This isn’t a rant on my food preferences, it is about another kind of jam. A kind of jam that I get stuck in every other day. It’s called a traffic jam. Well, the technical term would be a traffic block, but we use this term a lot here. I honestly don’t know where the term originated from, maybe it has nothing to do with the eatable thing, maybe it came from the usage like ‘the door is jammed’, and the like. And it does seem so, because once you get jammed in a jam, it is not easy to get out.
Traffic control here hasn’t developed to a great extent, because every other day we experience massive blocks at busy junctions. The number of vehicles is on an exponential rise, but the width and quality of roads remain the same. No wonder we get in jams every day, particularly if you happen to be the unfortunate soul who leaves home at the peak time, let’s say around 9:00 in the morning or 5:00 in the evening. If you venture out in these hours, I can guarantee you you’ll see endless lines of cars, buses and bikes, just waiting in line to move. Not a long way or anything, to just move.
Getting stuck in a jam is not something anyone enjoys. It is the ultimate test of your patience and perseverance. Because a journey you usually complete in 5 minutes takes over half an hour now. And that is if you are lucky. Extremely lucky. And it doesn’t help if you are in a crowded bus and you are sweating your ass off. Or if you have to reach your classes by 9:00.
But it does have its advantages, now that I think about it. I mean, if you are late to leave home, and you miss your bus by say 5-10 minutes, you won’t have to wait for the next bus. Most of the time, it’s still going to be there barely a few metres from your bus stop. Also when you are returning from your classes and you and your friend have comfortable seats nearby, you can strike up a conversation and cover a whole range of topics before either of you have to get off.
But truth be told, traffic jams are a pain in the ass. But they remind me of a sobering fact of life, one fact which I feel I should be reminded of more often ( and I get stuck in jams every other day…). It’s simply the fact that there are some things that we cannot control. No amount of worry, anger, curses, or swear words can make the line of vehicles disappear or move faster. You just have to accept the fact.
Sometimes, accepting the status quo is what’s best.