This ole girl travelled out of Lagos for the Christmas holidays. Getting out of Lagos was a war on its own. Everybody and their mummy were travelling. At a point I asked myself if going home to Warri was worth all the wahala.
For those of you who have never left Lagos, Warri is in Delta State. So from Lagos, we went through Ogun state, then to Ondo, stopped at the famous Ore town to eat/use restrooms, proceeded to Edo state. In Benin, signposts of the new Oba decorated the town and finally, we entered Warri. First thing I noticed in Warri was the military presence. Army checkpoints everywhere, when I complained I was told, that although it is slightly more than before, Warri has always had a strong military presence because Oil city. It still unnerved me every time I passed roads blocked with sand-filled cement sacks and drums, soldiers flagging down vehicles with guns.
When I got to my bus stop, I foolishly brought out my phone to call Uber. Hahaha. There were, however, cabs in the park. On my way I listened to traffic radio, people called in to say the traffic in their part of the state was zoom-zoom, meaning no traffic, I laughed again. The irony.
I had a thousand relatives and friends to visit so I set out to visit the next day with my sisters in tow. In a keke with my sisters I asked, is it just me or is this keke really slow, she assured me it was just me.
Warri was really slow. So many times I stopped myself from prodding people to move faster. This is how you know Lagos has spoilt you, always in a hurry. People here moved at their own pace, colour of buses, Kekes (tricycles) Taxis etc is a bright shade of blue and this is really soothing. I found myself comparing Warri to Lagos every time.
The next morning the voices of women woke me up, the conversation was about garri. One of the women said “my sister garri don catch fire o,” and I chuckled. Only in Warri, the expression simply means garri is too expensive. A basket of garri now sells for N800. For those who do not know, Warri is home to the Urhobos, Ijaws, Itsekiris, Okpes and Isokos, and so the lingua franca is pidgin English.
My dear readers, the plan was to go into town, visit all the new fun spots in the city with my friends, go to markets, take photos just to show you guys Warri and why it has produced some of the best comedians in this country, but sadly, I fell sick. I spent the rest of my holiday lying in bed and soon it was time to return to Lagos. Maybe next time I will show you guys my Warri