I’m not writing this post with my regular pen, or in my house, or in a class. Actually, I’m atleast a hundred miles away from Calabar. I’m in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, which is coincidentally the my state of origin. And I don’t speak the language, “Igbo”.
OK, I know there is nothing special about anything i’ve said so far, or will eventually say. Today was going to be uneventful, I’d board a bus for the 4 hour journey to umuahia, where I’d run some transactions at the bank, board another 4 hours bus back home, to calabar. The plan couldn’t be more pefect.
Well, it started with a mistake; I’m with the attendant of a transport company who is about to register my name, but i notice that the list is empty, and so is the bus. So I ask a supposed harmless question. > “How long would it take for the bus to fill up?” Her harmless reply, > “About an hour and thirty minutes”.It’s 8 am in the morning and what she means is that the bus would leave at 9:30am, and arrive in Umuahia by 1:30am. With my impatiance, it seems too long; At least right now.
I leave the transport company to a transport park, where i find a bus that isn’t empty, about a third full. What could be better? OK, there’s a catch; The bus isn’t going to Umuahia, but to Aba. Aba is the business town of Abia State, probably more congested than any other town within the state. My common sense tells me Aba should be less than 30 minutes away from Umuahia, considering that they’re neigbors.
I took the bus, then waited. It took forever, for a bus i met already a third full,but we left eventually, at about 9:45am which is more than the time of departure the other transport company gave. I had no regrets, Yet.
We got to Aba by 2pm, and it was when i realised that going to Umuahia was another real journey, that I felt regret. I had to find a bus (15 minutes), then board it, and wait for it to fill up (50 minutes), before the journey started. The journey lasted over an hour, with me in Umuahia by 3:50pm, to use a bank which closes at 4pm. Worst part being that I didn’t know my way around the state. I also didn’t have data on my phone, at least I could have tried google maps. But then, I still needed to get to the bank in 10 minutes, in a state where everyone speaks the Igbo language as their lingua Franca.
Luckily, I had heard someone mention that GT Bank was at Umuahia road. I walked to the road, acting like a true local of the region. > “GT Bank Umuahia Road, drop” Good thing that transportation is cheap in this state. Eventually, I got to the bank, probably a minute before they closed. My transaction took just a couple of minutes. As I left the bank, I couldn’t help notice the people at the entrance, who weren’t allowed in, since the bank had closed. Imagine me being on the road for over seven hours, only to meet the bank closed, on a weekend.
Well, right now I’m on a bed in an Uncle’s house in Umuahia, and it’s morning. I wasn’t able to take the journey back yesterday, as it was already late, and I had missed the last bus to calabar. My fantasy was lodging in a local cheap hotel, going to a local club ( It’s friday night ), maybe getting wasted or something… #wink. Well, didn’t turn out that way. Had to follow orders from above (my dad).
I’d be leaving for Calabar in a few minutes, and in my next post, I’d be sharing my very opinionated discoveries during my short visit.
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