For the Global Thinker

Monday, July 5, 2010

Nigerian Nightmare

Jeffrey Tayler describes a death-defying bus adventure across Nigeria.

Excerpt from the article:

"He don't delay," said Rotimi. "He go to Kano now. Half-price of the bus and just as fast."

We parted and I got out. The seller took my arm and pulled me through the crowd.

"Here de bus."

Ahead of me, listing to the left, stood a ramshackle blue Toyota minibus whiskered with two green-white Nigerian flags. A pair of pasted-on eyebrows raised in alarm -- stickers proclaiming, cryptically, "GOD DEY!" -- graced the upper corners of the windshield. The bumper mouth was covered with a splattering of crushed bugs and sparrow carcasses. The skin-thin tires seemed to be of various sizes, and all were as smooth as a baby's behind. A wavy white line resembling the EKG of someone in acute cardiac distress ran down the sides. Across the brow, I noticed, was the lettering UNCLE AYOS EXPRESS. Seven hundred miles to Kano, I thought with a shudder. Involuntarily I stepped back and found myself shaking my head in denial. Where was Rotimi?

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