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Journey to Abraka, The ‘Evil’ Suitcases (My Memoir – Part 4)

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The Toyota-Hiace bus I was scheduled to travel on got all its 15 passengers; therefore we need to go aboard the bus. Security checks were run on passengers and luggage. In few minutes, we were on board; I looked forward to the movement of the bus in not more than 5 minutes.

 My expectation about the departure time was actually a mirage because we eventually spent about 20 minutes after boarding. A funky-looking woman aboard brought along a number of Suitcases that is worthy of occupying two rows of seats in the 15-seater bus. Only God knows where she was coming from and where she was heading to. She had a kid of about 2-years. She look to me like a woman sent packing by her husband (forgive my mischief *Lord help me*). She had rings of different shapes and sizes all over hers fingers on both hands. Her son was having a wicked hair-cut that looks like that of ritualists. Her luggage which I tagged “Evil Luggage” caused upheaval right from the bus terminal in Lagos till we got to the bus terminal in Benin city.

 The driver protested that the woman’s luggage was disproportionate. He was considering the Axle-load rating of the bus, general safety and convenience of travel for the passengers. I justified the protest of the driver considering his submission, I shouldn’t pay that much and end up not having the comfort my “Ticketing Cinderella” wished me. The woman submitted that she had paid for a seat for the luggage. I exclaimed in my thought, “all these on just a seat?” The luggage loading officer had collected some amount of money from the woman, assuring her that her luggage will be fixed on the bus. His plan was borne out of greed at the disadvantage of the other passengers. The confusion lasted for about 10 minutes during which the driver pronounced that he wasn’t interested in taking all the passengers on the journey. He was pacified by other drivers and some management staff. The bus was loaded excessively eventually. Melancholy filled the bus along with the air coming out of the vents of the air-conditioner of the bus as we departed the terminal.

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