Saturday, September 29, 2007


Do you think people still listen to the chirping of the birds in the morning or the musical whistling of crickets at night in a world where everyone seems to be caught up in the rat race? Well if like me, you live in the countryside where birds still perch on window pane, and crickets hide in grasses growing on the side walk, you will certainly be forced to acknowledge their existence and listen to their musical notes.
I live in a town called Akute, a small community often referred to as the boarder between Lagos and Ogun State. Many people are oblivious of the fact that 70% of the people who reside in this town make their living in Lagos and only come home in the evenings (late at night sometimes, thanks to the traffic jam) to unwind.
Apparently on week days, the town comes awake as early as 4am. Waking up early is one of the most active vaccine against the insufferable traffic congestion that mounts upon the narrow road and the only sensible route that connects Akute to Ojodu (an area in Lagos) every morning. Thus fathers, mothers, children-including babies resign to the fate of keeping up this routine of waking up early, whatever the weather or mood.
However, this morning and for the first time, I noticed that the beauty of Akute doesn't just stop with the chirping of the birds, the whistling of the crickets or the calm breeze that blows peacefully through the streets. As I looked out through the side mirror of the bus I was traveling in, I noticed the beautiful line the vehicles trapped in the traffic jam has formed. The ones in front were a sight for sad eyes. The break light of each vehicles twinkled in the dark of the early morning and together, they formed a trail of red shadows trickling through the road.
As if offended by my admiration of this sight, a danfo bus broke out of the lane and another followed impatiently, driving towards the opposite lane and disrupting the normal flow of vehicles. Before I could spell 'Jack', the narrow road was thrown into Chaos as everyone wanted to move at the same time. Angry drives cursed as they hoot their horn non-stop to express their frustration.
The seconds ran into minutes, still we were almost at the same spot. I checked my wristwatch, it was 7.25am. The once cool atmosphere now seems tensed. The only vehicles that were moving were the ones driving against the traffic, the ones that stayed on the legal lane barely moved. “Driver, you no go follow them?” one of the passengers moaned, pointing to the other drivers who confidently broke the traffic law and other passengers grunted and murmured in approval. The driver however stayed put, he was not about to let the desperation of passengers drive him into trouble of breaking the law- is there any out there?

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