Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Patience Is A Virtue

China Traffic Jam Could Last Into September - WSJ.com I don't know if you saw this story about the 60 mile traffic jam in China that may take weeks to clear up. I don't know about you but I get annoyed somewhat with traffic jams in America around cities such as Boston, Hartford, and/or Providence when I get caught in them and get delayed for a half hour or so. Can you imagine a traffic jam lasting for weeks? What would you do if you felt thirsty and wanted a drink of water over those weeks or if you had to use the "restroom" during that time? What if you wanted something to eat while you were waiting? Imagine sleeping in your car and wearing the same clothes for weeks on end?

The article found on the "Drudge Report" states the the traffic inched forward approximately one third of a mile per day. Now, I'm not an Olympic athlete, but I know I could walk or crawl faster than that. Also, if you notice in the picture of the traffic jam in the article the other side of the road appears to be "wide open" with just a couple of cars going the other direction. Gee, I wonder if it would have been a good idea to divert some of the traffic to the other side of the road to alleviate this traffic jam? Sixty miles is equivalent to a traffic jam from approximately Hyannis Massachusetts to Boston. On Labor Day on Cape Cod there are often reports of the traffic leaving the Cape being backed up from the Sagamore Bridge to the Orleans rotary. This distance is approximately 35 miles and takes maybe a few hours to clear up not a week or two. Apparently there have been more cars recently sold in China than the amount of road capacity to handle all the cars and trucks. The Chinese culture has a long history and generally they have learned the value of patience and long term planning such as building the "Great Wall" which surely wasn't built in a day and from what I understand is one of the only and perhaps the only man made structure identifiable from Space. We Americans tend to get impatient if you are stopped at a traffic light and there is more than a second delay before the car ahead of you reacts to the green light. We have places to go, things to do.

I guess the only way to survive a traffic jam such as the Chinese 60 mile weeks on end mess would be if you had an air conditioned mobile home or custom motor coach with a kitchen, satellite television and Internet connection, a full wardrobe of clothes, full bathroom, a few kegs of beer and cheese nips, and maybe a grill to cook up some steaks and hamburgers. A few weeks worth of clean towels or course would also be required. Although this would still be "roughing it"; without these items the wait would just be too inconvenient, uncomfortable, and frankly slightly boring. "Are we there yet? No, my son we just went a third of a mile today and we have sixty more miles until the traffic lets up."

I guess we Americans just don't have the patience to sit through a minor multi-week traffic jam.