Sunday, 8 February 2009

The street where I live

On a weekday morning...

At (about) 07:30 every morning our transport arrives to take us into work...



At about the same time, Chief Dominic opposite begins to receive his first visitors, as our guard Peter (or Yakubu) keeps a watching brief on proceedings


Actually the car was a bit late that morning so kids on their way to school that didn't usually see us stopped to batauri watch and get their picture snapped......


Before running off to school eager to get whatever education that awaits them...


On our way we pass (and try not to hit) 100s - or is it 1,000s of school children and students making their way in different ways, in multicolour uniforms to their many schools


Coming home at the weekend

Whilst we have regular transport between Kagoro and Kafanchan during the week, any trips during the weekends opens us up to the wonderful world of Nigerian public transport.. A service which absolutely meets the criteria I have quoted before about Nigeria - "ramshackle, happy but oddly effective".

It also requires us to run the gauntlet of our local street kids who just love to 'high five' us, have their picture snapped or just jump up and down shouting 'batauri' at us with a huge smile on their faces.. A wonderful pick me up having spent a whole Sunday busy at work or updating one's blog...

First step - pick up a transport from the Kudnax gas station in Kafanchan. Uh oh - that one's empty probably another 20 minutes to wait...



But no worries, there's always food sellers ready to haggle, bargain and even sell you some food whilst you wait. NB for those that follow the blog - the vehicle's a 'belgian' (even if you may think it's Austrian).


I've given up telling public transport drivers in advance to 'please stop at the ECWA Yoruba Church Signboard'.. If you get their attention they assume you want to stop immediately ('cya nyunya!' we have learnt) and come to a halt 50m before your stop... and there's no point saying more than 'signboard' - many of the drivers can't read.



Then we make our way up the track, past a palm wine bar and 5 minutes of greetings, up towards the railway lines.


Stop, look, listen for... well certainly not a train. I've seen two on that line in 3 months.. Mind you that is 2 more than in the previous 6 months so maybe we're getting somewhere...?




Over the tracks and we start meeting our local kids.. Our neighbour Ignatius (in blue) was so far from his house I didn't even recognise him until my flatmates pointed him out.




Across the tracks and then to the corner with the middle road (as opposed to the main road) before we really get into the street where we live....


Past the Sunday hairdresser (usually a small food stall), the children of the cultural centre...



And the adults of the first cultural centre before passing the unusually deserted second 'cultural centre' (the palm wine bar) on the next block.



Meeting children, with their parents.....


and domestic fowl and rubbish (not waste) along the way...


Before reaching home!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Morning Cicely!
Jared here....thanks for the wonderful update on your homeward bound journey every day. It looks like a load of fun....do watch out for trains....they are very quiet on the approach you know!!
I am curious of the Innsbruk van.....a 'Belgian' yet it has Austrian writing on it. What is the story behind that one? It looks quite comfortable :o)
I am however curious to knwo what the young boy was selling....what sort of food that is.
Bye for now.
Jared xx

Cicely Nigeria said...

Jared - you have not been reading your blogs properly... Back to the first week in Nigeria... A 'belgian' is a second hand European car...

The young boy was selling hard boiled eggs but I was also offered peeled coconuts, meat kebabs, semi-peeled oranges, watches and office files... Thanks for commenting and please continue...

Anonymous said...

Morning Cecil,
I knew what a Belgian was....I was curious to know whether it was a pre-owned motor in Austria and hence the writing on the side of it.
Hmmn....meat kebabs from a boy on the side of the road....interesting. Bush rat do you think?
xx