Road trips have become an almost inevitable lot for many Nigerians for so many reasons such as inaccessiblity to other means of transportation, few air routes, journeying on a short distance and cost.
In my opinion, Road transport seem to be the only easily accessible means of transportation in our country and it ought not to be so. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about our railway systems and the possibility of having them back and functional.
I imagine it would go a long way not only to decongest our roads but also to remove more than half, if not aIl of these heavy duty trucks that cause road accidents and damage to our roads.
But the sad reality is that this may not happen in many years to come, this means that our roads will remain congested, our journeys will become longer and more tiring.
So while we are stuck with road trips, I’ll be sharing 5 things you need to remember anytime you are on one. I believe they would help turn it from a dread into a pleasurable experience.
1. Our commercial transport companies are not customer oriented.
I’m yet to see any company that truly puts the interest of the passengers first and protects them. They all profess to care on their signage but that’s where it ends- empty words. Once you pay your fare, you are in for drama.
I don’t want to call names but some are so bad that they’ll insult you and almost drive you crazy. They hardly repair or service their vehicles and almost never change them.
Also, most commercial bus drivers are simply very annoying and you can’t get rid of them until you get to your destination. They are so impatient and reckless you’ll have to hold your heart in your hands.
Truth is, they also don’t care about you, all they want is to get to the end of their trip for the day and possibly head back for another trip to earn more.
So it’s best you keep your cool so we don’t have two mad people in one bus. A lot of times I see passengers fight with the driver and this never goes well. The moment you understand that both the company and the driver are in it for the bucks, you’ll save yourself lots of trouble.
2. Be kind to road-side sellers.
Be nice to people who sell on the road, don’t treat them like trash. I don’t know how these people cope but I must say my heart always goes out to them.
They stand on the road under the scorching sun and rain and even race with moving vehicles just to sell their wares. I think that vocation is too risky and energy consuming. Worse still, some of us price their goods to a point below their cost price and out of desperation, they sell just to have a meal for the day. This is not fair.
We know the prices of some of these consumables, hence no need to haggle and take advantage of their desperation.
3. Don’t buy everything you see on the road.
One time I travelled with a woman who bought almost everything that was being sold on the road. She would even shout on the driver to stop and let her buy this and that and y’all know this is the best recipe for a ‘running stomach’.
If you don’t know a snack or food, a road trip is not the best time to try it out, it might send you into the bush in search for a toilet you didn’t build. This is an unnecessary embarrassment.
4. Take a book along.
Because of our bad roads and long traffic lines, your journey will likely be longer than normal except in some special cases. So it will be great to grab a book along so you don’t get bored and end up engaging in unsolicited chatter.
5. Not everyone wants to engage in a conversation.
Sometimes when I’m travelling, my neighbour wants to talk from the beginning of the journey till the end and I don’t want to. Some people want to know everything about you, become your friend and win you over to their ideologies about life all in one trip. Haa!!!
If you are like me and you prefer to mind your business, you have to politely find a way to distract yourself from ‘strangers’.
While I cannot deny that a lot of great friendships and partnerships have sprouted from a road trip, I must also say that this is not always the case. Know your limits and keep them because people lie a lot just to get along and it’s very easy to get into trouble.
Also, travelling time is not a time to talk about how bad Nigeria is. I am always saddened by the way we bad mouth Nigeria in a place that will make no difference.
What you are discussing in the bus will go nowhere except if you are travelling with a local government chairman, counsellor or an aspirant (which is unlikely in a commercial vehicle) who can effect a definite change. All that happens is that people incite hatred and bitterness against each other’s tribes and ethnic groups.
All the bad-mouthing and uninformed nonsense wearies me because all people do is talk about the problems with no clue on how to fix it.
If you can hold an intelligent conversation that is strategic and insightful, great! But opening your mouth and speaking of things you know nothing about only reveals your ignorance and sheer unpatrotism.
Finally, road trips are supposed to be fun and adventurous, not a necessary evil. Next time you hit the road and you can’t seem to find a good company by your side, grab your phone and log on to nasalian blog. I’ll surely keep you company!
Do have a beautiful week and a safe trip if somehow you hit the road!