Trotro

Tales Of An NSS Teacher: Trotro On The Mountain

trotro

It is Wednesday evening, the school week is drawing to a close. Hurray! I get really excited during this time of the week (being freed from these kids for some time is BIG). I simply can’t wait for the school bell announcing close of the week (Friday). I bet I will even do the waltz. I get to take a breather; teaching ain’t easy you know.  And I do not get stuck on this mountain. I get to descend. Hehe. I can board a trotro and head home for the weekend!

Related: Gh Trotros, my favourite hangout

TROTRO STATION

AND TROTRO GOT A NEW MEANING

As you already know motorbikes are the predominant means of transportation here. Trotro use is not so much. We only patronize trotro when we are going out of the town. So when I get unto one, I feel like an SHS boarder getting out of the four walls of campus. Like poultry farm akok) (fowl) released to go on free range. Trotro is my link to the ‘full world’; places to hang out, street lights and the best part -REGULAR NETWORK!

So except for the monthly trip to the National service district office (I will tell you all about that someday) getting aboard a trotro is something I look forward to. Only that everything comes with a little drama in these places. Just imagine boarding a trotro from a mountain.

Related: Dansoman Taxi Chronicles: Are We There Yet?

 

TROTRO TACTICS

The trotros are not many and a few people board it from time to time. The station is not even a busy place. It is only early in the morning that you see people trooping in to catch the ones going to Accra and Ashaiman. And that is between 3:00-4:00 am. So during the day, it takes some time for a trotro to fill up. This is what I do. I simply add waiting time to how long the journey will last, starting from 1 hour.

On getting to the station, first, I spy inside the bus to figure out, even discern (LOL) which seat will be most

convenient for a good trip. Because although I will pay for a seat, it does not guarantee that one seat is to one passenger. So I help myself by getting a spot that won’t add to my troubles.  And when the bus is full, I pray it sets off right away before people come pleading to still join.

trotro_mate

SMART DRIVERS

Well, the latter is exactly what happens. I do not know how they do it but the drivers linger, long enough after the bus is full, till one or two persons show up.

Actually, when you miss a trotro here, it is heartbreaking; considering how long you would have to wait until another bus is full. Once I saw a woman who had just alighted from a motorbike only to miss a trotro. She called out to the driver but this driver was different; he pretended a deaf ear. She was so offended and angry. I heard her rant on and on, pointing to her load as if to say ‘how could he be so heartless seeing my stuff’.  Ei what an irony! The driver who has refused to overload his vehicle is the wicked one. Hahaha.

So why won’t these drivers come to the aid of passengers at such times? Or should I say take advantage of the situation rather? They will appear in the bus in a flash, soliciting for space. In the soberest voice, they will plead with passengers to shift.  Awony3 ip))p33 (please my sister)or awots3 ip))p33 (please my brother).

Related: Ghana Trotro: The Lone Sojourner

 

A PEOPLE’S SOLIDARITY

My first experience was not a good one. The trotro was just about to move when about four people in a group came. I was horrified when the driver began to signal people to close up; adding four more people to an already full bus. Who does that?  I saw some passengers begin to murmur. I made a face too, about to protest. But I was wrong, the others were used to this, they were just putting up a show. So there was just me. I had to comply. It would have even been embarrassing if I did not. I would be seen as the odd one, being inconsiderate.

When it was time to pay the fare, the driver made each of us pay the exact amount (after making us share our seats). Hmm! I was so angry and shocked. Yet I could not complain. Not after how the passengers had misled me the first time. Besides it is a small town, word goes around very fast. I did not want to be tagged ‘Titsa nyafii n3 esaa no mi’. Dangbe meaning the quarrelsome smallish teacher.

These days I am used to overload trotros. It is how we help each other here since the vehicles are few.

 

YES TROTRO TOO GET PRICE!

Trotro fares around here are quite expensive. The least I pay is 5 cedis.  I do not know if it is because people hardly move out; you know apart from market women and shop owners. If that is it then the drivers are really playing smart, milking their few cows well.

And trotros usually set off, fully packed.

As for policemen at the checkpoints, forget them. They do not say anything about an overloaded trotro. It is a town’s solidarity and they are responsible for its smooth running!

Trotro too get price like that? Tell me about it. That is just how it is here. Trotro is scarce and expensive yet promises little comfort.

Well, I won’t allow that to affect my weekend getaways. Still, Wednesdays are awesome!

 

#NSS2018 #NSPInsideShaiOsudokuDistrict #ACNSPstellsnotales

 

Trotro Story By Margaret Blankson

Margaret Blankson

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