25 October 2006

Car Pooling

As is the case with adjusting to new surroundings, I am having a lot of 'Eureka' moments. The other day I discovered that my office has a shuttle service between its numerous locations in the Houston area. Goodie! Taking the shuttle drastically reduces my waiting and walking times and now that the cold is settling in that is a real blessing. I took the shuttle for the first time last week thursday. The only downside I see is that I now get on the bus at a rather crowded stop. I got in line and proceeded to wait for the bus like me felow commuters. It never ceases to amaze me, the way people over here organise themselves. Whether you are driving or waiting on the bus or waiting to be served at the store/restaurant/hospital, forming a queue is like second nature, and it is never a bother to wait your turn to be served. Even getting off the bus. The other day I had dozed off on my ride home and i woke up to find the bus had stopped moving. I turned to the lady seated next to me and asked if we had arrived at the park and ride. Yes we have she replied. I was about to ask why aren't people getting off when I realised this was a bus in Houston not the BA flight to Nigeria where people would have already begun to unload their stuff from the overhead cabins while the pilot is still trying to land the plane!

So I am waiting in line at the bus-stop, enjoying the crisp air and marveling at the ant like orderliness of my surroundings when a black Porsche Cayenne pulls up. 'I wonder how this car drives' I muse, I make a mental note to check it out on the Internet. The passenger window comes down and the guy driving leans in and shouts out a bus number, actually the number of the bus I am waiting on. Ewo! So dis na how dem dey do sole in America? Correct last chance be dis o! Dem go dey see people catch well well o, me sef if no be say I don see sample for nija I for don jump enter moto. tey tey! JJC, (this is my serious side talking from days of experince watching law & order, csi, etc) no be inside town like this in broad daylight where witness boku na im dem dey do sole (you know say oyinbo sabi gbeborun), na for heavily wooded area where half naked women choose to jog! Seriously, what I just witnessed was carpooling in action. Houston has a BRT system using a designated lane called the HOV. (I hope say I no yarn dust) The Metro buses as well as people car pooling with 2 or more occupants get to ride on it. What this guy was doing was trying to make up the number of passengers riding with him so he can wizz down I-10 instead of queuing forever in traffic. While on that subject, I had heard a lot about the famous 'Houston traffic'. I guess what I have seen so far is rough for US standards, but coming from Lagos Nigeria, this traffic na childs play. Traffic wey dey move? Na real bonus be dat. If this was what I had to face in Nigeria, Lord knows I for dey sleep my house till day break, watch cartoons instead of running out at 5:30 am. Which reminds me, how far with our attempts to start up a BRT system in Lagos? I had never ridden on one, and I along with many others couldn't really see how it would work. Until recently I wondered at the reasoning behind designating the innermost lane the BRT service lane instead of the outermost lane. I felt the outermost lane made the most sense, for ease of dropping off passengers, etc. Now I see that the whole purpose is to move people between two points as quickly as possible in the case of Lagos move them between the island and mainland. Say I am going to work in VI and I live in Magodo. I get on the bus at the 7-Up Transit Centre and get off at the Bar Beach Transit Centre from where I will take a taxi or a white bus (local transport within VI) to my final destination. There is also the issue of transit centres. I didn't see any going up while I was in Lagos, anyone know if there are visible plans that they are gonig up? I remember when the roads had just been marked and the whole BRT issue was hot on everyones lips. A lot of people (myself included) where all open to its introduction provided that it would actually function even though we couldn't really understand how it would. Now that I have actauly used one omo its a really good idea. I do regret that I am unable to totally enjoy the benefits of being ferried to work. I get motion sick, so the one and a half to two hours I spend riding everyday is wasted, I can't catch up on my reading! :-(

4 comments:

yankeenaijachick said...

Eh yah..........l can imagine how you felt. This na yankee, you gotta keep eyes open. Anyways,don't worry too much about it. you will be fine definately.

Anonymous said...

Great


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NaijaBloke said...

Lol @ "sole" ..Took me a while to decode what u were refering to.. Atimes traffic could be crazy in houston too ,..especially on fridays on I-10,1-45 and 290 ..

Why u no enter the sole now ...LOL ..

dem dey take pesin do money for here too o..LOL

Marlon King said...

you are the funniest blogger ever!!

Arsenal! you must be joking, where will they be without Henry and the France National Team!

Guess what.. I support Man U.