Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The pigs

Argh! I don't know about you, but I find sitting in traffic super-stressful. My blood pressure rises as I compulsively watch the clock ticking and shake my head at the nutter in the stationary car next to me picking his nose. In Johannesburg, however, unless you work from home, there's no real way to avoid the traffic. I'm more fortunate than some in that I only live 8km (just under 5 miles) from the office. BUT it takes me on average 25 minutes to get there!

Why? Well, aside from the bumper-to-bumper traffic, there are numerous other obstacles to overcome. My route to work is fairly simple. I drive out from my complex, onto a main road. I keep straight until I hit a T-junction and then I turn left. I stay straight again through a couple of robots (yes, that's what we call traffic lights in South Africa), turn right and go through two more robots and arrive at work. On a weekend it takes me 10 minutes. Well it would if I ever worked on weekends, that is ;-)

BUT, on the road just after the T-junction, there are currently massive roadworks going on. There are men working, large construction vehicles and loads of those little orange cones that seem to scream "hit me!" (or is that just me?) stretching for about 1km. Why? Understanding that the traffic on this road is completely insane, the city council has decided to widen the road. Fair enough. I can deal with that if it means the traffic will let up some time in the future. What I can't get over, however, is that every morning, on the same road, the cops set up a roadblock during the peak traffic, which makes it a million times worse. Yes! there they sit in their cars, all 20 or so of them, pulling off our mini-bus taxis and anyone else they don't like the look of, which causes havoc.

Once I'm past that road, it's usually a lot better. Today, however, the idiots had set up ANOTHER roadblock in the last road I take. Grrr! Are they thick? Have they not SEEN the traffic? But no, the clever clogs must put two blocks on two already busy roads during peak hours next to the roadworks?!?!?!

I will not let this colour my day. I will not. I will console myself with the fact that my new house is much closer to work (about 4km away) and cuts out the roadworks, if not the roadblocks.

Our house, in the middle of our street...

19 comments:

Being Brazen said...

Gosh, i loathe traffic....

Think positive thoughts, think positive thought...

Have a great public holiday tomorrow :)

The Jackson Files said...

Just think though T, you could be sitting/standing on a packed tube for an hour or two commuting into London.

I swear, traffic is a PLEASURE in comparison to that.

Ruby said...

ha ha ha ha ha....shame hun. I'm only laughing cause i feel your pain:( I have to battle an average of 2 roadblocks and the roadworks each day too...........So consider it to be my maniacal laughter of understanding...or somethin glike that:)

Ruby said...

You've got mail....again!

sweets said...

it takes me an hour and 1/4 to get to work, count your blessings! :)

Katt said...

Hi there! Just popped in to say hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. I've enjoyed reading your blog too so I will definitely be back for me.

Traffic is one of the things I really don't miss down here in the boonies!

PS: You're a journo? I'm green with envy. :-)

Caz said...

ah lady it is the WORST thing about my trips to joburg and you are sooo right. They also put up road blocks when the traffic is already INSANE. there is something so sick about it - T I'm afraid there is a sadistic perversity invading our society - people who STEAL GHDS and ROADBLOCK IN TRAFFIC are just wrong!!!

Slyde said...

i become a madman in traffic.. really.

Gill said...

Sometimes the logic of our traffic officers just totally eludes me!! Also the people who start road works on the South Coast right before the Christmas season begins - truly that is what they did last year!

po said...

Hmm, traffic sucks, but I agree with Jackson files, the tube is worse, every time I have to take it I feel so worn down.

Moe Wanchuk said...

4 kilometers? I'd get a bike and ride on the sidewalks.

Miss T said...

if only it were safe to ride a bike...

elizabeth said...

(LOVE that song)

We have so much construction here - it's like they make up a new reason to rip out a road every minute... drives me MENTAL.

Congrats on the new house!!

Moe Wanchuk said...

I love that picture u have...of the dog face..it's So Good

AlasMyDear said...

why? why? what's the point of roadblocks anyway?

your morning rush hour traffic sounds just like what we have here :) less the roadblocks. i've given up...now i either go in at 7.30 or 10am, just so i don't sit in jams with my blood boiling!

Tamara said...

BB: Tried that. My positive thoughts tend to turn nasty. "What a lovely drive this is. Look at the pretty scenery... a blossoming tree, a happy cyclist, minibus taxis... I WANT TO KILL THEM!"

TJF: You're probably right, but at least you can read in the tube. I think I need to invest in some audio books for the car so I can at least make my traffic time useful.

Ruby: Have I told you that you're crazy? and that I adore you?

Sweets: Touche.

Katt: You're welcome and thanks to you too. Yes, I'm a journo. It's so not as glamourous as it sounds ;-)

Tamara said...

Caz: Mwahahaha... you are so funny, lady. Have you replaced your beloved yet?

Slyde: Why am I not surprised?

Moe: So would I if I didn't think I'd get mugged or run down by a speeding minibus taxi (seriously - the drivers are all certifiable. Ask any South African).

Miss T: You tell Moe!

Elizabeth: The same here, but they never seem to finish anything. Thanks for the congrats, lil miss soon to be married ;-)

Tamara said...

Moe: Thanks, dude.

AMD: I wish I had that option! But my half-day job means I have to be here at a set time. I go home early to avoid the evening rush, and do some of my freelancing from home.

Ruby said...

awe........thanx for reminding me of two very important facts;)

Right back at ya on both accounts!