IF TRAFFIC JAMS keep growing at present rates, key highways in Asia could soon be permanently gridlocked, greenies say. Drivers will have to go back to walking and cycling.
This is already happening in places, campaigner Elly Sung told me. I believe it. This columnist visited Bangkok recently, and the drive from the airport to town took so long that I had to pretty much turn around soon after arrival to head back to the airport. “Hi! Bye! Your country was very nice!”
Thai people are lovely, but I couldn’t get used to life in Bangkok.
HUSBAND: “Bye, honey, I’m just popping out to the shop to pick up some milk.”
WIFE: “Okay. See you in a month!”
(Sounds like a Lift Lurker and wife conversation.)
Last week during a traffic jam in Russia, drivers took 24 hours to move ONE KILOMETER. This is extremely slow, comparable to the speed of a snail crossing a desert or a Greek businessman paying his tax bill.
In China, a single traffic gridlock on the Beijing-Tibet road lasted NINE DAYS, and one on the Mongolia-Beijing road in Hebei lasted ELEVEN DAYS.
If I’m in a car which doesn’t move for ten minutes I go out of my head, so heaven knows what people who have been stuck there for eleven days do. “Hi mom, I just did 14,000 levels of Angry Birds.”
MapLink, a company that makes GPS things for cars, decided to track where their devices were. They found that the ones in Sao Paolo, a state in Brazil, moved slower than walkers. Car firms there will need a new advertising angle. “Hate your job? Buy a car and you’ll miss half your work day!”
The cunning plan of Elly and her mates is that these eleven-day blocks of non-movement will grow and eventually link up, causing main roads to become long skinny car parks.
“But for the gridlock plan to work, we need governments to encourage reckless amounts of car production,” she said. “Luckily, almost every government in Asia is co-operating.”
IN OTHER NEWS…
READER ANN TEOH tells me there’s uproar at hairdressing salons in Kelantan, Malaysia. Prudish officials have made it illegal for hairdressers of one sex to give haircuts to customers of another, indicating that doing so is equivalent to having sex. Officials: just try it. You are going to be SO disappointed.
THE STORY IN the movie Speed came true in China, the Shanghai Evening News reported. A driver’s car got stuck zooming along the roads of Zhejiang province at 130 km an hour.
He phoned police who cleared traffic jams and opened all the toll gates on his route to let him whizz straight through.
Yeah right. I’m so going to try this next time I’m in China and in a hurry. “Hello? Police? My accelerator is stuck and I need you to clear a path to my hotel, with a brief stop at the convenience store to get a couple of beers, thanks so much.”
DOING TOO much exercise “can wear out your heart”, according to a study of 50,000 people printed in the medical journal Heart last week. Phew! I cleverly avoided death this month. Plan to do the same next month. Let’s all avoid death together!
THANKS FOR the comments on facial hair the last couple of days. Grandpa found Salvador Dali, a famous tache-wearer, doing a commercial.
And I also liked Ram’s contribution, a video of how a man should say farewell to his upper lip growth.
Thanks, also, to Dul and others for your contributions on the “Reply All” topic – love the confessions of disasters, where you send the wrong message to the wrong person.