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I hate traffic February 5, 2007

Posted by Andreas in Cape Town, Life, Society, Work.

Every morning when I wake up I can hear its low pitched hum outside my window, like a billion tenor bumble-bees grumbling in the distance.

Every morning I strap myself into my metal escape pod and flee my real life, the good life. I pour myself into the thin stream that runs past my front door, a drop into a suburban rivulet that merges with a bigger tributary that merges with a broad river until I enter the main artery, a viscous flow of steal that makes its way towards town at a sluggish near-pedestrian pace.

I sit in my box of steel, rubber, plastic and glass staring at the black piece of tarmac ahead, surrounded on all sides by other individuals (two at a time is a rarity) in their own contraptions staring ahead. Our only means of communication is via hand-signals (friendly waves and the occasional middle-finger), mouthed obscenities and the odd canned hoot.

Stale air and entertainment strokes past our faces – modern life support systems: piped and conditioned air and music.

We are pathetic symbols of our atomised world, isolated humans individually metal-wrapped and suspended in a slow-motion steel avalanche that will eventually excrete each one of us at our sad destinations – office farms, cement grey parking garages, all-day CBD vehicle dormitories.

In small, medium, large, huge and gigantic towns and cities around the globe, every hour of the planetary day, fetid sewage pulses through asphalt causeways sapping our life’s vigour and creativity out of each one of us.

Ivan Illich was right about the absurd counter-productive anti-logic of modern technology: medical science that makes us sick, education that dumbs us down and modes of transportation that trap us in logjams for hours.

I hate traffic.



1. ggwfung - February 5, 2007

you’re lucky you don’t live next to a train line like I do. Starts up around 5am and runs through the morning. No need for an alarm clock.

I don’t know if you know this SA blog –


I found it insightful.


2. Andreas - February 5, 2007

Ouch, ja I can imagine! I actually used to live quite near a train line for a few years a while back, but not near enough to hear much of the noise.

I used to take the train to work (walk-train-walk) and that was great, but now I’ve got to take the kids to school every morning and fight the beast…

Ta for the link. Had a quick look and will definitely go for a more detailed browse when I get the chance.


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