I have always heard stories about how one has got to be sharp if you are walking on the streets of Lagos so you don’t end up saying, “Had I known,” to your friends and family while crying tears of blood.
Oftentimes, I laughed it off, because who could be sharper than someone born in Lagos? But, I was about to find out that there are different levels to this astuteness.
As a frequent user of danfo buses, warnings of keeping one’s devices secure while in a moving bus, especially during traffic always rings in my ear. “Keep your phone inside your bag o, don’t use it so close to the window,” is the most popular warning.
I usually pay heed to it, because of the countless horror stories I have heard, but always with the believe that no one could ever steal my phone. Remember, sharp girl?
I knew the right spot in the bus to sit, so nothing like that could happen to me; in the middle seat of the middle row in the bus. Just perfect.
And if I had to sit somewhere else, I’d look for a seat partner with great body bulk, to shield me from any thieving hands that might come my way. But, that night was a lucky day for the pickpocket who would have been The Flash in an alternate universe. I wasn’t sitting in the middle and my seat partner was thin and asleep, leaving the window wide open.
Then I saw the pickpocket, felt his arm against my hands.
My sixth sense had alerted me to the pickpocket who had been speaking with a friend of his, walking down the busy Oshodi road nonchalantly. All I remember thinking at the time was that he looked odd, kind of like he was lounging, which didn’t fit the night scenery of such a major bus-stop in Lagos.
But, I forgot all about the thief when my bus zoomed pass him, after being in standstill traffic for 15 minutes. Until–I saw his hands grab the phone I was holding onto. My reflex action and earpiece were the only thing that saved my phone, I didn’t even have the time to bite him like I wanted to in my rage, I was so shocked and confused.
While I looked at the phone still in my hands, I couldn’t help but wonder how the pickpocket’s Usian Bolt legs were able to get him so close to the bus and away, just as fast as he came. Well, he tried the wrong sistah, I had been practicing my uppercut for just that moment, so even though my hoop earrings flew off my ears during the incident, it was a small price to pay for my phone.
I didn’t even respond to other passengers asking me what happened, then sharing similar experiences, all I could think of was; “This is a Lagos experience I would gladly not have again”.