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How To Keep Fresh While Hopping Around Lagos In A Danfo.

've been procrastinating writing for months now and today, I was like, fuck it, just do it. As I was pondering on what to write, I remembered something I had read a while ago titled "How to survive public buses in Lagos", so I decided to put a spin on it. Like they say, "Good artistes copy, great artistes steal". Who really said that, Steve Jobs or Pablo Picasso? I guess we'll never know.

For those of you who don't know what a Danfo is, my good friend B-ice describes it as a container on wheels. Danfos are beat down buses in the worst condition possible. These buses move millions of people around Lagos daily and are driven by insane men. Although I have seen a couple women drive them, I can't confirm their sanity.

These buses are in a terrible state, so keeping it fresh is tricky. Thankfully, I've been hopping around in them daily for a decade, so I've been able to put together some great tips.

Okay, let's get right into it.

Always have change. I repeat, always have change. The importance of this can never be overstated. Change is a problem in all facets of Nigeria, don't contribute to it. Before you step out of your house or office, make sure you have all small denominations of the Naira. If you don't, buy something at the bus stop; Gala, plantain chips, Coke, Viju milk, Teem or credit. Anything to break that 500 or 1,000 Naira note. Why you ask? This prevents conductors from raining abuses on your generation, wasting your time at the bus stop or pairing you with someone and leaving you guys to sort it out. Imagine walking around with a stranger and looking for a way to break 100 Naira to two 50 Naira notes. Nah, you don't need that. You just want to hop in and out of the danfo and avoid additional interactions.

Always know your bus stop. This determines so much about your danfo ride, this info lets you know where to sit (more on this to come), if you can take a nap, how long you can plug in your earphones, or if you can quickly toast (flirt with) one man or woman. Knowing your bus stop is a major key.


Now that you know your bus stop, let me run you through the sitting guide. Most danfos are 14 seater buses, there are some nasty 22 seater ones which on some occasions the driver and conductor decide to carry 27 passengers inside (I told you they were crazy). There are usually 2 seats in front by the side of the driver, then 3 or 5 rows of 4 seats. The 2 seats by the side of the driver are arguably the best seats in the house, I call them the VIP box. If you get the one by the right, you my friend are about to have a very fresh danfo ride. The one by the left isn't as good, but if you can endure keeping your legs closed at an angle and the occasional nudge on your knee when the driver changes the gear, then go for it. Now, here's why knowing your bus stop is so important. If you are getting off at the last stop, always take a window seat. The window seats are like court side seats, you get fresh air and no one shoves their smelly ass in your face when they want to get off the bus. Getting off at the first bus stop, get the last seat on the first row or the third seat on the second row. Avoid sitting next to women with children, they mostly get only one seat on the bus and will encroach your space.

Never wear white when you plan to get on a danfo. I learnt this valuable lesson on a trotro (the equivalent of a danfo) in Kumasi. You see, I have continental experience in danfo hopping. I was heading back to my abode after a quick dash to campus and was thanking God I wouldn't have to wash the fresh white polo shirt I had on. Before I knew what was happening, the conductor stretched his hand to collect cash from people behind me and brushed my shoulder, leaving a nasty black stain on my shirt. I was pissed, to say the least. From that day on, I knew white was a no no.


Make sure you always have a handkerchief to go because you are always going to sweat a lot. Danfos can get very hot especially when they are static and this happens a lot because, traffic. Plus if you are hopping around in a danfo, you are probably walking a lot too and as such would need to wipe sweat off your head from time to time.


The truth is, no matter how hard you try, you can't truly keep it fresh while hopping around in a danfo. So, get your hustle up and cop yourself an automobile. Sorry to burst your bubble!
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