A Bangalorean shared this observation recently: “Bangalore may have world-class medical care, but God Forbid I ever have a cardiac incident. I’ll die before the ambulance can get to the hospital.”
A three-year-old girl in Lagos did die on the way to the hospital recently, as shared in this sad tale by the man who attempted to drive her and her parents from their neighborhood to the hospital three kilometers — about an hour’s drive — away. (That statement assumes that the act of going a mile-and-a-half an hour can really be called “driving.”) The story is a little hard to decipher if you’re not intimately familiar with Lagos (I ain’t) but there’s nothing hard to understand about the horror of being stuck in megacity traffic as your child struggles for life beside you. (And you thought heading for a staff meeting on southbound IH-35 was rough.) The father ended up getting out and running. He didn’t make it.
In what is perhaps an apt metaphor for the transportation future of megacities, abandoning your car is not an unknown strategy in Lagos. Want more depressing Lagos horror stories? The Atlantic recently did a nice piece on what is fast becoming the world’s favorite slo-mo disaster.