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CHAPTER 2 - Road Trip

The twins grow very impatient as the vehicle refused to get filled on time so they can be on their way. Whenever Tai and Ken sight any potential passenger coming into the motor park, they will both sha “lagosh, Lagosh come enter for this won, na only one passenger more” mimicking the motor park touts.
Beatrice could not help to taunting them ‘you’ both make fine motor-park touts” she said but her mother gave a disapproving look while passing her right hands over her head, she spits out “God forbid bad thing”. The twins were totally fed up when the twelve sitter bus finally left the motor park with two extra passengers making fourteen altogether.
“Thank God, we are on our way at last” Ken sighed in relief. Tai said. “Lagos here I come” has he started to wave to no one in particular until the entire vicinity was left behind and only trees could be seen on either of their sides.
Mrs. Adams was always apprehensive about going to Lagos like most villagers who dread the speed on the express way, the reports also about the high way robbers also scare them to death, some of their remarks are that if they have to die, they would rather die in their village than to be killed by armed robbers or by the reckless drivers so they stay put in their village, some of them never even ventured more than the next village in their life time.
In her forty-eight years of existence on earth, Mrs. Adams could count the number of times she has been to Lagos on one hand. She bated the hustling and bustling of Lagos life, the crowded streets, the noise, the smell and most especially the scantily dressed people always hurrying to God knows where.In fact, everything about Lagos irritated. Mrs. Adams and she preferred the peaceful life in her village.
The twins on the other hand were highly excited on their first visit to Lagos. They chatted gaily and made comments about the places and the people they passed by. At a point they began to count the number of vehicles their bus overtook on the high way.
Tai almost caused an accident when he shouted “Driver, driver, step on it! Hurry” all in a bid to encourage their driver to increase the speed so that the luxurious bus coming behind would not over take them. But the driver unconsciously swerved his head to the right while applying the brakes, this almost caused the vehicle to skid off the road into a very small ditch, this earned Tai a lot of tongue lashing from the other passenger and a slap from his mother.
This nasty encounter silenced the two boys for some minutes but not long enough to deter them from enjoying the passing scenery and they soon began to count the vehicles again, but this time those vehicles that overtook their own bus.
Beatrice on the other hand has relapsed back into the thought that has kept her awake the previous night she could not enjoy the journey as the passing scenery as she kept wondering about the new school and how uncle Oju’s family would feel about her, so occupied was her mind that she hardly noticed anything.
The man sitting beside her asked the twins this was the first visit to Lagos metropolis. Ken answer “yes” while Tai answered “Police what?” is Lagos only for police man and their family? The amused man replied “I said Lagos metropolis and mind you all kinds of people live in Lagos; lawyers, doctors, civil servants and the police officers as well. he laughed. Tai who did not find it funny at all said “I wonder have you to know that my uncle John live and work in Lagos and he is not a policeman at all.
And I believe you are going there to spend your holiday with him. the man said. “You bet is right” Ken replied with enthusiasm “And in which part of Lagos is that if I may ask. the man asked. The mischievous Tai was about to say “the m-e-t-ropolso” but Ken cut him short as he replied “Ikeja”. “Oh I see” the other replied” you will enjoy Ikeja very much it’s quite a prosperous industrious area.
But our teacher said that it dangerous to live in industrialized zones because of the tax wastes” Ken said in an agitated voice, he was nervous wondering if he would enjoy his stay in Lagos after all, he was always very careful where his health is concerned, his slogan was “when-there is life, there is hope and he never risked any hazard”. but Tai was not at all dominated by this proposal as he said “if uncle John and his family can live in Lagos there’s no doubt that it would be saver for us to spend a week or two in Lagos he reasoned.
The man turned to Ken reassuringly “I am not saying that you are going to live in the midst of factories: he explained, what I am trying to imply was that Ikeja has both its residential areas as well as the industrial quarters unlike some other parts of Lagos which are known as residential areas or planned as industries only for example is an industrial area and Ikeja residential zone “Oh I can now understand what you mean” ken brighten up, “Ikeja have its industries as well as its residential quarters which makes it a wealthy areas. Yes said the man. “Is it true that there are many cars in Lagos? Tai asked.
“Yes” The man replied and they move at a very high speed too. “No wonder, we hear of the many accidents that happen there on radio” Ken said before adding solemnly. “I don’t want to be knocked down by any careless driver.
