If the total number of time on the bus or time spent moving from one place to another was calculated, it would be a shock to find out that a great part of the day is spent on the go, especially for those who live far away from their workplace.
I remember when I was taking language classes on the Island in Lagos, Nigeria a few years back. Despite waking up early to get a vehicle so as to arrive on time, I would still spend about two or sometimes three hours to get to there with a large number of the time spent stuck in traffic on the Third Mainland Bridge.
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So, many times, I compared my daily journey within the same state to that of an interstate traveller. I imagined that the interstate traveller travelling to Ibadan in Oyo state would have reached there and I would still not have travelled a mile. Those days were not days I looked forward to. But in this disadvantage, I learnt a few tips for staying above my game, because I had assignments to turn in, presentations and discussions with other colleagues and tests and exams to write.
At first, I spent the whole time, or half of it, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep as I used to wake up early. I was always interested in having a few more minutes of sleep. And even though this was not a bad idea, I soon found out that I could do more, by watching what other people did.
One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller
I soon progressed to sightseeing. This sounds funny, but this was the time to see my environment well and enjoy the scenery as the sun rose on the nation. This eventually took away the sleep and drowsiness as I paid more attention to what turns the driver took, how he manoeuvred through the traffic, how this street was different and maybe more or less beautiful than the former.
I also took a particular liking to sitting in front beside the driver, or directly behind him so I could watch him work. Note that I’ve always wanted to know how to drive and this was my front seat opportunity to do so, literally.
Take only memories, leave only footprints. – Chief Seattle
You probably think this is a waste of time, and I probably would too, but I realised the wisdom in it a while later when the vehicle I was in broke down and the driver advised every passenger to find their way. Of course, I was apprehensive, but my knowledge of the way helped in no small way to save the day.
After knowing which way to go, which turn not to take, where the traffic was worst at a certain time of the morning or evening, and I got bored. I needed something new.
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I was preparing for tests by this time so reading quickly replaced sightseeing. I would revise and practise my school books but I soon delved into other books when the tests were over. I’d cultivated the habit of reading in the dim bus or street light and I wanted to keep up the tradition. This was a good time for me to catch up on the many novels and other books I’d been piling up. Being a fast reader, I would get in as much as twenty to thirty pages before I reached my bus stop. God knows I almost missed my stop a few times too. 😀
A few times in between getting stuff into my head, I also got things out. This was a good time for me to pray, read or reread a passage of the Scriptures, write down my thoughts, plans and worries sometimes; go through them and settle those that needed to be settled in the place of prayer. Note that I did not need to show outwardly that I was having a talk with my Father. I could just quietly do my thing where I was sometimes seating, or standing.
Being a writer, it was also time for me to get down storylines and work on them later on, or if the time was there, write them in motion.
In all these, of course, being a music lover, I was always sure to have my earpiece plugged in and have music or messages pouring in. Because we all know that a seat by the window and music can do wonders all by itself.
I hope you’ve learned a tip or four from my story.
How do you spend your time on the bus? Do share with me in the comment section below.