On the absence of traffic snarls

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

We’ve been in PE for about four months now and are slowly making the transition from inland big city mentality to coastal town lifestyle. Many are the differences between the two places! One of the most obvious is in the traffic: a favorite topic of conversation in Jhb, it hardly warrants a mention here, so I guess I’ll have to make mention of it in this blog if I want to discuss it with anyone at all…

First of all, kudos to the drivers in PE: all things considered, they are possibly the best drivers in the country. For one thing, they understand and apply the rules of the road – what a pleasure to be driving in a place where they know what to do at a traffic circle (hint for Jo’burgers: it’s not a four way stop). For another, they are unfailingly courteous and consistently let one in to the traffic stream when you indicate rather than taking it as a sign that they should accelerate to cut you off! The only frustration I have is that they are often slooow and apparently don’t believe in the concept of a fast lane.

I’m sure a good part of the behavior is related to the fact that traffic jams are, well, non-existent. Unlike Jhb’s efforts to be world class in every sense, PE operates on the basis that you should never spend more than 15-20 minutes in the traffic. Ever. Imagine my amusement when the local traffic report, instead of going on for a good five minutes about problems, described the biggest hazard of the afternoon as “a hot chick jogging along Main Drive”! For those of us all too well acquainted with the frustration of crawling commutes, it’s hard to imagine the difference it makes. People just don’t get nearly as upset in the traffic because, hey, you’ll get where you’re going in five more minutes anyway. And I’m sure this plays a big role in contributing to a generally more relaxed attitude to life. It’s easier to be friendly when you don’t start your day getting all wound up by your trip in.

Lastly, a word on taxis. I continue to ask a simple question: where are they? You barely see any on the road (yet to see more than two at a time) and those that are around stick to speed limits and indicate before pulling over at places convenient for other motorists. A complete disgrace to the profession, I’m sure.

Driving, then, has been an unexpectedly pleasant surprise, which is a not uncommon motif for experiences down here.

— Posted From My iPod


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