Diaries Magazine

Benin City: The Good Girl Gone Bad

Posted on the 07 July 2014 by Mary Ughojor @marypebbles1
Hello yallA very good day indeed!.Im feeling overly excited and happy today, for no just reasonor is it because my cousin gave me a lil bribe wage to clean up his room? Hmmcould be o.Sha, Im happy thats all that matters.I didnt tell you, Iwas enlisted for NYSC batch B 2014 *yay* like you will see me in khaki and jungle boots really soon. I have made my shopping list already and dad, bro, and cousin should better get ready to foot the bill. Ive told them my mind already. They should pamper me like the last child that I am.Anytime soon, my call up letter will be released and I would have to take a 3 week break from my lovely blog *sniffs* (mhen I hope I can cope o), but I promise when I get back I will gist you everything that happened in camp, yes! Even the tiniest details, thats if you want. Camp is in August, so Im still very much around sha, just trying to let you know beforehand.So, it turns out I will have to go to school (UNIBEN) to collect my statement of result and call up letter and it is a journey I am not quite looking forward to at all. Of course, I will get to see my friends, former roomies, course mates, my dance group members but the city of Benin is the problem.
That place is for the hard-hearted, the no- nonsense; busybodies and those that have stubborn and rugged running in their blood. Believe me; I am not trying to spoil the name of that beloved state but the truth must be told.If you are or have been in Benin, Im sure you will concur with me on most of the things I will say, and if you are going to Benin City for the first time, two words for you- Brace yourself.Benin City: The good girl gone badphoto credit
As I alighted from the Big Joe bus, the first thing that got my attention in Benin was the reckless driving. The drivers drive as they want and stop where they want. This is of no surprise because the passengers themselves are the cause. Immediately they get to their destination, with no forewarning, they scream STOP! and the drivers like zombies immediately put their foot to the brakes with no care in the world as to where they are parkingorwhether a car is behind or notIf you see a pedestrian lane, dont actually mistake it for a pedestrian lane. It is a mini or a spare road for the drivers in case there is a traffic jam. In all my four years of stay in Benin, there was no time I go out that I dont find myself always looking over my shoulder for fear of getting hit by a bus even when I am walking down a quiet street with no possibility of a bus ever coming that way. You are never relaxed till you get to where you are going.Another thing that you wont dare disparage or disagree with is the violent behavior of the people. Is like everything you say or do is met with a wild and utmost bitter retort. When you go to the market and haggle over the price of tomatoes, the market woman would look at you with disgust and sayabeg abeg, if you nor wan buy carry yourself dey go, nor be by forceBenin City: The good girl gone badThe drivers have no patience and are cursed with rotten mouths because by the time they start to insult your life for not having changeor for telling them to turn down their loud music; you will be moved to tears. Like I said you have to be hard of heart, at least once in a while to survive Benin or else you get pushed around a lot.Benin City: The good girl gone badcredit
I was always the cool and calm girl until one fateful day. It had rained cats and dogs and the drivers took it upon themselves to inflate transport fares (they always do that). On a normal day, Id only have to pay #50 from Ring Road to Ekehuan but it was not to be on that day. I boarded a bus, and just as I got to my destination, I handed the driver #50 and he glared at me like I had gone completely mad. You dey craze? Why you go dey give me #50 na, abi you donblind say you no see say rain fall?The cool girl in me vanished, I wasnt in the mood for shit that day (I guessed Benin did rub off on me) as I fired back with such venom even the other passengers were stunned speechless na your papa and mama dey craze, in fact na your whole generation, the born and the unborn. Howd rain take affect you? E elongate the distance? Abeg take your money jareHe looked at me like he couldnt believe this chick could actually talk and said abeg carry your winsh dey goIt is only in Benin a driver would almost hit you with his bus and yell at you for being in the right lane.The most annoying thing about Benin City is that many of the younger ones do not have respect for their elderly ones. You would see a 10 year old yelling at and insulting an old man for walking too slow. I was in a bus and we had to stop for an elderly man going our way (it seems my life in Benin always revolved around buses hmm...). The driver had obviously gone ahead too far before he stopped because we had to wait a short while for the elderly man to catch up. Knowing he was elderly, the passengers quite understood, but the young conductor wasnt in the same boat with us because he kept yelling Epaa! Wetin dey do you na, abeg waka fast jor, you think say we get time? and as he got near, I saw him up close, he was very old and shaking all over with just a walking stick to support him. He seemed so fragile I felt sorry for him. As we started moving again, the conductor kept on talking to the old man rudely Epaa! Hope say you get change o, if you nor get better come down now oAt that, the passengers got furious and reprimanded the boy.I still got loads to say but I think this would do…… for now. So, you see why I am not really anticipating my journey to Benin. That place brings out some of the negative behavior you wouldnt ever dream of exhibiting but thats not to say Benin is a complete no-no. I might probably gist you guys about the good part about Benin City soon, so for all of you who might be thinking Im just hating, be on alert.Now, time to go clean up that messy room, Ill be back..

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