[The first 15min]
We’ve always had traffic in Lebanon. This is nothing new; the government has always had epic timing when it came to fixing roads, Blog baladi has a very good theory as to why that is. We were born with traffic, we were molded by it (I always wanted to make that joke!). Regardless of how awful this one might look I vow to remain calm. I’m sending a text to work informing them I might be a bit late, I’m turning the radio volume up, I’m checking out twitter, i’m checking out the pictures people uploaded about their newly downloaded ios7. Life’s good, it’s good, it’s so good.
[We’ve just hit the 40 minutes mark of standing still in our non-moving vehicles]
Someone will crack first. You always have a sense of who it’ll be. Yes, you may call it a superpower. There will always be a lady who will put her sunglasses up on top of her head, get out of her car and for god knows why yell her lungs out at the guy in front of her ta ‘y2adim ba2a!!’ She’ll thrust her fists up in the air, she’ll curse the country and its people, she’ll get back to her car and still be mumbling curse words from her window. She is in a state of complete rage. The guy she’s yelling at will look at her in utter disdain but he’ll remain calm; we’re all in this together. It’s us against the traffic.
[During the second half of the first hour]
The bargainer is the jackass, pardon my french. Life threw him a hurdle? He’s going to live by the words of the great Tim Gunn and ‘Make it work!’
He will do anything just to move forward a few spots, he’ll negotiate with the cop, if there is one, to remove the orange cone that’s blocking his way. He’ll compromise by cutting you in line. He’ll run over your screaming body and not give a single fuck. He has a big car and he knows it, he considers himself the king of streets, he will not be defeated. And sadly, despite everything we’ve been taught about life, that jerk will get to work first. The nice guy who lets people get past him will finish last. Good luck with things
[During the first half of the second hour]
Exhausted is the best way to describe this fine gentleman. He’ll be seen desperately wiping the sweat off his head, trying to contain his anger. He’s late; he’s been late before he can’t use this jam as an excuse. His mind is not in the traffic, it’s in the aftermath. What’s going to happen to him? How much will the cons of this situation weigh him down? He’s stuck, literally and figuratively. It’s making him claustrophobic; he’s calculating just how much this will cost him. All he can do is let his mind wander, taking him to a dark consequential future. He has nowhere to go. He already lost. It’s poetic really – if you’re into that shit.
[An hour and 30 minutes have passed]
Your back aches, you’re numb, bored, you’re feeling beaten down. You’re still standing there watching everybody feeling the seasons change but now you catch yourself counting your blessings. You’re thanking your lucky stars that:
a- You had enough fuel,
b- Nobody you care about was in any state of medical emergency because they would not have made it,
c- The songs on the radio this morning were not as awful as they usually are.