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Lagos: the life we live.

Updated on May 20, 2015

This is what you think...

It is not improper for you to think that Lagos is a town, flowing with milk and honey. That is what it looks like on the outside. Like a state that has all the "spoils of the land". I stand to say, "you are not wrong", still, you are not completely right.

Looking at Lagos, it is a beautiful state with many industries and companies. Hence, a good place to find well-paying jobs and good houses. A state with great roads, beautiful festivals and beautiful people. A place to go for vacations or personal retreats. A place where people are very friendly and happy.

All these are true, but not completely. Talking about being a beautiful state, of course it is. Talking about having any industries, yes, it does have very many industries with well paying jobs as well as good houses. Talking about good road, yes, the roads have been extended and can take about three lanes comfortably. Talking about beautiful festivals and people, sure they are a lot of them. Talking about places to go on vacations and retreats, of course.

What you actually feel is right. But, remember, there are always two sides to a coin. There is the part you think about and there is the real deal.

Beautiful Lagos Carnival
Beautiful Lagos Carnival | Source
Beautiful Victoria Island
Beautiful Victoria Island | Source

This is what it is...

Your ideas is not wrong, but basic. Let's see Lagos the way it is...

Lagosians(the name the residents are called) live a very stressful and tedious life. The most frustrating part of Lagos is the traffic situation. It is unbelievable. Even the the road extension, getting a smooth ride trouble Lagos is nearly impossible. The danfo(Lagos commercial buses) drivers are the main causes of the major traffic jams. They park their buses in the middle of the roads to pick up passengers that may even be on the other side of the road. Another way they add to the traffic situation is by driving on the wrong side of the roads. They drive on the side-walks and even the road edges and then block other cars when they try to join the road again.

Another main cause of traffic these days are the queues for petrol. This is the most ridiculous of them all. Due to petrol scarcity, cars queue up into the road and congests the road.

The real Lagos
The real Lagos | Source

This is how you survive...

Lagos is a place of "survival of the "fittest". It is not a very friendly society for the average individual. Coming to Lagos for the first time and trying to adapt on your own is like bring a fish out of water and asking it to live.

The average individual in Lagos hardly has time to eat or sleep. Let me paint the Lagos scenario:

wakes up: 4.00 am
leaves for work: 5.00 am
gets to work(on a good day): 7.00 am
gets to work(due to traffic): 9.00 am
leave work: 5.00 pm
gets home(on a good day): 9.30 pm
get home(due to traffic): 11.30 pm
goes to bed: 12.00 am

Starts the routine again.

This is not life. This is total insanity. An average Lagosian gets barely 4 hours of sleep in bed and tries to catch some sleep in traffic. This is the life that people live in Lagos and it is really depressing.

Lagos is divided into two parts: Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island. Due to the traffic situation, many Lagosians who stay on the Mainland, but work on the island, squat with friends on the Island during the week and go back home on weekends to minimize traffic. And the same goes for those who live on the Island and work on the Mainland.

Lagos is a money consuming state due to the road congestion situation. Linking places with commercial buses and taxis is pretty expensive. An average Lagosian, earning about 40,000 Naira spends more than half on it on transportation.

The danfo drivers do not make matters better. During times of rain, when buses are meant to be readily available, they are not. They keep people stranded and come out when they know that people are desperate with escalated prices, because they know you don't have a choice. When you eventually get a bus or taxi, they usually very full, some people end up standing.

In Lagos, you have to be careful in your walking and alertness. It is possible for the hand of your bag to be removed without your notice. Even in buses and taxis, one has to be careful because the rate of thief is high. Many Lagosians surviving room stealing. But, this discussion will be had in another topic.

People walking when commercial buses or taxis are unavailable
People walking when commercial buses or taxis are unavailable
People standing in buses due to lack of space.
People standing in buses due to lack of space. | Source

All is good that ends well

With everything faced by Lagosians, there is still no place like home. Once you are used to the system, it is really difficult to leave Lagos and adapt to another state or city. 95% of people that have stayed in Lagos and gone to other states, report that they prefer Lagos to any other state.

Lagos is a state that makes you smart and fast, it is hard to leave that and move to a city that is not as dramatic.

Our beautiful third mainland bridge
Our beautiful third mainland bridge | Source

When do you get home after work everyday?

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