarities and so far I've found a few.
- You know the way the police guys shamelessy, no proudly collect the 20 bucks from the bus drivers. Nope! Haven't seen that around here (On second thoughts, maybe it's more on a professional level ... in offices, with cheques, with contracts)
- You know the way you just see mad people strutting around town and everybody just walks past like they are normal pedestrians like you. Nope!
- There's just one beggar on the road from my residence to my place of work in Garki. For someone like me who has lived all her life in Lagos excluding a few months away, you'll admit that this is strange. My mind just drifted towards that trailer-crammed Apapa route.
- I have never, I mean NEVER ever been stuck in traffic (Okay to be honest, I'm aware you have to watch the time these days. and that means no excuse for lateness anymore.) Queues build up but nothing extraordinary (except of course in times of the fuel scarcity) and besides, the traffic lights are functional. Again Think Apapa.
I had to go return to Lagos for a week and boy, I was battling with mixed feelings. First things, the sight of okadas, the yellows and blacks (buses and cabs) and the uniformed Owo da brought a smile to my face. It seemed everything was singing the line from Naeto-C's Kini Big deal that says, "One more thing: This is Las Gidi!" Didn't know I'd been gone for so long. Next, I was stuck in Apapa on my way from Victoria Island to Festac for THREE HOURS, not including the hour I spent on the island itself. Of course I got home with different kinds of aches. If I could describe Lagos in one word, I'd choose TOXIC but ... the kind of toxic addiction that eats deep into one's bloodstream and keeps you wanting to go back. Someone called it a strange romance and I couldn't agree more.
Nigerians, Lagosians, Abujans (or what are we called), what do you think? Got any experiences?
PHOTO CREDITS: ME and my camera!