All the warm, fuzzy feelings of the festive season have finally evaporated and Cape Town has reverted to a simmering pot of barely-contained road rage.
I’m in a rather unusual position in that I am contributing to the problem, while at the very same time, I am helping to alleviate it. How is this possible? Allow me to explain: When motorists see me darting through the queues of cars on my scooter, their sense of frustration at being stuck in the traffic is kicked up a notch. When I pull up next to a four-wheeled vehicle at a red traffic light, the driver’s body language changes noticeably as their blood pressure starts to increase dangerously. I suppose it’s understandable, since he (or she) has taken ten minutes to crawl the distance that I have covered in thirty seconds. There are few things that focus a driver’s sense of injustice as effectively as this.
Ironically, this is the point where I perform my service to motorised society, because the driver invariably develops the futile notion of out-dragging me when the light changes. While it is theoretically doable, it’s exceedingly difficult to achieve with your average family sedan and damn near impossible with a pick-up truck. Nevertheless, at least two out of every three feel compelled to make the attempt.
In this way, I reduce the overall commuter stress levels by keeping the rush-hour traffic moving through the intersections just a little bit faster than normal. I am a saint. Truly.