“It’s as much the fault of the drivers as well as the pedestrians ‘said the man. How come? Tai asked before the man could reply, can asked “who is the pedestrian?” You and I of course” replied the man, anybody walking on legs is a pedestrian. “Or a foot wagon”. Tai cheeped in mischievously. Ken used both hands to cover Tai’s mouth before asking. May I ask you sir, is accident the fault of people walking on legs ro is it a crime not to own a car in Lagos?
“Well”, the man explained “There are bridges built for people to use when crossing the road but the people prefer to dash in between moving vehicles than to use these pedestrian bridges.
Bridges for people, how come? I know bridges are built only across rivers. “Yes, said the man “but there are over head bridges, the bridge too which are across wide long roads to allow people and others to across the roads safely most especially if road is a very busy one or a dual carriage of the man concluded “Oh no, you are using very big words”, Ken amounted and what is a dual carriage way anyway? “for example’ said the man “the road we are on now is one.
“No-ooo” said Tais “This road is an express way the Lagos-Ibadan express way to be precise. The man laughed, “yes, it is express because the vehicles are moving at high speed and would not stop on the way and dual because of land in the middle which allows two are in the same direction on the fast and slow lane at the same time while two vehicles are also among from the opposite directions. the man also further to explain “we also have over head bridges used by vehicles too, this are built to aid traffic congestion “oh my, Oh my” Ken holds his head” there you go again with your big grammar “what is a traffic congestion?
“May be the cars and buses has acting too much petrol and necked to digest the petrol or may it is the drivers who has over eating Tai said jocularly.
“You are a real cloven” the man smiles but mind you this bridges are used to ease flow and movement of vehicle going in the direction especially at the period this main the number of vehicle in the same direction are drastically reduced to help them travel far because those that are going straight ahead remain on the upper road while those that are going short distances or wanting to branch to side streets remain on the original road this make it easy for u-turns also without disturbing the flow of other vehicles or cause accidents.
“Ummm”, that sounds very interesting ‘ Ken said “but I would still like to see how it works however” he was still a bit confused about what the man has been saying, wondering how it was possible for vehicles to move on top of one another without one falling off. “Is it true that there are many tall buildings in Lagos? Tai asked “ I mean as tall as cocoa house in Ibadan which we read about in our English course book.
“Yes, there are,” the man confirmed, he added that there are even some that are taller than cocoa house. “No, that can’t be true”, Ken shouted fearing for the life of the people who would stay in such tall buildings. “But it is true” the other said “and this tall edifies one called sky- crappers and they have electric stops called lifts that carry people from one story to another, there are some of them that goes as high as forty stories.
“But Ibadan is a very big city and it has only one or two buildings that can be called sky crappers as you termed them said Tai, here than can Lagos which is smaller in size and rain little land compared to Ibadan have so many sky crappers as you boasted of?
“well, I would like you to know that Lagos is the nerve center of Nigerian’s business world thereby making it more populated than Ibadan the man explained” with water taking over almost half of the land. however, the people coming to Lagos can be housed, more over off as too has to be created sticky scrappers are erode to make the best use of the little land available the man explained patiently to the naïve boys. “What baffles me is city do the government go to such troubles? Tai said.
“I don’t understand” The man said raising her eye brew” can you explain?” Ken put in “what Tai wanted to say is why not come to Ibadan to site business where land is abundant instead of going to the trouble of building sky crappers, don’t government value human life?
The man said “Ibadan has no waters he went further to explain “What am saying is that Lagos is an idea place because of the Atlantic ocean that makes it possible for foreign investors to come with their goods and services and business ventures through ships on I can now understand what our English means when he said Lagos is over crowded” Ken chirped in.
Tai said comically Ken you meant to say Lagos is con-ges-ted both boys to laugh as they rolled the word over an over on their tongues.
The twins would have loved to continue asking more questions about Lagos but it was obvious that the man would like to take a nap before they reach their destination so the boys left him alone an turn to their mother who was already sleeping and they feel it was wise not to disturb her.
Beatrice however was un-appreciatable as she was still in her pensive mood starring vacantly into space her left hand supporting her chin, the two boys looked at her and then at each other and shook their heads making face at each other comically, they could not father what was the trouble with their sister shaking their heads in pity, they thought the best thing was to leave her alone praying that she would get out of the mood as soon as they reach Lagos, they revert their eye back to look at the passing scenery and some they picked up counting the vehicles again this time Tai counts the vehicles over taking them while is a brother counts the ones their bus overtakes.

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