When visitors holiday with us, Saturday night is normally, a restaurant followed by a slow drive home under the stars. This week's arrivals were more adventurous. "Let's go to the Freestyle" became the call to action throughout the day. So, after a very tasty "Chinese," off we went to the Lagos arena.
I parked amongst the 3 euros per night brigade, leaving space enough for those still to arrive. This part of Lagos offers all and sundry a once a month "market of fun." The noise and chaos never fail to amuse. Among the hustle and bustle "Cinceuros" rings out from every stall. Anything and everything, socks, underpants, tools. cork handbags etc, etc are all on offer. It really is a very human event.
Unfortunately for this Saturday night in the dark, the place had none of its normal human appeal. We headed towards the stadium entrance to find ourselves crushed and cramped with a few hundred others. My visitors and I soon began to lose our enthusiam for the "Freestyle." The Ticket maids for example had no clue to which part of the stadium each ticket gave access. Also they couldn't add up, 4 tens and 3 fifteens are apparently 95 on a Saturday night. I offerred my fingers to assist in the calculation and eventually, equipped with the cheapest applicable combination I left those crushed behind me to take up the struggle.
The entrance to the stadium was now solid with people just like sardines in a salmon tin. We all shuffled centimetre by centimetre towards the Gateman. He really was a real Jack Flash, scrutinising one ticket every ten seconds. Once past the Gateman's hands, those released drifted off, spreading out left,right and centre, to find the best place to view the forthcoming action. It had only taken us, sardines, some twenty minutes to regain "Freestyle" movement.
I scoured the surroundings. Three "Old Ford Escort" type cars were nearby and looked like they had had a recent paint job. They were, however, overshadowed by the presence of a medum sized motor that ran on 4 tractor wheels. What a monster it looked. The monster in motion should be great and surely will really get tonight's fun going, or so I thought.
We strolled across the lush footbal pitch and began to wonder where the "show " would be performed and what would be the best vantage point. The seats in the North and South stand showed large gaps so we simply wandered upto the South "Ticket master" and walked straight in. He never moved a muscle to check our entry qualifications.
Time passed slowly, the 9.30 pm start drifted towards 10 o'clock, then finally the show began. Well show, 3 cars and 2 motorcyclists drove around the circuit, doing the occasional ear piercing 360 degree rotation in front of the North side followed by a similar exhibition for the people on the South side.They were really non events. This was followed by a car moving slowly for 3 circuits of the field whilst driving on just 2 wheels. I couldn't resist the temptation of asking the guy I was sitting next to, what was the point of driving on two wheels when 4 were available.
The driver eventually vacated his car and waved and bowed to the crowd. I couldn't believe that some folks actually clapped his performance. A nothing event.
Two motorcyclists then re-appeared. They drove a couple of circuits at speed. Then chose to drive up a ramp and fly 30 feet through the air onto a down slope. Their subsequent "jumps" varied marginally, no feet, no hands, handstands on the handlebars etc. I actually thought it was monotonous nonsense. Was this really action? Well definitely not the best.
I decided I had had enough. So I went to find the loo. Luckily I first found an able Gateman unlocking a door. "The loo is down there at the end of the passage," he said.
"Where does that door lead?" I asked. "Oh this is an exit."
Thank God, we could leave without having to cross the stadium / football pitch. We could just disappear through this backdoor and walk on to the car park. I strolled back to my group. There was a young boy pretending to remotely control the cars from the middle of the football field. This was just too much for me. Another non event.
I simply pointed to the door. The others didn't say a word. They simply followed, leaving the 4 tractor wheeled vehicle unmoved.