October 27, 2018

Commuter nightmare: Three (3) torturous hours stuck in gridlock!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:49 am

“Someone just gave me two free tickets to a photography class at one of those huge computer mega-campuses in Silicon Valley tomorrow,” said a friend. “Wanna come along and be my plus-one?”

At Google? Apple? FaceBook? Sounds intriguing. “Sure!”

The campus was huge and beautiful and chic. I got some great photography advice. End of story? I wish. I still had to drive back home to Berkeley in rush-hour traffic.

It took me three (3) freaking hours to drive merely 40 miles — all that distance and yet never getting out of second gear even once? Hell, I hardly ever got out of first gear. Three (3) nightmare hours of my life that I will never get back. My knees still ache from all that clutch and brake activity, and my poor sweet 1990 Toyota Tercel may never be the same.

A nice cop in San Francisco even let me cut into line at the Bay Bridge entrance ramp because I was crying so hard.

I will never ever ever get stuck in urban rush-hour traffic ever again!

And yet for far-too-many of my fellow Americans, being stuck in three (3) horrid hours of gridlock urban rush-hour traffic twice a day, day in and day out, has become an actual way of life for them. All these thousands of cars on the road at rush-hour every weekday don’t come from nowhere.

And what is even worse is that Big Oil has screwed our environment for life and slaughtered over a million civilians in the Middle East just so American commuters can continue to have the phony privilege of wasting six hours of their lives five days a week — six hours a day that they will never get back. Really? Can’t anybody out there think up a better way to spend our time and money? Apparently not.

Right now, the U.S. stock market is rocketing downward at the rate of 500 points a day — but perhaps the one good thing that might come out of this looming disaster might be that urban Americans would no long be able to afford so many freaking cars.

But still.

You won’t ever again catch me anywhere near any kind of urban freeway between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm on a weekday. Never ever again. Once was more than enough. Thank goodness for public transit!

Halloween comes only once a year for most of us — but apparently urban commuters are being forced by economic reality to re-live this singular Halloween commuter trick (with no treat) at least twice a day, five days a week. What kind of a life is that?

PS: I almost didn’t get home in time to watch “Survivor” — a program that, after my recent nightmarish experience with gridlock, almost makes living on a primitive (car-less) tropical island start to look good.

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