Thursday, September 21, 2006

I need a helicopter

The amount of traffic these days on the roads is a major deterrent for me. I barely leave the house unless I have to. Only on weekends or very late afternoons onwards can I step out with the knowledge that I won't be sitting for hours in a motor mass. But then again, even that can't be guaranteed. Somewhere, someone may be digging or paving, a policeman will be directing traffic (and causing more) or there will be an accident and everyone will be stopping to look. Gone are the days when you can describe a place as being 5 minutes away by car. That 5 minutes can now be as much as 30 minutes, 25 of which are spent sitting in one spot or inching forward slowly.

Yesterday was planning to have a totally relaxed day and venture up to Asa Wright and around the coast with a friend who is here for a while and going back to London soon. In the end we could not go, so I went into Port of Spain in the morning instead, to get some things done. There was surprisingly not much traffic - at least it was flowing at a good pace. I did a few things around town then drove up to Maracas to shoot some seawater. Being up there was a striking contrast to being in 'civilisation'. When I got back to POS, I decided to go and check out some of the Galvanize exhibits or maybe drop in at Movie Towne to see one of the films at the T&T Film Festival (showing TT & Caribbean films), but the traffic was so crazy and the day so hot that I started to feel drained and just decided to go home.

It was about 2:30 and I started heading over the Lady Young as usual. I was met by a long line of almost stationery cars. Not wanting to be trapped, I turned at Hilton and decided to go down Charlotte and through Picadilly. A bad move. Bumper to bumper traffic for about twenty - thirty minutes from the St Anns roundabout to Charlotte Street/Picadilly traffic lights. There was no escape! Everywhere I looked, every alternative route I could have considered was packed with metal sardines glinting in the sun.

Eventually I made it onto the Eastern mainroad and decided to seek refuge in CCA7 where I watched some of the short films done by people "in and of the Caribbean". That was 20 minutes running time. I then went into my studio and did some tinkering and filmed some experimental shots for a video I'm doing as a backdrop for Makeda's dance project. By that time it was after six and I was tired, so I headed onto the road ... only to be met with a bumper to bumper line. I could not bear to sit in that mess, so I found myself driving over the Lady Young, back into town. I bought something to eat and decided to go and see the photo exhibit at Tattoo Farm or go to Movie Towne or even go and visit a friend to pass the time. But ... TRAFFIC! Everywhere! What a massive deterrent. I was getting nowhere.

Eventually I felt I was just wasting gas and decided to head home, thinking that the Lady Young would now be clear. It usually is around half seven. But it was worse than when I had left the studio! This time I just sat in the traffic, realising that trying to escape from it only makes it worse.

It was disturbing to come home and see the photo in the Newsday yesterday of 'all the new cars' on the port. Where are those cars going to fit?!
*
Elspeth

1 Comments:

Blogger tracy j said...

"...metal sardines glinting in the sun." - love that analogy!

but it is true - the traffic is highly annoying at times (and i'm not even a driver).

I think though, there's a certain "higher level sprituality" to that incident in that; the more you try to run from a situation, the more things get worse or rather, one may not find peace unless one decides to face the situation head on (?)

2:23 PM  

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