It wasn't until much later in life that I owned a trolley bag for travelling, which I hate.
These days, when there's a need to travel I use a schoolbag. Boys can compress all their belongings into a regular schoolbag.
Plus, it prevents unnecessary attention when leaving the neighbourhood.
But before I had all these luggage options to choose from, I started from the bottom.
Here's what happened:
On this particular day I was to make an unplanned trip to Lagos after long periods of indecision.
It had to do with the fact that Owerri had become so addictive.
But then, ASUU strike lingered and seemed indefinite. If you remember a particular longstanding ASUU strike that reset the academic calendar for tertiary students, it's this one.
As a student at the time, what was the point living from hand to mouth for months in Owerri, when I could use some hot homemade "mama thank you" meals in the comfort of a family house?
The same question informed my impromptu trip to Lagos.
Usually my folks are against any of us getting on the road in a haste, but that morning when I put a call across, telling them to expect me later in the evening, they said,
"No stay there o, I thought you're not tired. This person and that person's kids came to church on Sunday, and you're still there."
I was all set to leave Owerri when it occurred to me that I had no functioning travel bag.
The one I could've used was torn, which left me with no option. The only cash I had on me was for the trip.
I considered using the available small Ghana-Must-Go bag in a corner of the room but as the devil would have it, the zip was bad.
You know what, damn it, we use the Ghana-must-go bag without zippers like that.
Moreover, I had a first bus to catch at Chisco park if there was any hope of reaching Lagos before nightfall.
So I squeezed my stuff into the multicoloured bag. Don't ask me how I was able to close it tightly because the bag was very much gaping, revealing a few personal items.
In that haphazard state, I opened the gate slightly, peeped left and right just to be sure all the must-be-avoided faces were not in sight; curious neighbours that would stop you for questions asked to the hearing of the whole world, "You dey travuul? Na Lagos? Eiyaaa! Bring bread come back o!"
And the ones who would see you carrying such an unpresentable bag and destroy your reps with an uninterrupted gaze.
That was how I zigzagged my way out of the neighbourhood around 7am with the open bag on my head while making sure to take all the less trodden streets and track roads.
From the way I ran with my load, if I was a movie it would be titled 'Escape From Congo'.
Thankfully, I arrived in Lagos under the cover of the dark.
More thanks to the standstill traffic we experienced at Ojota that made it possible for me to reach my house Nicodemusly.
Otherwise, the scornful back home would've clapped their hands with glee and said, "Ewoo, he has failed in life."
Things have gotten better since then. Thank God.
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