Thursday, August 01, 2013

And this is why I'm not spontaneous!

When I exit the building in the CBD, I have to turn right to go home.

The problem with this is (a) it's peak hour traffic and (b) I have to cross a lane of crazy oncoming traffic so it's a miracle if the stars align and there are no cars from either direction for me to quickly dash across the lane into the other one facing my direction.

Mostly some kind (taxi) driver takes pity on me patiently waiting and lets me into the traffic flow.

So today maybe I'd just had enough of (mentally) begging people to let me in but there were so many cars and I thought, "let me see what happens if I turn LEFT. I'll just turn down a street, take the next right and at some point turn right again and join up with my street".

What's the worse that can happen?

And that is what they call famous last words.

Because I turned left, turned right and the next right happened to be Bree.

Friends, I thought I was either going to knock down at least a couple of people or get into an accident with about 4 taxis.

It was bad.

I was sweating!!! And praying.

And fortunately some random person saw me sandwiched in between the edge of a street and 5 taxis, and guided me to turn, reverse, turn reverse, drive... to cram my way into Bree Street so I wasn't stuck for the 5th light change without moving.

It was terrible.


And then another dude had to let me in. But by let me in again I had millimetres on the one side of my car.

Of course you can probably guess I turned back onto my normal route home as soon as I could.

That whole one block detour took 25 minutes and I was right back where I first started out.

This is a big deal because normally my entire commute home is 17 - 20 minutes (I know, don't hate me!).

But that right there is what happens when I try to be spontaneous.

I've driven the same way to the other (gorgeous) office for 8 years - why mess with a formula that works?! I know all the newspaper sellers and the beggars along that route. The one guy has known me not pregnant, pregnant, and seen me take the babies to work. When D and I travel together, we both wave to him if the light's green and we can't stop, and say a quick hello when it's red. It's the Joburg version of community :)

Next week I'll just happily sit there at my building's exit and wait til a taxi driver takes pity on my sorry, unadventurous soul.

Are you adventurous on the roads?


  1. Oh, Marcia...I can just picture it all! So sorry you had such a stressful afternoon!

    I am not very adventurous, because I don't have to be. I can be aggressive when I drive in a large city, but our little town is so easy to take your time. I've been talking with the girls about how good it is to wait until you're comfortable to pull into traffic. There's no need to risk your life to save two minutes. I just hope that line of thinking sticks

  2. in 12 years! ;)

    [GRRR!!! My stinkin' comments are still locking up! I am typing fast, as I thought it was some issue with me I don't know!???] insight into your commute...and love the schematic. It was helpful for those of us who drive on the right side of the road! ;)

  3. I plan my routes so that I avoid roads like that - honestly Marcia I am bad. I will not cross a road like that UNLESS I am about to pop a baby out or one of my kids needs to get to the hospital!

    I actively avoid it! We had a route to school that was great but then they closed the little suburb off which meant I had to cross a road just like this - we NEVER go that way anymore!

    I ALWAYS get lost ALWAYS! So I have found myself in these situations many many times in Pretoria (and Joburg) CBD. I once managed to sandwich myself in the middle of a taxi protest - it was great fun. Fortunately I was a student at the time so was a lot "braver" than I am now and managed to get the cops attention to help me out!

  4. My husband is forever trying to take "short cuts" that just end up being looooong cuts! I always tell him to just sit tight and be patient because even though the traffic moves on his routes - it takes the same amount of time as it would had we sat in the traffic, and probably uses more petrol!!
    But hey, at least you tried it, and now you have more confidence in your tried and tested route than ever before! lol!

  5. hahahahaha, you are so funny! That being said I like my tried and tested routes, but I am not adverse to trying something new to get he out of there. Cliff is a JHB boy thru and thru so he always takes these convoluted routes and it drives me batty!


  6. I love PE........

    But yes, I always try and take the "easier" route to avoid traffic. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it is a disaster!

  7. Haha. You are funny! I LOVE taking different routes. In fact, I experimented with about 7 or 8 routes before I settled on the one that we now use. I am ALWAYS looking for shortcuts!

  8. Once I settle on a route it's mine practically for ever. I usually only find a new one once my car goes in for a service and someone else shows me one.

    1. Exactly - that's me!!! And if I'm feeling bossy, I direct the driver of the dealership to go "my way" :)

  9. I'm adventurous with routes just because I'm a curious cat but i loose all spontaneity and spirit of adventure when I'm in certain parts of the city


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