It’s just another normal day and I am about town running some errands, I get into a shared taxi and soon start thinking how hot it is, even though I am sitting at the front passenger seat. It is time for school run, so as usual it seems like the small city of Asaba has emptied all its cars on the road. The cabbie like all others keeps swerving in and out of the road, hoping to get the first available passengers. Soon he gets lucky and picks up three ladies (Yea! The cab is full, now he can concentrate more on driving and less on picking up passengers).
To keep myself occupied, I start playing with my phone (Like most people do). So here I am, trying to mind my own business (Well, not really), but the three ladies, who just got into the taxi, keep chatting away, rather loudly. I take a peek through the review mirror and I am soon caught up in their world, but totally as an observer. They are lovely looking, two more than one; trendily dressed; obviously they pay attention to all the latest details on what to wear with what, how to make up and all the trends women like to keep up with. However, I am more drawn to their conversation than anything else (Maybe that’s because am a girl and definitely straight, not that anyone asked). They are conversing in well-defined pidgin (that’s not uncommon; I’m after all in Delta state, arguably the land of authentic pidgin), rather loudly, am sure I mentioned. I soon gather from their conversation that they are university students and in their examination section. The way they keep rapping pidgin without any beat in between, I am soon thinking ‘God! Can these girls write coherently in proper English? How interesting it will be for whoever grades their examination paper’ Almost on cue, the conversation changes tone to the last paper they have just written and how their ‘supplier no dey fail’… Alright I am not usually that slow but because of their connotative terms like ‘network’ or ‘supplier’, it does take a while for me to catch on. These girls are talking about examination malpractice! Of course, I don’t get it at first because I am in a shared taxi, ‘who talks about stuff like that, so loudly, in a public place?’ For all they know I could be an examiner in their school or something in that regard. Soon the realization hits me, they don’t care!!
Their conversation goes on, even after one of them gets down from the taxi. A couple of minutes later, one of them receive a call from a supposing boyfriend or ‘sugar-daddy’ and she immediately starts asking for money (no, scratch that, ‘demanding’ would be the appropriate word). At this stage, I realize that my initial imagine of these girls as ladies was a delusion, maybe deliberate on their part, I don’t know or pretend to know. But I am certain by the time I get off the taxi that I had just shared a cab with three hustlers in disguise.