Survival Guide to driving in Addis you know you need it

Survival Guide to driving in Addis

Your mission this morning – should you accept it –  is to get from point A to point B in Addis rush hour Traffic .

That’s what I tell myself each and every day during my morning commute. You see, I’ve been driving for almost 18 years now – that reminds me; if a baby was born the year I got my driving license, he/she would be able to vote in the next election! Ha! But I digress…but lately driving has not been what it used to be. I’m probably in the 0.000001% of the population who enjoys – ok enjoyed ( tenses are important in my life right now)- driving whether it is to commute,  run errands, playing chauffer to a bunch of “customers “ – from parents ,to children, to colleagues , to anybody who needs a ride. Again… I digress….. Where was I? yeah… ok…So, lately, my favorite activity hasn’t been fun. LIKE .AT. ALL!

These days, the theme song of mission impossible is playing on my mind the minute I turn on the ignition. While there is so much I can do in terms of saving myself time and headache by leaving my house at 6:00am; there are many reasons – ok excuses – for not doing exactly that. The morning commute is –for a lack of a better word – brutal. AND it doesn’t matter which side of the city you are coming from. Every man, woman and their dogs complain that they have the nastiest traffic jams. Some have even become news items. Ayat –CMC-Megenagna . I’m looking at you.

Back to my survival guide…so first things first. Getting in the mood. YES.There is something called “ the right mood” . YES.  For driving. The secret here is to go with the flow. No one needs to aggravate oneself for something that hasn’t happened. YET. Why worry before I even look at the situation on the road. What?! Miracles don’t happen?! That’s what I tell myself. I’m waiting for the day I’m proven right, though . DESPERATELY waiting for a win – maybe in 2019!

Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s talk supplies. If you are anything like me, you need a good sturdy bottle of water. IF this is too “ basic” for you or you want to go a little fancy- drop some slices of lemon in there. As my younger friends remind me, I’m so “ extra “. So my supplies include a nice travel mug –full of piping hot whatever tea is available at home – black, green, mint, hibiscus, ginger, cinnamon…just not coffee…who needs the jitters ?! The traffic is enough to drive me crazy on its own. Thank you very much!

 Now that hydration is out of the way, let’s talk music. It’s always helpful to have some soothing music – Yanni, Enya , anything that is instrumental . OR you can go full ninja and have Rophnan on full blast. This is a NO judgment zone. Many people just choose to listen to one of the FM stations on their radio. Good luck, there. As for me, I can’t stand the million bank, beer, furniture commercials!!!

 Now let’s talk about other users of the road. There are two kinds of drivers – those who you would want to take to your driving instructor and be appreciated for your service to humanity and those who can ACTUALLY drive. May we all have more of the later on our roads.

Next come, Pedestrians and their egos.  May we see both of them cooperating with us.

The traffic police – they have the toughest of all jobs. May they all be ethical, kind and considerate.  And if any of the above  annoy you – please don’t take it out on me! I’m just as miserable as you here.  I have a great curse for them – nooo, not that one.  Here it is… the cleaned up version.

“May the fleas of a 1000 African  camels infest their hair at their wedding ceremony.” OR at least may a certain show tune from a fuchsia dinosaur play on loop in their head at 3:00 am on Monday morning. May be only parents understand that last reference but you are welcome to google and find out how annoying it is to listen to Barney as he belts out his trademark song. On loop. Death can’t come faster.

  There you have it. Attitude. Supplies. Cooperation from other parties. That’s all you need.  Mission is ,indeed, possible. God speed!

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