Helloooo Ghana people, it is obvious that majority of Ghanaians would want to own a car so as to make transportation more convenient. But if you have a suitable and lucrative job like mine but doesnt pay well in Ghana for you to afford a car, then just as myself, you will always be a regular customer in a Tro-Tro van unless you have an alternative.
I am pretty sure by now the Dadabees will be wondering what tro-tro is whiles the wannabes will be pretending to have never hopped in tro-tro van before but hey, let me tell the dadabees what tro-tro is.
The origins of the name Tro-Tro is that Ga language word "tro," which means three pence [pence being the penny coins used during Ghanas colonial days]. In the colonial days, the mass transit vehicles charged passengers three pence per trip, and thus were referred to as tro-tros, and the name have struck ever since.
The tro-tro system works around a tenet central to Ghanaian society. Theres no schedule, no map outlining routes, no gentility you just have to wait at the side of the road for the right one to come along then oh ya! - you join.
Even though tro-tro vans are licensed by the government, the industry is self-regulated by individuals.
Having enlightened the lucky ones who have never experienced the tro-tro palava, anyone who ever visited Ghana whether for the first time or subsequent times and needed to move around am sure would not and cannot miss out on the most affordable tro-tro transport.
To many the tro-tro might not always be expedient but mine! trust me it sure will make your day on a very board and hectic working hours, but dont try it early in the morning when you are quick-tempered like a good friend, Daniel Adu-Darko who sometimes find excuses to report to work early morning due to delay tactics played by tro-tro drivers or the tro-tro mates [conductors] using strategies to keep to their selves Dannys penny as change from the fare he paid.
From the argument over fares, the misunderstandings of utterances, the rudeness of tro-tro conductors to the outbursts of passengers over the drivers speed or slowdowns one cannot help but feel amused.
Even if you are at a bus station, and lucky enough to find a tro-tro going in your direction, you must still wait. No matter if its a broiling thirty five degrees, and you're sticking to your neighbours arms, and the plastic seat. The driver wants to make as much money as possible, so the bus doesn't take off until its full.
Boarding a tro-tro is based on insider knowledge and decoding the code is the challenge. What do I mean by that? Unhelpfully, tro-tros don't have signs indicating their destination. The onus is on the passenger.
For instance you want to go somewhere along the route to "Circle" [Accras central bus station]. You have to stand at the shoulders of the road and make a circle sign in the air with your finger. You wait until you see a tro-tro mate making a similar sign out the window, yelling "circle, circle, circle" to indicate your direction.
But funny enough, some tro-tro mates ignore to make the circle sign out the window; instead they will be yelling the same circle as sex-cle, sex-cle, sex-cle. It rimes though or?
Tro-tros truly reflect the religiosity of Ghanaians. Many of them carry spiritual messages: "Come to Jesus," "Have you prayed today?", Only Jesus, I have even seen "God's Tro-tro" grace the streets of Accra, as if its sole duty were to spread the word of God.
Nonetheless, being a regular tro-tro customer, I can frantically tell you that, the irony of the tro-tro is that they tend to over speed when not necessary and in fact when passengers don't need it but rather slow down when passengers could do with some speed.
I have witnessed many funny occurrences in tro-tro but on that rainy Monday morning, I boarded one of such tro-tros rather to my disappointment. I was hoping the driver could use some speed that morning since I was already running late. I boarded this tro-tro which seemed to be moving only for it to stop at the next bus stop and start calling for passengers as.
Although is the norm but normally it was just for a few minutes and then it was on its way again but it was not to be so on this rainy morning.
We stood there for a couple of minutes then five, ten...by which time other passengers who were running late like me began to look at their watches anxiously.
I was extremely worried because my news editor doesnt want to miss his morning stories from OKAY FM interviews published on Peacefmonline.com which start right after 6Oclock news.
Twenty minutes after six I began to murmur but the tro-tro driver and his mate seemed the least perturbed. This made the passengers angry as some began to hurl insults at them; others took more drastic measures to get off the tro-tro since they have not paid but I have and there is no way the stubborn mate will refund my money to me.
One of such who get-offed the tro-tro was a gentleman neatly dressed in a white shirt, a tie and a pair of pants. This gentleman slipped while leaving the trosky [tro-tro] because the exit to the car was wet and landed in a pool of muddy water which had gathered due to a pothole in the road.
Some laughed uncontrollably as others sympathized with him and helped him to his feet but hey- this was not what amused me.
One of those who laughed uncontrollably was the drivers mate and this unknown to everyone annoyed the poor gentleman so as people sympathized and helped him up he was just trying to position himself to do what he had in mind and before the mate could say jack he had a Floyd Mayweather, Jr. kind of blow landed on his face.
This started a pound-for-pound fight between the two and before long they were rolling in the mud and in the pool of water. Trust me I was so engrossed in the fight I forgot about my lateness.
Eventually the fight was stopped by other tro-tro mates and those of us who were still aboard the tro-tro had to join another trosky which was sorted out but hey! I had some good laugh and all those nerves which had knotted in my shoulders due to my lateness were all gone.
My friends when next you board a tro-tro brace yourself because you never know what it has in store for u. But again make sure your boss is as friendly and understanding as mine or else you will be in trouble for lateness. Hahahaha adieu fellas!
LONG LIVE the TroTro!!!
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|