The long way home

After a completely football-filled weekend, I think it’s safe to say the excitement around the start of the 2010 Soccer World Cup is starting to fade a bit and everything is getting back to normal. OK, that’s a lie. There’s nothing normal about spending and over an hour in traffic to travel less than 5 kilometers!

This is the absolute joy that awaited me as I drove home from a nice little gym session last night. Obviously I was expecting some traffic heading home (Italy was playing Paraguay at Green Point Stadium after all), but what I encountered could hardly be called traffic. It was chaotic. Cars were jamming the streets in every direction and to get your car to move even a little bit took a lot of time and effort. I’m not exaggerating. Despite the torrential downpour and sporadic hail, I honestly think I might have been better off walking.

You see last night, like most nights, I needed to turn left out of Buitengracht. Unfortunately so did the rest of Cape Town, which meant the left lane was moving at about 30 centimetres per minute. There was nothing I could do but just get in line and wait. That’s what everyone does, right? Wrong. Important people don’t wait. They see exactly what is going on, like the rest of us, but instead of getting in line, they casually skip to the front of the queue where they proceed to cut in, leaving the poor idiots (like me) who actually wait their turn, to wait ever so much longer. After watching this process for about 15 minutes and moving less than half a city block, I couldn’t take it anymore. This is the kind of situation that gets me all red and road ragey, so I got out of the left lane, sped down the right lane (ah 2nd gear) to the nearest intersection and turned around to take another road home. Another 5 minutes and I might have popped a vein.

Even on the other (less busy) road, getting home still took me another good 40 minutes, but at least I didn’t have to deal with the terrible driving of self-important idiots. I realise I moan about traffic quite a lot, but I’m pretty sure everyone (excluding the culprits) has dealt with the same frustration and will understand my pain. I’ve come to the conclusion that people who drive like this are simply too dumb to understand simple cause and effect. Bad driving causes bad traffic, so if you’re one of those people who ignorantly drive to the front of the line and cut in: You suck. No really, you do.

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