I always find it funny when bus conductors reject money because it’s wrinkly or ‘not fresh’. It’s not that I don’t think bus conductors or traffic hawkers don’t deserve the crispiest naira notes but I just don’t understand why they make a big deal when they don’t get it. They start fussing and hollering and its even much worse when it is with female vendors.
The female vendors simply don’t have it. At least you can plead with or ‘change it’ for the male bus conductors, female vendors won’t even sell to you most times if your money is not worthy of their goods and I think its hilarious.
It’s all fun and games with crispy money drama until people start overstepping their bounds and invading people’s space. Let me give you an irritating example. Here I was trying to get an Opebi/Allen bus to get to work, which is like trying to find Gold in Antarctica when I noticed this rather short curvaceous woman at the bus stop. She wasn’t entering any of the other buses going to Ojota or Ikeja, so she had to be Opebi/Allen bound. After what seemed like a decade of waiting, an Opebi/Allen bus finally came through.
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As expected, there were only two vacant spots so everyone was pushing and struggling to get inside. Men in suits and ladies in heels lose all sense of composure when it comes to getting into an Allen bound bus because you don’t know how long you’ll wait till another one comes around. I had hustled my way past a number of people so it was myself and the short curvaceous lady that was left on the final leg of the Allen bus Olympics. She tried to use her ‘curvaceousness’ to eliminate me from the glorious seat, but I have a Father that will never ever fail me.
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We both got into the bus last last and I slipped away into the world of Camila Cabello’s ‘Camila’ with the help of my headphones only to be interrupted three songs in by shouting and hollering. What did I miss and why was the curvaceous lady grabbing the bus conductor’s trouser? Apparently, the bus conductor had given her change that was not as good as the money that she gave him. We were now parked at her bus stop and out of anger, she was holding on to the conductor’s trouser insulting him and pointing at his face. The guy was relatively calm.
He showed her that he didn’t have any more change after which she proceeded to put the money inside the man’s shirt! At this point, I was furious! Why would she do that and why would this other lady be supporting the curvaceous lady so fiercely. Finally, one guy brought out change and the lady left. I felt badly for the conductor especially because there was a lady in the bus, who kept shouting at him long after the curvaceous lady had gotten down.
Every day, people like that bus conductor get the rude treatment for things as inconsequential as change and people like me sit back and watch it happen. No one came to that poor guy’s aid. We all just minded our business as the woman was egged on by another. We allowed those women to pour out their aggression, invade his personal space and hurl insults at that guy for no reason. We all need to do better, you and I. I’m not saying you should get involved in every bus fight your experience but the next time you experience bullying and injustice of any sort, be a voice. One of these days, you might be the bus conductor in the equation and you may not be able to keep your cool.
From The Lagos Side,
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