HONK HONK HONK!!
The movie below was taken on April 3, 2017 at approximately 3:00 pm. I was on my way from the Victoria Island area, where I’d gone to do some shopping.
Traffic in Lagos is a different kind of crazy. The first day I arrived here, I thought for certain, that I would absolutely die in the traffic here.
Lucky for me, I have survived so far, and long enough to make a few observations.
- Honking does not equate anger or road rage: I have observed that the honking is a way to alert people that your car is nearby, you’re trying to merge, or you’d like to pass.
- B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E: Driving in Lagos takes a full attention span and an even fuller cup of aggression. People rarely use turn signals and commonly speed up to block others from changing lanes. But, everyone seems super chill about all the chaos.
- Keep your camera out: You never know what you might see in Lagos traffic. I commonly see people riding, rather precariously, on the backs of trucks. The trucks might be pickup trucks, dump trucks, or construction trucks. I once saw a man riding on top of a stack of bricks that was as tall as my two story house on camp. No restraints, no personal protective equipment (aka “PPE” in the oilfield), not even a pillow to throw down to land on, in case he was thrown from the truck. I guess he no wahala, as they say here…it means “he has no worries.”
- Roundabouts: There are literally maybe 4 or 5 proper traffic lights I’ve seen in the entire city. The rest of the city is managed through roundabouts. Now, as an American, I used to think of a roundabout as a magical, British traffic invention, where magical, British people, like Mary Poppins, would somehow magically use the big ass concrete circle in the road to navigate traffic. However, in a densely populated city as Lagos, roundabouts make as much sense as a cat who doesn’t play poker on Friday nights. DUH, of COURSE cats play poker on Friday nights. It’s only logical. Roundabouts, however, are NOT.
In the video below, you will see my view from the back seat as my driver expertly attempts to navigate through a roundabout in Lagos.
Do you think you could drive in this traffic? Why or why not? Leave your comments below!
Look for a guy doing something interesting around minute 1:26.