I started taking driving lessons about a week ago. It’s been exciting in a way — never mind the fact that the instructor uses a very old Volkswagen ‘Bug’ Beetle. The gears make the most awful grinding noises in the world when I shift up or down and having long legs, the wheel touches my knees.
My ‘school’ is in the GRA area and I stay in Mile 4. It’s not very far, so I decided to get there quickly on an okada, today. The ride was uneventful — the okada-man made some dangerous maneuvers, but how many of them don’t? We had just headed in from Agip Junction when I felt a beautiful sensation that was matched only by the jarring impact some milliseconds later. A car had hit us from behind, sending us through the air and into the gutter — or almost in.
I think I was more shaken than wounded, as the cyclist cushioned my fall. Fortunately, we landed on a section covered by wooden boards so he didn’t really get hurt either, but his dashboard (or whatever it’s called on a motorcycle) and headlamp were torn off.
The driver parked and emerged from the car. Most of the onlookers who’d gathered dispersed quickly in disappointment when they saw the driver was female.
‘Na woman sef.’
Is there some law of nature existing only in Nigeria which renders women incapable of driving properly? I don’t think so, but for some reason whenever a lady driver commits some error, the men standing around almost always say the same thing. Na woman sef. Funnily, some women join in, as though female drivers are expected to possess poor driving skills. OK, OK, I’m ranting.
From her story, a taxi driver had tried to ‘chance’ her at the junction, and he had done it so abruptly that she swerved to avoid him. The cyclist had suddenly jumped in front of her and gotten hit. Passersby confirmed her story.
My cyclist was having none of it. Swearing and cursing himself (or at least that’s how I would interpret ‘If I you no repair my motorcycle today, make thunder fire me!’), he proved to be very unreasonable.
Azuka hates getting in conflicts, especially when the person whose side he should be taking is being an ass, so I paid him for his services, accepted the apologies of the nice lady, and boarded another okada with side mirrors — I’m never getting on any without them again.