Some Notes on Driving (1004 is really ugly)

I find it slightly ironic that Nigeria, one of the nations least enamoured with psychiatry and all other forms of mental therapy is probably filled with people who are more in need of it than any other. I’ve only been back for a month and I already question my sanity. Of course my sanity has always been dubious, but being in Nigeria certainly hasn’t helped. Every time I drive past 1004 (THE UGLIEST BUILDING COMPLEX IN ALL THE WORLD) and I have to blast my horns to prevent the oaf driving a prado from pushing me into the fence, and possibly killing me, I wonder what the heck our problem is. And we must have one, a rather tremendous one too.

That's 1004. It's in a very very very good area. The land it sits on is worth millions of dollars, but anyway you look at it, that thing is a COUNCIL ESTATE. 

I’ve finally figured out the Nigerian Highway code, and it isn’t one that can be found in any document. Before I say what it is, I’ll back track a little. There’s some setting of the scene to be done. All drivers abide by the principle of ‘Right of Way’. The ‘Right of Way’ does what it says, it determines who has the right of way in any and every situation. It determines, who should wait, and who should go, and who’s liable when you’re rear ended by a car that was rear ended by another. Typically it’s made up of rules like, give way to the man on the left, or give way to the fellow that’s already on the roundabout, but not so in Nigeria. In Nigeria, or at least Lagos, we all have right of way. Yes, every son of a gun, mother of a brother, and father of a sister, has full rights to use whatever stretch of road he finds himself on whenever he finds himself on it. Why else would someone burst unto the roundabout at 70 miles an hour? He or she must assume that upon seeing or perceiving his royal visage all other users of the roundabout will be completely arrested by lust or love or the ever irritating irritable bowel syndrome! Unfortunately this usually isn’t the case. It is incredibly likely that the speedy bagger will plough into one of the good men already on the round about, and if they’re both in a position to speak after the horrendous accident, he’ll ask, “Did you not see me coming? Why didn’t you stop?” And if the fellow that’s nearly been murdered knows anything about the Highway Code, he’ll say, “But I had Right of Way” but that won’t count for shit.

I fear that too many of us are murderers just waiting to happen.

Happy Days,

No comments:

About Us