Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wilderness Journey in Lagos

It all began when I dropped a friend off at the Ikeja MMA2 Airport and started heading back towards Lagos Island.  I didn't want to pass through a bumpy strip near Maryland, so I decided to link 3rd mainland bridge via the International Airport road--a route I did not know so well. 

I was driving alone.  I had 30 minutes before darkness would hit Lagos.  I was driving a borrowed Toyota SUV, which the owner had just purchased. But no my strong head convinced me to just follow the road signs. How hard could it be?

Road signs ko, road signs ni! 

I  passed Isolo. Isolo? Mushin! Nope, I'm not driving through there. Ijeshatedo. Family used to live there but I was on the unfamiliar side of the highway. 

Oh no, where is 3rd mainland bridge?

Boo hoo, time to cry. 

But time was not on my side. Night was slowly creeping in, and the courage to stop and ask for directions slipped away. So I stayed on the highway. Yay to traffic-less Sundays. 

That day, I found out how Apapa-Oshodi expressway got its name. 

When I reached Apapa (hey, it was either that or Badagry),  I cornered a dangerous-less looking okada driver (you've got mapquest, we've got bike riders) and asked him to lead me to the bridge that would take me towards my hood. He stopped half way and pointed me the rest of the way, gladly pocketing my N200 gratitude offering. 

I once again reached a crossroad. Where do I go? Mmmh, I didn't put my trust in man O! If it wasn't for God, I'd have showed up in Surulere.

So what is the moral of the story? It's time for me to activate the GPS on my phone! 


  1. girl, i understand!!
    I have no sense of orientation!!
    i even get lost with the gps

  2. Thank God no disaster happen. I was afraid how this story will end o. It ended well. Thank God

    Active it o abeg. Have you settled finally in Nigeria? And when last did you visit my blog?

  3. Well, thank God for his mercies.

    So does the GPS thing actually work in naija now?

  4. I don't have any sense of direction whatsoever I just ask people and I someimes follow my intuition.

    As long as I don't run out of fuel, I will just keep going and asking till I get to where I want.

    That happened to me a lot when I just got to Abuja, it was crazy no bikes!

  5. i easily get frustrated with things like tht so if i know say i no know way, i'll ditch my car and take a taxi or brt and okada shikena.

  6. Eeya, at least nothing bad happened.

  7. Sorry dear. Something similar has happened to me at night. It definitely wasn't funny.

  8. Very interesting read. i love ur style of writing and ur sheer honesty

  9. @Amina, mmmh, God is our help!
    Standtall, babes, I follow your blog with my reader! I'm just a silent reader ;)
    @LusciousRon yes I'll be following my instincts more often
    @miz-cynic, yes that's what the owner of the car told me to do if I got in a fix. Yes gps works here
    @aloofar, yes oh!
    @anon, thanks !
    @ore, yes at the time it's not funny at all!

  10. Lol. Berra leave comment once in a while

  11. Lol!!! Love this blog! Same crap happened to me and same exact way, I learned how Apapa-Oshodi got it's name. After driving 3 hours on a sunday just to get to Oshodi from Ikoyi, I went to get one of those street level maps on the back of a diary/planner. It is the most useful thing in the world! Did you know Isolo is North-West of the Island?! Exactly.

    Dude, i identify to death!

  12. this is mad inspiring. i think I might write one of my own. there are signs now though. i can definitely get around in most places on the island. mainland is still a mystery

  13. mehn!!! i hope i wont be a regular feature on NTA's lost and found (they might have to start that show just for me)

    peeps that have lived in Naij for yrs are still getting lost. what hope do i have? LOL