I’ve been living in Abuja for four years and seven months. Two years ago, I started a job that was in the same vicinity as where I live so for two years getting to and from work was a breeze (don’t jealous me Abuja dwellers!!). Last month I started a new job and went from spending about N100 a day on transportation to N1000. Calculate that for Monday to Thursday every week for a year and you’ll see what the fuss is about. I’ve been working at my new job for 3 weeks now so I decided to try out shuttle cabs to drastically cut down my spending, for at least the return leg of my trip to work.
Armed with flat shoes after work on Thursday, I crossed over the freeway and hailed a shared taxi heading to Area 10 – no where near where I was headed but hopeful that the cabbie would know where to drop me off. He did, at a T junction about 5 minutes walk from where I was headed in Wuse 2 to pick up an online purchase I had been waiting eagerly for, but not before regaling me with reasons why he could never beg a woman to love him like the man at the other end of a loud conversation a fellow passenger was having. I made my way, noticing how many people were also walking to various destinations and wondering why it wasn’t easier to get around in Abuja without having to hire a cab. Online purchase in hand and a few items from a supermarket visit, I hailed another shared taxi heading to Wuse Market and the end of my long journey home or so I thought.
We had only been driving for about 10 minutes when I remembered that parking at Wuse market was a bitch so it was best to drop off just before the cabbie made a right turn leading to the market. As soon as the cab went off in the ‘wrong direction’, I realised my mistake – I had dropped off too early and my destination was still a distance away. Tempted to take a cab but adamant not to be penny wise and pound foolish, I decided to walk, yes walk, to my original destination. People, I walked from Zone 4 bridge to Wuse market bridge and it took me about 30 minutes.
A man standing in my path about halfway to my destination must have been watching me and couldn’t contain himself because he yelled as I walked past, ‘Sister, you no fit take taxi?’ 😀 I must have been a sight to behold, weighed down with a carrier bag and my heavy handbag. My legs still hurt from the previous five minute trek but I persevered, thoughts of the fried rice I was going to cook at home keeping me going. I arrived at my destination, sweaty, exhausted and I still had one more cab ride to get to Gwarinpa and then a tricycle (kekenapep, tuk-tuk) ride home.
Moral of the story:
Taking shuttle cabs is definitely more eventful than hiring a cab 😀