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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Incurring the wrath of the gods...

Does anyone believe in the Gods of Traffic? Because if you do, please would you let me know what I did wrong this morning! I got out of bed, got dressed, did some sit-ups, had breakfast, washed up and left the house, as I always do. There was nothing particularly special about today, as far as I know, and yet, it went so horribly wrong.

I normally take the hiway to get to university after 9am as it is much faster than driving through, or around, the city to get there from where I live. But today, as I drove on the bridge that crosses over the hiway I looked over and saw that the hiway was completely jammed up. So I decided that dispite the fact that I avoid alternatives because of how much longer they take, I would take the long way round.

I got stopped at the first traffic light. I waited patiently and pulled off once the light went green, as one does. I'd literally been moving for about a minute when I got stopped at the second light. I was a little annoyed as the two lights are about 250m apart, so it's not very far. Here too, I waited patiently and then pulled off. By the third light, another 200m down the road, I was stopped again. This trend continued throughout the morning...

At one stage I knew that there was a longish straight stretch of road, only interrupted by a traffic circle, and so I was rather optimistic about making up for lost time on this stretch. But to my horror, as I pulled up to the circle, a mechanical digger pulled into the road in front of me! And this one was in no hurry to get anywhere at all.

Along my way to university today I was further slowed by one accident (not involving me...thank goodness!) and large road-works which backed up traffic for about three blocks. All in all, my driving experiences of this morning were not ideal and probably would have put any learner drivers off the idea of driving for life.

So after approximately 55min on the road (it usually takes me about 15-20min) I got to university. Once there I discovered to my horror that my supervisor wasn't present! This normally wouldn't phase me, but at the moment I'm really stuck with my work and I can't figure out what to do, hense the need to have him around. So, to calm my nerves, I decided to go to do some photocopying.

I got to the copy room and swiped my copy card in the machine. Nothing happened. Now I know that I am prone to swiping it the wrong way round and so I inevitably have to do it a few times before I get it right. But today, literally nothing happened no matter what I did. I eventually called over the secretary for help and she, after a barrage of questions and a completely incredulous tone, came to my aid. Or, at least, that was her intention.

We finally concluded that the machine had finally given up the ghost and that I should come back later when the other one was free for use. So I retreated to my lab to check my e-mail, which apart from some creative spam and one joke e-mail, wasn't particularly exciting.

I hope that the day improves...


  1. Oh, I had no idea that your day had been such a chapter of accidents when I stopped by! I hope that the book helped a brighten your day a little bit!

    I don't think it's so much about incurring the wrath of the gods; I suspect that they randomly select people to have really bad traffic days and then sit back and wait to be entertained by our frustration...

    I hope that Thursday and Friday are super days, where everything goes your way to make up for today. And if all else fails, at least we have the road trip and photographic expedition to the Jacaranda City to make you feel better (and Dave tends to have fairly good traffic luck)! :)

  2. Alas, the Traffic Gods do exist and are extremely irrational and temperamental! This is why it is best to leave ridiculously early, before they wake up and get the opportunity to smite traffic lights. This is why I get to Wits at 7am during term!

    What I have found helps is something that I did on Monday. I left home at 7:20am, and told the Gods that I really couldn't handle the drive to Wits taking longer than 20 minutes. I got there at 7:35am. ;)