Schadenfreude Blossoms As Beijing Enters “Worst Week Of Traffic”
Were you on the road yesterday? Around rush hour, perhaps? If so, we offer our sincerest condolences. Also: HA HA! SUCKER! YOU WERE ON THE ROAD!
According to the newscast above, it took nearly two hours to drive the 2.5 kilometers from Liangmaqiao to Dongzhimen starting at 5:30 pm. I’ve done the math for you: that’s an average speed of about 1.3 kilometers per hour, or 0.8 mph. The average human being can walk 3 to 3.5 mph, which, in summary, is quadruple the speed that cars moved from Liangmaqiao to Dongzhimen in northeast Beijing yesterday at 6 pm. If a megaton bomb dropped had dropped on Liangmaqiao at that time, a thousand thank-you notes would have rained down from heaven: Thank you for ending our misery.
Citywide, the average speed of cars around rush hour was a mere 13.7 kilometers per hour, or 8.5 mph. That. Is. INSANE. People on social media thought so as well — “jam,” “annoyed,” and “traffic laws” were among the most searched terms on Sina Weibo. Also trending at the top, I imagine: “fuck,” “shit,” “murder,” “drink the blood of dead puppies,” “most painful death by a thousand needles and disembowelment,” “how do I rape adjacent driver with a crowbar,” and “dadgummit.”
Beijing’s traffic already constantly forever sucks goat testicles all the time, but Traffic Week from Hell — as drivers go nuts before National Day holiday – is expected to last until Saturday. CNTV reports:
The Beijing Transport Commission predicted 7 days in the month on which the roads will become super jammed.
Wednesday. Cars with license plates ending in 4 and 9 are forbidden from driving on the roads in the city. The number “4″ has the same pronounciation as “death” in Chinese, and is unpopular with Chinese people when choosing phone numbers and plates. So this vehicle restriction doesn’t seem to give too relief on the city’s traffic.
I don’t drive here, and never will, so every time I see a traffic jam like this, it’s funny to me in a grotesque, horrifying, and unfathomable way that makes me question my moral quality and capacity to be an empathetic human being.
But, man, I tell ya — this really is how I feel:
ONLY because I can think of no other way of protecting myself against the inevitable anger and self-wallowing that will result when I get stuck in one of these traffic jams. Fuck traffic, man. I would totally rather rip the entrails out of a puppy and suffer death by a thousand dadgummits.