Survival Of The Loudest? A True Nigerian Story
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I say “jumped” because instead of turning into the first lane, he decided to jump all the way into the second lane! So by the time I saw him, it was too late! Gbam! Crash! Clang!
I pulled over to the side of the road as sounds of horns from impatient drivers pierced my ears.
I accessed the damage … front light broken, side panel dinged, baby light abi fog light disengaged … I reviewed the cost in my head. At least N50,000 give or take.
If this was America, we would have exchanged Insurance information and left it to the insurance company to haggle over the cost.
But this was Nigeria where it was survival of the loudest or the most connected as the case maybe. If you can argue loudly in Nigeria you can drive on the wrong side of the road and still claim that you are right. And if you are rich or connected, you could pick up the phone and call that police officer or that army officer to beat the individual regardless of who is wrong or right. You can even get them to carry his car to the police station.
But if the level of loudness or connections balanced out … the decision defaults to the crowd. The collection of concerned and nosy passers-by, touts and road side sellers.
But today there was no crowd, my phone had no connection I mean contacts with connections, I was not loud and he was not loud. We just looked at each other …
I looked at him, he looked at me, I looked at my car, he looked at my car too, he looked at his car and I looked at his car too … a beat up panel-beated piece of loose metal panels held together by hope and prayers. After 5 minutes of looking, I just entered my car and drove off…THE END
Now I know some people are disappointed with the end of this story. With the fact that there was no action, there was no slapping or shouting, or collecting money or escorting him to the police station. You probably wanted a more climatic ending. But I learned there are just some things not worth fighting or stressing over.
You see, no matter how much I screamed or who I called, the maximum amount of money I would probably get from that guy would have been 5K and that would be stretching my luck. So rather than wasting my time and stressing my life, I just went home.
And its okay to go home, its okay to act un-Nigerian and not scream and shout. And that’s life … some battles you fight and others you let go… because the reward of victory is just not worth the fight sometimes.
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