Welcome to Lagos aka. Lasgidi JJC! Yes! That’s what we call the newbie aka Johnny Just Come (JJC). All I can say is you are on a long thing if you do not learn fast in this bustling city (Either you catch up or get left behind, it’s that simple). Lagos is like no other city I have been to or lived in.
I am here to share with you some of the problems a ‘JJC’ in Lagos might encounter and of course the solutions (I wouldn’t leave you without help :)).
#Problem1: THE FAST LIFE
Let me share with you a story about ‘Ikenna’. Ikenna came to Lagos upon securing a great job. On his first day at work (which was on Victoria Island), he left home (the mainland) at 6.00 am on a Monday (The Lagosians are laughing right about now). He wore his nice suit, pink tie (a pretty dope one at that) and headed happily to work.
The traffic was on another level aka intense (it was Monday so you wouldn’t expect different) and just his bus approached CMS, it started raining. Well to cut the long story short, Ikenna got to work 10.16 am (I am sure you can imagine how the rest of the day went for him).
See, Lagos is all about the fast life. If you want to get to work (and you don’t own a car), you must leave home latest 5.am or you may never get there till 10.am or simply you sleep at work the day before. At the bus stop when people are struggling to enter ‘Danfo’ (our public transportation), don’t slack, join them. Even if you are in possession of a car, just be fast! Repeat after me, ‘Be Fast!’ If you don’t adopt this fast mindset, you will get trampled upon and get left behind.
Don’t be fooled by the persuasive housing agents. If you are unsure of who the owner of the house or the administrator is, don’t rent the house #JUSTDONTDOIT. They will rob you of 2 years house rent (Lagosians pay yearly rentals in this country, not monthly), commission, damages, and agreement fees. If unfortunately you enter their trap, you have paid ‘owo omogo’ (you just got duped).
Those signs that read: THIS HOUSE IS NOT FOR SALE mean serious business.
#Problem3: DRIVING RULES
You bought a car and decided that you don’t want a driver. Well ensure you keep your eyes out for the traffic signs (they may well be hidden). If you’re unfortunate and enter a one-way road and LASTMA (our road traffic officers) catch you, you will curse whatever possessed you to leave home on that day.
It’s simple. Do not go against traffic rules or simply hire a driver that knows his way around. You are going to pay through your nose if you happen to encounter LASTMA. Don’t fight too much about any technicality, you will lose.
#Problem4: STREET ETIQUETTE
Brothers and Sisters, if you see two people fighting in Lagos and you want to do ‘Mr Nice’ and you believe you should try and separate them, what can I even say to you?…Please just respect yourself and go your way. Also avoid any argument with all those ‘Agberos’ (touts) that might taunt you in the streets. It is your mother they will first abuse, not you.
Ermm this is pretty much everybody’s problem but if you are a JJC, you might wonder if there are constant terrible accidents occurring on the road of Lagos causing the gridlocks. Don’t worry, most times it’s usually nothing (Maybe some folks arguing or a pothole). Just keep yourself entertained with the radio and if you get hungry, indulge in a bottled drink and gala from a road-side vendor and relax in your vehicle. You can even use this as a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep. Just make sure you don’t sleep and wake up in Ikorodu when you were supposed to have alighted at Ketu.
There are certainly a lot more problems I could drum up but truth is Lagos has its perks (If it didn’t, no one would stay). Think about the nightlife, the beaches, the hangout joints and the entertainment. The one thing I would say is that if you can survive living in Lagos, you can pretty much live anywhere else in the world.
If there is one piece of advise I could leave with a JJC aka newbie in Lagos is: “Don’t try and fight Lagos. Accept it for what its and find your piece of haven in it”
Lagos is a land for the smart, so be smart, have fun and enjoy the beautiful life in ‘Lasgidi’.
Unless you were born in Lagos, everyone had once been a newbie in Lagos. Share us your newbie stories, I promise I won’t laugh too hard.