traffic jam

inthecarIt sometimes happens. I saw it coming, and I already took North when approaching the city to escape the worst. And when East and West both happened to be blocked, I chose South, and came to a standstill …

Once you are not moving at all any more, you know it’s bad. I arranged for my daughter to be collected from school by phone, and started waiting.

After a couple of minutes, one instant, a strange thought came forward: “You like to be alone, you are alone now, enjoy it!

I noticed my body and emotional state was uneasy with this thought. It wanted to go home, it was not happy. My mind (thinking, reason, opinion and memory) was trying to take my attention by looking for a way out, and thinking what could have happened on this road that only I (and 3000 other (un?)fortunate people) knew about. Mind running in circles. I wrote a post about that last week.

Although I did not enjoy the standstill, being aware of myself, and what was going on calmed me down to an almost rock steady patience.

In the end, there was only one hour of delay. Once past the “Bridge of Sighs” (not the one in Venice) I took the East boulevards, and the highway to Nato headquarters and the airport. Nobody seemed to have thought about this, and I got home by seven.

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16 thoughts on “traffic jam

  1. No one likes getting stuck in traffic. I have written a couple of posts about that myself.
    It does give you time to think, if you can get your head around that. I have trouble with it, too.
    I noticed, years ago, in Chicago, where they are used to it, that one person ahead of me would turn off his car or put it in park, prop his feet up, and read a page or two of the newspaper while waiting.

    • Well the reactions of people inside cars around me were embarrassing to the human species to say the least. One guy did indeed park his car, to walk to were he wanted to go (not far), but he would find his car towed away if he would have stayed too long. A few people, when presented with 5 meters would let their engines roar pull up and break immediately. Some tried the change your lane strategy. With the finish line within sight they became very agitated and made a lot of impolite taking of the other’s time by filling the crossroads just before the bridge so nobody could pass at all (the reason of the block in the first place).

  2. “You like to be alone, you are alone now, enjoy it!”……. Being alone is great, but it seems to be more about losing control of when you end up doing something you would ordinarily enjoy suddenly being imposed upon you. I love alone time…. but in my way, on my terms.

    • Well, most of life doesn’t come on our own terms. But I would have liked to replace the verb ‘enjoy’ by ‘make the best of it’. Mentally surrendering to the situation is one thing, but how to fill this extra time in a useful way when this falls upon me is another. You see, my mind is now doing the ‘what if’ game, and tell me about all the possibilities and why I cannot do that in the car. 🙂

  3. when you look at drivers, instead of noticing they are reveling in the amazing transportation – almost everyone is grim and unhappy. I’ve never understood it.

    Must be everyone wants to be somewhere else.

    • I think that the encounters with impolite people on the road, doesn’t make one happy. They are a representative fraction of the society we live in.
      When I drove around in the North of Norway, I noticed the opposite. Whenever I saw another human being (like every 200km) I would stop and talk, and later put a mark on the map.

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