Last weekend, I travelled from Abuja to Kaduna with a couple of friends. Prior to boarding the train, I said to myself that I am only going to observe and document my observations. No unnecessary conversation. Well, I had a wonderful experience because I had this neighbour that love quietness. He blocked his ears with a headphone and continues stirring at the window while I do my observation.
When I was going to Kaduna, I was in the economy class while the returning back to Abuja was in executive class and I experienced everything. These set of people I am about to list comprise those you will see at the train stations, on the economy class and executive class.
You will see these set of people mostly in the economy class. Those on economy cabin can never cross to the executive cabin but those ones on the executive class can enter and sit in any cabin. I know you will be like why? WHY because they did not pay the same fare. The fare difference is just NGN 450 only. Economy class is NGN 1,050 while the executive is NGN1,500. “So you mean I cannot cross to the other cabin? who are those there, are they not same human being like me”. The security guards will even be tired of explaining to them that those on the executive class paid higher. After bragging and shouting he/she will return back to his economy class seat.
I never knew people do this in Nigeria. I was really impressed when I found out that most of the travellers on the train were holiday makers. Because it was a weekend, many parents took their kids, Maid and cousins to Kaduna or Abuja for sightseeing. I fall under this category because I and my friends were going to Kajuru Castle.
The kids are always well dressed. Some are stubborn, some are calm while some have won a gold medal in crying competition. The iPad is always loaded with lots of games and that helps to keep them busy.
These set of people mode changes as soon as the train is approaching the next terminal to observe just five minutes dwelling time. They are always in a hurry to go. Before the train will come to complete stop, they are already standing and head straight to the exit door.
You can spot them from afar especially the Igbo men. They are always with their small bag and make lots of phone calls from customers and business associates. You will hear “Okay, if that man I told one loaf of bread is fifty thousand Naira comes, make sure he pays before you show give him the bread” after 5 minutes you will hear “Don’t leave the shop o, You hear, if you the comot lock the shop”
If you mistakenly start a little conversation with them, he will go on and tell you his name and where his shops are. He will also tell you how important the journey is to him.
You will hardly see these set of people on the economy class unless they came late. They are mostly on the executive coach. Immediately they are aboard, they will open their laptop or iPad and start working on something like report etc. While others are busy watching film, he is busy reading newspaper or magazine.
I have said enough about these people when I wrote an article on the type of people you will meet at that airport. I call them Usain Bolt or mountain runners. When everyone is already aboard waiting for departure time, you will see them running like a mad dog from nowhere. Some will even pretend to be crying if the ticket sellers tell them there is no more space again. They are always filled with lots of excuses like they were a traffic jam on the way or my car broke down etc.
I feel sympathy when I see them. I always remember what my mother passed through. They are always looking exhausted after struggling with their baby or children. The nursing mother I saw in the economy class carried twins and she was not finding it funny until when a lady sitting close to her helped her to carry one of her babies.
Laughing……. They are I don’t care ones. They are just waiting for the train to depart before they will start snorting uncontrollably. They don’t even care where their luggage is. All that matters to them is how to sleep aboard the train.
These set of people are the novice and clueless ones. They don’t know their left from the right. They ask lots of questions and when you look into their eyes, you will see lost in their eyes. I and you reading this post was once in this category. Please whenever you see them at the train station, always help them with vital information.
The Security Personnel
We all know the security situation in Nigeria, so the government don’t want to take any chance. They are security personnel both at the terminals and aboard the train. There is no need to panic or to be afraid because they are enough security personnel. The train is safe and secured.
There are medical personals aboard the train ready to provide medical services and assistance to all passengers and railway employees. This does not mean that you should not enter the train with basic drugs. You have nothing to worry because you are well covered. the nurses are there call them in the case of emergency.
It was a wonderful experience to travel from Abuja to Kaduna and back to Abuja by train. I found out that the economy is always overloaded and that course discomfort. I think the Nigeria airways should introduce electronic booking just like the airline so that they can control overbooking.
I’m still going to write about my experience on Abuja to Kaduna by Train soon. I will review some secrets, tips and other things you need to know about the train. Of course, I will tell you my experience with a train attendant that refused to give me my balance.
Did I miss anything? Have you used the train in Nigeria or anywhere around the world? Share your experience with us here.