Last month, Waze, a GPS-based navigation app, claimed that Manila has the “worst traffic on Earth.” As a driver, I couldn’t agree more. Whether you are coming from the rural towns in the east or from the far-flung urban cities in the south, the time you spend on transportation alone if your day job starts at nine in the morning will be—more or less—two hours. And as you cruise down Ortigas, BGC, or Makati, you will most likely go through the five stages of grief. So here, let’s assess these emotions one by one:
Every day before you leave your house, you silently offer a prayer and wish that traffic won’t be as bad as yesterday’s. You try to think positively and tell yourself that you might even have spare time to grab breakfast and pass by your favorite drive-thru fast food chain. You deny the fact that it only gets worse every single day.
Sometimes it feels like your car horn is a weapon of destruction. You get mad at the traffic light for changing from green to red so soon, and then you mentally curse the driver of that vehicle for inconsiderately interjecting into your lane.
Over 30 minutes have already passed. And while listening to your favorite radio station, you start wishing for a counter flow to happen and to be first in line if ever. You bargain with yourself and vow to cut your lunch time in half if you can reach the office in the next 15 to 20 minutes. You even promise yourself that you won’t snooze the alarm tomorrow so that you can leave early for a change.
Silence. You take a good look at your life. “Why does this happen to me every single day? What have I done to deserve this kind of torture?” You’re already stressed out and you haven’t even reached your workplace yet.
Finally, your long and winding journey has ended! Traffic sucks and tomorrow is another day, but for now, you thank all the gods for bringing you to your destination safe and sound.
Main image by Li Kim Goh | Digital Vision Vectors