Danfo Series #Update
I have always heard of pickpockets at bus stops, their escapades with people’s bags and pockets and how victims don’t realise the effect of what befell them in their moments of ignorance or not paying attention until they get to their destinations most times. Honestly, up until yesterday when I had a personal experience with one of the pickpocketing lot, I thought they were fictional. Little wonder the quote, ‘Experience is the best teacher’ is one that is widely attested to.
It had been a long Thursday and I was one of the few people that left the office last because, ‘Corner office goals’. I knew quite well that I was going to struggle to get Danfo buses to my house because of the time and rush hour crowd but if that’s the price to pay for the greater good (corner office), why not? Bring the Lagos hustle on please. I trekked a distance to get my first Danfo, not because I didn’t have change like it so happened last week but because there simply was no free bus. Finally, I was able to get one and off I went. Home sweet bed was beckoning already.
Getting to the second bus stop to get the Danfo for the second and final bus for the day, I met with the usual sight I always would meet with. No buses, people in their numbers waiting to run, push and shove once the next available bus is seen in the offing, okada riders calling out inflated prices at the top of their lungs like there were about to enjoy an early Christmas. I was mentally prepared. I had done this several times and tonight wasn’t going to be an exception. I would push and shove anybody till I’m able to secure a seat in the next bus once it arrives.
With that in mind, I brought out my phone and was doing an online transaction when I noticed people running. The next bus was here. With my phone in hand, I joined the frantic chase. There was a lot of body rubbing, screaming and shoving that I had to hang on the bus like the conductor while the people in front of me filled the seats inside so that I could find mine. That was when this woman, slightly aged ran towards the bus just like everyone of us, acting like she also wanted to secure a seat. She stood directly behind me and with the side of my eyes, I could see the force with which she came. I thought she was going to bump into me and I just began telling her calmly, ‘Easy ma, Easy please’ in Yoruba language. My church mind was even still pitying her and the fact that she had to go into struggling with other youthful people despite her age. Anyways, I faced my seat search.
That was when I felt it. A hand so close to my body, moving around like it was rummaging and trying to snatch on something. Looking to the side, I saw this same woman elbow deep into my bag. My fault here, I hardly keep my bag’s zip close so I don’t have to open/close often.
That was the next thing I heard myself screaming. I’m a conservative one with a great despise for confrontations but trust me, the courage and words for this one came. I pointed and started my accusations with a high voice and trust Nigerians, a crowd formed almost immediately. Who doesn’t like a good scene after a long day? Some people even forgot their Danfo struggles. Something in my mind expected her to accept and apologize but in my face, she denied blatantly. I looked like a liar because she had been unable to pick up anything and nobody saw her with her hand in my bag. It was my word against hers. We both shouted at each other until someone came to pull me off telling me to be thankful that she was not able to pick something from me. Guess my story and roadside rant was believable after all.
I shook all the way home thinking about what it would have been if she had taken my 2 weeks old phone, money or cardholder from me. My phone would have even been the most painful. After three months of saving to buy it. What shocked me the most though was the reality of pickpockets and her blatant denial even after being caught.
Do you think I was right by creating a scene? Should I have just slapped her hand from my bag and given a stern look since she didn’t take anything before I caught her? What is your take on this?
Orungbe ‘Lu Pelumi.