Every Man For Himself: A Lesson in Traffic

Posted: July 23, 2007 in Blog

Traffic here is crazy. Cra-zy. And I say that as a bemused, pedestrian observer who hopes never to have to get behind a wheel in this city. (This is about the time I pat my international driver’s license and smile coyly, much to the chagrin of the Journalists For Human Rights folks).

Walking to work today I got an up-close view of rush hour traffic.

Basically, here’s the formula:

 Thousands of belching, noisy cars, vans and trucks + pot hole-filled roads + a close-your-eyes-and-hope-for-the-best approach to merging with traffic = chaos. Utter chaos.

And there’s nothing the gun-and-whistle-toting cops at most intersections can do about it.

As far as I can see there are only two traffic lights in this city. Both of them are marked on the map and largely ignored. I crossed at one a few days ago. Wow. Those of us trying to walk, even though we had the walk signal, had to cross one lane at a time. Run across a lane of oncoming traffic, wait at the dotted line for a gap, run across another lane, wait at the line, and so on. It was like an adrenaline-filled game of Frogger.

Except without the knowledge that you could press “Start Again” if you got smushed.

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Comments
  1. Mom says:

    Chris,
    Another interesting entry….keep ’em coming. I can relate to the traffic as it sounds similar to when I was in Ghana. Must admit I really liked how they communicated so well between vehicles using horns and car lights/turn signals, though, so I felt it was “controlled” chaos. Keep safe!
    love, Mom

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