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Is it really necessary?

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?

Kharim


13 Comments

  1. What beautiful thoughts Kharim! It is hilarious how you approach the speed bumps, and let me tell you, I have my wars with speed bumps too, but mostly when there is someone in front of me who regards them as stop signs, which they fully embrace as such. I have a different approach in my speedy moments. I actually speed up right in front of them just to see if I can “jump/fly” over them and guess what: you actually CAN!!! without breaking your car in half! You should try it. And once you try it, imagine the excitement you can get out of alternating the methods of overcoming these hurdles. No more cell phones-newspapers-bitching needed. it will be like a slalom race in the middle of winter. And btw. a friend of mine once tried to actually avoid a speed bump using the bicycle path as her road; it works too, but since she is popular amongst police she got fined for using the bike path, and this…now wait: in the middle of winter!!!!!! greetings and thank you for your hilarious account. And last but not least: Oh yes, we would survive probably better without all those stop signs and hurdles ecc. So many people get killed or injured exactly because of them here in Montreal.

    Reply
    • Hi Angelika!! Thank you so much for giving me a good laugh today…I had forgotten about those people who must come to a full stop and check both ways before crossing a speed bump! :) And I absolutely LOVE your strategy of flying over the speed bumps. That sounds like a lot of fun…I’m going to try it for sure!! Thank you! Great to see you here!!! :)

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  2. That video is just craziness!! And did you see that people are crossing the road on foot? OMG, that’s not for me. :)

    Thank you for making me smile with your article! :)

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    • You’re welcome! I’m happy you enjoyed it! Were you smiling because the pedestrians made it to the other side unscathed? 😉

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      • I was in awe that they made it to the other side of the road! If I lived there, I would never get anywhere because I wouldn’t cross that street!!

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        • Maybe a blindfold would help!! :)

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  3. This story brought back this memory for me… For the first (and only year), I was working in an office where people were going to dress up for Halloween. I thought – perfect! This gives me an opportunity to try a costume I have always wanted to do. I head out to Fabricland and pick up some cheap yellow fabric, get home and make myself a pair of pants. Take them out to the driveway, put them down behind my car and proceed to drive back and forth over them. Halloween day, I put them on with a yellow top. Co-workers looked at me like I had 2 heads (which wasn’t an entirely new occurrence, but I digress). When someone asked me what I was supposed to be, I’d lie on the floor and say “Speed Bump”! At which point the outfit made more sense. Somewhere I have a photo of me lying on the floor in the office with a girlfriend who came as a racecar driver crouched beside me. One of my favourite H’ween moments.

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    • OMG! That’s such a funny story! :) I love it!

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    • OMG, this story has me pissing my pants!! Thanks for sharing this one Jenn! I’d love to see the picture. All the neighbours must be wondering what I’m laughing about now. The visual is killing me!! :)

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  4. Finally able to watch the video. This is where your ‘yellow rubber penis’ would come in handy for me. I’d be there a long time before I’d get across the road, and/or through the intersection!

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    • You know, I think you have a point about the penis…I bet you if you wore that penis and flashed it out into the street, the cars might actually stop. Or, maybe you should try out your speed bump costume over there in Ethiopia!!

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  5. I think there is nothing better than intuition, and that is what the people in the video rely on…and survive. We in the west are so controlled by mechanisms and machines, that we loose that simple ability of watching out and blending in. We are more worried about traffic signals and signage that we actually loose the ability of functioning properly and relying on common sense. I might be wrong about this…who knows.

    Reply
    • I love this perspective Angelika!!

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