Sunday, 12 December 2010

A bus and a plane – order and chaos!

Last week I went to Ibadan, reputedly one of the biggest cities in West Africa, I travelled there to have a look at an organisation called NEST and to get a feel for the city, as I have been offered a new VSO placement at NEST, from February 2011. If cities can be opposites then Abuja and Ibadan are opposites, Abuja quiet, empty, organised, rich, dry – Ibadan, noisy, crowded, chaotic, lively, vibrant, poor wet. I liked Ibadan by the way. Anyway this blog post is really about transport, as for the first time in Nigeria, I travelled by bus and by plane.

 The bus – air conditioned, lots of leg room, a toilet on board, a proper break for food and toilet stop, a bottle of water and a meal on board. I went to the bus office the day before to get my ticket, and when I arrived to travel there was orderly queue to tag my luggage and then get on the bus. We were searched before getting on the bus, and when the bus stopped for a break, the doors were locked, and before re-boarding we had to be searched again and present our tickets. The bus was quite slow, the journey took 10 hours, however it was comfortable and unlike most public transport I wasn’t expecting to die at any time, I relaxed, slept, listened to music, read my book and looked out of the window.
View from the window - bikes queuing for fuel

The River Niger or the River Benue - not sure which!
The plane was another story. I travelled with fellow volunteers Brent and Ellen to Lagos airport, it was a Sunday and there are no flights from Ibadan on Sundays, we travelled in luxury being picked up from the house and driven straight to the airport. At the airport we had to push and shove to buy a ticket, while in the queue someone put a business card “office of the President” on the counter next to the guy selling tickets, then push and shove to check in our luggage, while some people tried to jump the queue and others somehow managed to get their luggage checked in without queuing. Once the luggage was checked in we were back to civilisation waiting to board, before completing a pleasant flight back to Abuja.

For those of you who complain there aren't enough photos of me!
If you want to know the cost by the way, the bus was Naira 4,700 and the plane Naira 22,000, and being a cash economy I paid, with 44 Naira 500 notes. The biggest denomination here is Naira 1000, around £4.

1 comment:

  1. Late 2009 i atended a lecture, by Agel business brief, in a hotel around zone 7, Abuja, the speaker a lady wanted to Know if any of us has no relation or fammily aboard, she was saying about a person can use other people money to run a property, it only encouraged me as one of the participant, and though i got noboday in aboard my only familly brother,mr. Okpanachi have dead, so you see. if you new me before now i would arrange your journny diferently , do vso not have official car? if you have a car 22,000 naira can fueled your car to Lagos, Ibadan,and back to Abuja, During Robin Story the former vso field Director in Kano Nigeria, we travelled with vso's car to Kaduna , Makurdi, calarba and back to Kano. it cost efective, and you need to retratezige your tour plan.