Every so often I get on my soap box and rattle on about my disdain for speed bumps. Some days they amuse me while on other days they annoy me. The days that they amuse me are those days when I’m being rebelious, some would say. It’s a silly thing really but I amuse myself by speeding in between each speed bump and the more there are and the closer they are together, the faster I try to go between any two bumps. Then I’ll go back down those streets a few weeks later just to see if my passive aggressive behaviour has prompted the installation of more speed bumps. You see, the way I figure it, it’s all in how you interpret them. They are, after all, called SPEED bumps. So is not the idea to speed between the bumps? Of course it is!
Presumably if you drive too fast, you will lose control of your vehicle. And there’s probably a certain amount of truth in that. But when I’m driving behind some poke ass who’s intent on controlling MY speed by forcing me under the speed limit by 10 or 20 km/h, well, I find that I’m much less attentive to the road at those times. The pace is so slow that somehow it feels like my attention on the road is no longer required. So now I will do all kinds of other things. I’ll look around at the scenery, check my phone, fiddle with something. In the past, before cell phones, I’d read the newspaper. Anything to keep me from getting thoroughly frustrated with driving slower than I could walk. Okay, so you get the point. Yes, it’s my pet peeve, it’s rebellious, passive aggressive and surely not doing me any good. If you want to drive at a snail’s pace, that’s fine by me. But why do I have to do the same if I’m more attentive and comfortable at a different pace? Yeah yeah, one day I’ll find my zen thing, make peace with the bumps and report back on how meditative they are. Don’t hold your breath! I enjoy getting my britches in a knot over those bumps.
On the flip side, have a look at this video…this is an intersection in Ethiopia and there are no traffic lights nor do there seem to be any rules whatsoever. Is this cool or what? OMG, I find it so exciting!! Everyone, whether on foot, in a vehicle or on a bike, seems to be getting to where they want to go and imagine, not a single accident. On the one hand it’s akin to total chaos yet on the other there is an amazing flow. It’s beautiful. Not a law, not a rule, so many people all going in different directions, respecting one another and carrying on. Honestly, is it not amazing what we are able to accomplish without the help of fear? Rules…are they borne of fear? That’s my question. Can you imagine the reaction over here if we all got up one morning and there were no more lanes on the streets, no street lights, no signs, nothing…just roads? Do you think we could handle it? What if they showed this video on the news tonight to announce that tomorrow we would navigate the roadways like this? How would you feel about that?
I just love this scene, it’s like watching a colony of ants. To me, it’s perfection! Do you find this liberating or does it give you something more like anxiety?