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[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary


Returning to Kaduna

Filed under: travel,VSO — kevin @ 15:12

We’ve finished our work at the South-South and South East zonal offices for now, so after an early start we got back to Kaduna around two o’clock today.

Returning to Kaduna was a little bit more interesting than usual. On the bypass – close to the Kronenberg brewery – a tanker had overturned, blocking one carriageway and most of the other one. A huge crowd had assembled, carrying plastic containers, presumably in the hope of getting some free fuel, some people never learn. The police and National Emergency Management Agency were just standing about, making no effort to keep people away from the spilled fuel.

Fortunately it didn’t smell like petrol, it might have been kerosene, so less likely to explode but still not something you want to hang around. The police directed us to drive right past the tanker, through the puddle of whatever it was. A few minutes later as we continued along the road a fire engine passed in the other direction.

Further round the bypass our driver discovered that he couldn’t change gear any more. We stopped and he fetched a mechanic. It seems that one end of the rod connecting the gear lever to the gear box had dropped off. While the mechanic was fixing that the driver had to change one of the tyres, which was pretty flat. Once the mechanic was finished I got to see how Nigerian mechanics clean oil off their hands, no Swarfega required. Just get your apprentice to remove the fuel line from the carburettor, suck out some petrol and spit it on your hands. The poor kid had to do this a few times before the mechanic was happy, I went and bought him a bag of water to rinse out his mouth.

Petrol (quite apart from being very flammable), is also not at all good for you.

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