No Senegal til tomorrow

A trip to the airport in Lagos, arriving in good time, an hour waiting in a queue to check in, typical Nigerian chaos when you want something to get done with people standing around not knowing what is going on, an overbooked flight resulting in not going to Senegal and staff pleas that I should come back tomorrow. A standard morning of nonsense in Nigeria.

My journey to Dakar was first a flight to Lome, in Togo; a bit of a wait there before another flight to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, and then the final flight on to Dakar. It was with Air Burkina, part of the Pan African airline Asky. It wasn’t exactly cheap but was the cheapest way to get to Dakar from Lagos. After waiting ages at the desk, they said the flight was fully booked once I’d got to the point of check in. Their excuse was that Ethiopian Airlines go to Lome on their way to Addis Ababa, but don’t have a flight to Lome today so passengers checked in and got seats on the Air Burkina flight I was meant to get instead. Loads of people were stitched up like this, including a French bloke who has an important meeting in Accra tomorrow morning. I’m lucky I’m flexible but other people don’t have that luxury. It’s quite funny really.

On the plus side, a member of staff checking the bags before check in told me about this website when I told her I was a drummer. 

http://www.iadrummingfederation.org

Definitely something to check out with my unscheduled extra day here.

What the taxi driver on the way back to Ibasa said was that they’d simply sold my ticket. Somebody else could pay more for it this morning so they just sold my ticket to a higher payer. I will never cease to be amazed by Nigerians and their pursuit of money to the detriment of other people.

We were stopped by the Police, again, in the taxi. The driver knew a secret route to miss out Badagry Expessway traffic but the Police were loitering under the bridge on the road. Through the window the Policeman started preaching to Ojo about the love of God and the Vatican and that he was happy to meet him. Total bollocks in the pursuit of money. Nigeria has been largely very good to me but I feel like I’m never going to leave this place. 

Whether I’ll even make it to Dakar tomorrow is another matter entirely. There’s no reason for it to be like this in this country. I’ve learnt to just prepare for the worst every time I do anything here but it consistently surpasses itself in the absolute shambles stakes. I’m surprised anyone ever gets anything done. I’m sure things will change one day.

Also a quick word on that stopover in Burkina Faso – no wonder there is so much music and drumming here with place names like Ouagadougou. It’s in the language already. I would have said that place name numerous times when demonstrating beats by saying them out loud. Ouagadougou, ouagadougou, doudou ga dou dou ga, ouagadougou.

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