I had to take the car in to work today. I am normally a scooter commooter, but my job forces me to adopt the four-wheeled persona every so often. Admittedly, on winter mornings, my trip to work on the scooter sometimes feels like a foray into the exciting world of experimental cryogenics, but it certainly beats sitting in the traffic. Also, my wife likes to pinch the duvet, so I need to build up my resistance to the cold.
This morning, I left earlier than usual to try and avoid the worst of the traffic. In Cape Town, the only people who manage this successfully are car thieves, but for the rest of us, it usually ends up being an exercise in futility and brainless optimism. Today was no exception. It didn’t help matters that I had to stop. At. Every. Single. Traffic. Light.
A couple of weeks ago I spoke to a transportation engineer and he assured me that there is some vague sort of planning behind the apparent chaos that typifies traffic control in the Fairest Cape. He emphatically denied my suggestion that all the traffic signals in the city were connected to (and controlled by) a giant keyboard at Gallows Hill where an orang-utan was learning to play Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
I’m not so sure. It’s the only explanation that makes sense to me.