If you live in Bangkok, drive, and find yourself caught in rush hour rain, then your usual simple journey back home can take on an entire new life and become an adventure of sorts. An adventure from the seat of your car. Today it took me two hours to arrive home. It usually takes me half an hour.
There’s something about rain in Bangkok that just causes havoc. When it rains, it floods on certain roads. These floods cause cars to drive slowly. Slow cars means slow traffic. Then you have the crazy drivers that think they can push their cars through the traffic and end up blocking everyone else’s path, therefore causing even more road blocks. Some end up causing accidents, thereby resulting in even more traffic.
I see these cars like characters in a racing game.
You have the good obedient drivers that follow the rules no matter what : the perpetually calm driver.
You have the usual obedient driver that suddenly realises following the rules results in being constantly overtaken by drivers who have no shame in breaking traffic regulations, and so they too decide to join the crowd. The obedient turned bad driver.
Then you have the completely selfish driver who totally disregards traffic regulations when caught in traffic and act like they are the only ones in a rush to get out of traffic, thereby giving them total divine right to drive however they want on the roads of Bangkok. These are the selfish drivers.
The selfish drivers open up new lanes, turn right from lanes they aren’t supposed to and try to overtake cars when there isn’t any space for them. All this and in the end, they are caught in the same traffic. To make matters worst, they cause more traffic for others.
Then you have the little cockroaches. (Not real ones of coruse.) I call the little Tuk Tuks (three wheeled taxis) and motorcycles cockroaches for they squeeze in and out between cars, through cracks and holes, and any place they can squeeze through. They are agile and flexible though they have a hard exterior. Very cockroach- like. Today out of the blue, a large one popped up besides me, decided to do a 90 degree turn and wriggle itself onto another lane beforing flying forth. Amazing.
Not only are there cars and cockroaches in this adventure, there are other characters that you must be constantly be alert of. The out of the blue man that suddenly walks infront of your car in dark clothing. The ever so calm ones who slowly cross the road whilst chit chatting. The man in a rush with a hurried pace. The grateful lady who hurries along with her child.
The characters in this adventure keep me pre-occupied, as well as my lovely iPhone and its NPR broadcasts. How I love modern technology. Just when I’m settling in, the adventure ends. You spend two hours in traffic and once you pass a certain junction, the roads are flowing as if all had been a dream.
I wish it were a dream, but now it’s drained me of all energy and so I shall have to go do some real dreaming of my own. Happy driving and be safe! Don’t be the selfish driver please! Remember, others are also in a rush.