Driving Conditions We Have Come To Accept?

Image by Marcus’ dad.

Every day as I drive home I realize that there are conditions that we must have already accepted as the norm. At some point in the past these got so much attention most in the form of promises and grandstanding of politicians, and rants from the general public and the media. But as time passes focus on these issues have gone cold.

For example, dark streets. For more than three years I have been driving through the same dark inner roads and highways. On these roads I have witnessed countless accidents that could have been avoided had these places been well-lit. It bothers me to think that lives and limbs would be wasted soon unless the concerned government agencies start getting their acts together. There are already cheap solar street lighting so it makes me wonder what keeps our officials from installing them.

Then there are also the potholes. Years ago, each time I hear an exposé about substandard road projects I hoped and believed that change will start to happen soon–that roads will stay paved for long. But it was being naive because change was temporary. What appeared to be worthy projects have once again ended in the hands of corrupt contractors. Our roads are back to its sorry state.

Then we have the existence of smoke belchers. These vehicles, usually trucks and jeepneys, continue to pollute and to make driving a lot more difficult. Just imagine the challenge I experience almost daily as I make my way through pitch-black, zigzagged, and potholed road while following a slow-moving truck spewing a screen of thick black smoke. Oh, before I forget, this part of my trip is uphill. Whatever happened to the clean air act?

I don’t know when another campaign to eradicate these problems will kick in once more. Maybe soon but maybe not. Or, maybe when these hazardous road conditions claim the life of someone famous. Until then it looks like these are just things that we must accept and live with.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (My body clock is American, time zone is Asian.)

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How To Jaywalk and Survive

I’ve been running a tight schedule these past few weeks and I’m out of ideas except for this topic. Today, I’ll be an advocate of those who continue to choose to walk on the dangerous side as truth to be told, at some point I myself hated to go to the designated crosswalks just because it is more convenient, it is faster and it is the macho thing to jaywalk at certain times. Others I’m sure have there own excuses why they defeat the law but whatever that is I will now try to help them cross the other side in one piece. So how do you jaywalk and yet survive? Here’s my top 5 list:

1. Remember stop, look,and listen? Yes, that old kindergarten song will help you keep your life and limbs as you try to reach that other side of the road. In cases when you’re in a why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road situation, for Pete’s sake, at least have that presence of mind: stop, look,and listen. Please.

2. Eye contact! Based on experience and observation, and as complemented by the book Traffic, an eye contact with the driver of an approaching vehicle works most of the time. This relays to the person inside the car some sort of mutual message that you know what you’re about to do and that you’re no road-kill material.

3. Grab a baby. I for one will brake  to let anyone cuddling a baby cross safely and I’ve seen majority of drivers do the same thing (isn’t it comforting to know that there’s still kindness among most of us). By the way, make sure it is your own baby. Ok?

4. Be old. Our country is among many others that don’t have seniors-friendly facilities, such as escalators, that would encourage the elderly to take the safer option yet thankfully majority of motorists take precaution whenever they see someone old inching their way across. Case in point is my father who cannot use those long flight of stairs of the overpass leading to his favorite place. He’s been hanging out in this mall almost whole year round so I know that considerate drivers have slowed down for him as he makes his way to the ‘big R.’

5. Smile..and wear shorts. Wear shorts…and smile. Smile…and wear shorts. Wear shorts…and smile. (I think I’ve made this one clear enough.)

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Lego kid still sleeping.)