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I Love Islamabad Traffic

While the action and adventure continues in our Blogistani Spaghetti Western (in the comments of the post prior to this one) I’ll get back to blogging.

I try not to be redundant and blog about the same topic twice in one week (I said ‘I try,’ not ‘I succeed’) but here’s another blog about traffic. I love Islamabad’s traffic. It’s not that we have so very much of it (except in Blue Area from noon to three) but what we lack in quantity we more than make up for in quality. Take, for example, our taxis. We may not have ten percent as many taxis as Karachi does, but we have one hundred percent of the taxi-induced mayhem. Just yesterday one of them drove through a red light and into oncoming traffic (me!!). And you know what the best part of that near-death experience was? That he was driving through the intersection backwards.

Our private cars are no less exciting. On the second day of Eid I found myself driving behind one of the thousands of white Corollas on our streets. There was nothing unusual about it except that the driver was going rather slow. And then he started to veer not-so-subtly to the right, directly for a grove of trees lovingly planted by Pakistan Tobacco Company Ltd. (Save the world, Kill those pesky humans) I pulled alongside of him and looked inside. The driver was asleep, hands on the wheel, chin on chest, foot on accelerator. I honked and he awoke with a start, swerving wildly. I sped out of the way.

Certain other parts of daily traffic here include neither cars nor pedestrians. Such as livestock. Incidentally, buffalos don’t know what it means when you honk. All you can do is roll up the windows and wait until the herd (and the smell) has passed you by.

I mentioned our suicidal pedestrians just a few days ago, but I forget to talk about the murderous ones. These aren’t the ones trying to kill themselves, they’re just trying to kill the others. And these would-be murderers are usually school-boys who think it’s funny to shove their friends off the curb just as a car is driving by. Their friends would fall directly into traffic if it were not for the fact that they are grabbed just in time. Ha ha.

Ha?

What can I say, pedestrians these days have a weird sense of humor.

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