Entertainment of Tuesday, 20 January 2015
In the rush hours of every day life in the cities of Ghana, the most common occurrence is the usual transportation struggle, be it traffic jams of the early mornings or evenings and the unavailability of public transport.
It is ok for those who own cars to deal only with the traffic situation but, the worse hit are those who are left with only public transport such as the ‘Trotro’ (public mini buses) or the ‘Awo Yomo’ or ‘Space Bus’ (big old buses mostly found at Kaneshie in Accra) which not only go slower in traffic but have a terrible seating arrangement.
Various people join the public transport and it isn’t difficult to find unkempt people beside you. Sometimes it is the conductor also known as the ‘Mate’ who causes the uneasiness. Bad body odour and fishy smell won’t escape you in a typical ‘Trotro’ from Kaneshie or James Town to any part of Accra.
Another hurdle faced by public transport patrons is the struggle to secure a seat as hundreds of people gather at peak hours to join the few buses available. This is caused by the fact that other buses are locked up in traffic.
Thieves also take advantage of the situation to steal property of commuters.
The public transport situation in Accra, Kumasi and other cities in Ghana is inevitable, but there is a strategy to avoid the discomfort. Don’t forget to have these in mind before you jump onto one henceforth:
1. Hold your possessions at eye’s view and not where you can’t see it else the pick-pockets will see it for you and own it at the slightest opportunity.
2. At the bus stop or bus station, stand where you can see all action and also see where the buses will come from only when there isn’t a queue.
3. Be quick and get a seat in the front to avoid extra problems with the over a dozen people in the bus.
4. Grab a seat next to a window which can open to at least get some fresh air directly at you to avoid the heat of the moment.
5. In the early mornings, please don’t sit closer to the conductor; sometimes, to prevent bad breath especially from those who worked overnight or slept in the bus. Also, to prevent body odour from unkempt conductors.
6. Always carry with you smaller cedi notes not bigger notes such as 20, and 50 cedis to prevent a scuffle from the conductor especially in the morning.
7. For the ladies don’t wear a 5inch heels to board a ‘Trotro’. That will be the break of your happy day. Also don’t try provocative or revealing dresses to ward off attention.
8. Avoid speaking English with the conductor else you start up a whole comedy experience depending on the mood of the ‘Mate’.
9. Move carefully to find a seat to avoid the shredding of your clothes or worse, your skin, as the ‘Trotro’ can surprise you with its metallic fabrications.
10. Before you choose your seat, look out for slimmer people to be assured of comfort else the obese passengers will give you a hell of a time especially at the rear seat.
11. Avoid sleeping people, baby-carrying people, fish mongers, mechanics and ‘spitting-maniacs’ who can’t keep their spit to themselves.
12. When talking to the conductor, speak loudly to his hearing else you will miss your stop or pay the fare for another person without knowing.
13. Last but not least, keep your mind close to your pockets everytime especially when boarding or alighting from the ‘Trotro’ because all eyes are watching and the loss of attention will be a loss of a possession.
What else do you do to have a jolly ride in a ‘Trotro’?