The metallic horse roared to life with a galloping start, gradually, gaining speed as it moved on.
Its occupants, a mixed populace, ranging from the chaotic market place to the formal office- white and blue collar alike- all carrying same weary look after a tedious day.
The stale air was as offensive as a putrifying week-old cassava meal.
The conductor (the driver’s sidekick) kept on shouting on the top of his lungs the bus stops along his route to attract the straggling passengers, then, harassing the ones already-seated on where and how to sit. As the bus moved on, he asked in the Yoruba language “owo da” (meaning: your money) as he collected his fares.
Meanwhile, the bitter sweet oldies crooned from the old stereo in the bus. For me, it was a tough guess if the weary passengers swayed to the tune or to the metallic horse as it swerved here and there at its master’s will avoiding crater-sized potholes on the road.
At last! Here comes the much anticipated last mile even though it was eventful.
A Lagos-bred middle age man rose from his seat to sell some wares to the night passengers. Well, one could judge from his dressing and language that he was a son of the soil.
He said, “Today, I’ve Vitamin C, a cure for worm infection.” He went on to describe quite a number of other credulous healing tales about the drug and how it was a masterpiece from overseas.
His sonorous voice jerked me reluctantly from slumber as he further highlighted on the miracle drug he was selling. I dabbed my face with the dirt-soaked handkerchief, wondering silently for a moment if this was real.
I called out to the vendor in pidgin to explain the benefits of the drugs again since I had missed the initial brief while I slept. Joyfully, he responded believing he has found a potential buyer.
Shortly after this inquiry, the seemingly indifferent-passengers began to place orders. One said: “E mu meji wa” (meaning: Two packets, please) while another requested for a packet and then, others followed suit. Business became brisk and the vendor could not hide his joy.
Puzzled at this point, I said to myself, “Is this for real? Lagos na wa o!
Well! Out of curiosity, I bought a sample for myself.