Sunday, April 09, 2006

Comparative Traffic Jams

Well, here is a demonstration of my *superior skill in photography* hmmm! I took this picture from the kitchen window of our Norfolk holiday cottage. It was in fact taken to provide an eternal snapshot of the cow that was staring straight at me (don't ask me why - that is, don't ask me why I took it, not don't ask me why the cow was staring at me - though you can ask that question as well if you like, but I won't know the answer to either!) rather than a snapshot of the attractive washing line! (If you squint and peer closely at the middle of the picture you may just about manage to spot said cow just above the fence). Anyway, despite the distant fuzziness of cow and dull foreground washing line, it still provides a more scenic country view than that of my usual kitchen window. It was also amazingly and wonderfully quiet there, with the odd tractor bombing past in the lane and of course a bit of mooing.
But this post is entitled 'Comparative Traffic Jams' rather than 'Hazy Cow in Distance' so I'll get onto that... I observed while in Norfolk (wish you could spell that with a broad Norfolk accent!) that there were almost as many traffic jams and hold-ups as down here in the traffic filled just-north-of-north-london, but that the causes of jams were quite different.
In Norfolk we found ourselves sitting in queues caused by tractors seeing how much traffic they could accumulate behind them and how long it would take some lunatic head-case to overtake the whole lot on a bend. Whereas down here, just-north-of-north-london, queues are related more to volume of traffic, to workmen randomly digging up bits of road, and to drivers deciding to stop and shout at other drivers. I experienced one such incident recently on my way home from the local supermarket. I was in a line of traffic following an older woman driving a flashy Mini Cooper. She was driving in a rather frustrating manner, taking an age to pull away at every set of lights, and I could see the driver of the car in front of me getting more and more wound up. So, after following Ms. Mini Cooper for several junctions there appeared a dual carriageway. Ms. MC still took too long for car-in-front's liking and got beeped before pulling into the now available left hand lane. So the two drove the 100 yards or so in parallel lanes until they reached the next set of lights, which were red. You'd think at this point that the car-in-front-of me would have been eagerly revving to get past Ms. MC after all that impatience - but no! What do they do instead - as the lights turn green car-in-front rolls down window and procedes to shout abuse at Ms. MC who replies in similar style, thus blocking both lanes of traffic. Makes absolute sense doesn't it! Not sure whether I prefer the Norfolk tractors with mental overtakers or mouthy North London drivers?


At April 11, 2006 9:40 pm, Anonymous majic said...

Other noteworthy things on Norfolk roads - dead meat (all the road kill) and lots of vegetables (spilt from the tractors.)
You can get a free three course lunch on every journey!

At April 12, 2006 7:15 am, Anonymous Michelle said...

Yes, we did find ourselves having to swerve round or slow down for a lot of stupid pheasants!

At April 14, 2006 12:12 am, Anonymous OHara said...

To answer your question...

Cows are people watchers. They ALWAYS stare at people then they run off and scribble in their note book.


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