Molue: In Lagos Nigeria – a privately-owned commercial bus seating forty-four passengers.
Lagos is a city where anybody does anything, in the most awkward places; and with no iota of shame or shyness whatsoever. Well, what stories would we have to tell without the existence of these ‘special ones’?
It was a hot Tuesday afternoon in the beautiful city of Lagos, with my heart beating, head pounding. I could almost feel the clapping of cymbals and the beating of drums. Different keys were striking various chords, all in my head.
With the hot sun smiling wide at me, I gazed around for a water seller. The sound of ‘cold pure water’ brought great relief as I hurriedly requested for one, paid and gulped it down before she could tell me ‘aunty no change’. Ok, I actually gave her a ten naira note so I wasn’t expecting any change.
With the way I was feeling, headache and all; you would think I will get into one of those decent ‘Lagos Buses’ (Lag Bus) and continue my journey in peace, at least that’s what a normal thinking person will do in her current state of health.
Alas! I walked around looking for another ‘Lagos Bus’ unique in its own great way…MOLUE and jumped into it with no sense of remorse to my weak body and pounding head.
Now, there’s something so special about this bus which you won’t you won’t find in any other 21st century Lagos Bus. It’s like watching a movie; action, drama, thriller and comedy, all combined in the rightful proportion just in a single movie. Not even migraine could make me miss out on this.
So there I was, sitting in the middle so I could hear and see everything happening from both front and back, and of course middle. After what seemed like hours, the bus finally moved and the block-buster movie began….in 3D…free….and you don’t even need a 3D glasses. Action!!
A moving Molue, some passengers are sitting while some are standing on the aisle. There I am, at a corner engrossed in a novel. All of a sudden, a woman shouts from behind.
Ni Oruko Jesu (In Jesus’s name)
Some passengers reply by saying Amin (Amen), at the same time, the conductor was calling for passengers even though the bus was obviously filled up.
Iyanapaja, Ikeja, Along
Now while all these were going on and at the same time, I had my head buried in Kate Perry’s Novel ‘Summer Heat’. So I ignored the preacher till she said…
Iwo obinrin to n wo sokoto, idajo nbo (You lady that wears trousers, judgment is coming)
At this point, I just had to listen to what this preacher had to say about ladies putting on trousers. On and on she went, ranting about how God didn’t create us to be men and how he had His purpose for making us women.
To make matters worse, some of the passengers even nodded in affirmation. Now that wasn’t the first time I’ll encounter such. On a particular day, I was walking on the road in trousers when one man who stood at the bus-stop suddenly changed the subject of his preaching when he spotted me.
He was like, it is not good for a female to wear what belongs to a man; I just shook my head and walked past him.
So the woman continued her preaching, the conductor continued shouting as road touts tried to collect their ‘entitlement’ from him, (I wonder why nothing has is being done about these guys yet), the driver made sure he entered every single pothole on the road despite incessant pleas from the passengers to take it easy.
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And there I sat, condition worse than when I boarded the bus but who cares anyway, at least I can tell a story from that single Molue escapade. Now that I write though, it’s really funny but trust me, with migraine trying to bring the worst out of me back then, it wasn’t funny a bit.
Now to the most interesting part of boarding a Molue; time to step out of the bus. The usual routine is the driver reduces his pace while you jump out of the bus; but after making a fool of myself and almost getting injured some years before, I didn’t dare.
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Amidst shouts from passengers and the driver himself, their frustration really obvious because I refused to jump; I stayed rooted to the door side till the driver finally agreed to completely stop the bus for me to drop at my designated bus-stop.
Did I wish I had settled for a ‘proper’ bus? Absolutely! Will I still board a Molue next time I have the opportunity? A million and one time YES!
Have you ever boarded a Molue? If yes, what was the experience like? If no, would you love to someday?