[By Adelynn Lim]
Oh, woe is me should there be another traffic jam today! If you were in the massive, bumper-kissing jam two weeks ago, I salute your patience. Whilst many turned around and waved a bird in the air at the horrifying jam that came from FIVE different directions within the Klang Valley, a good few persevered — even with almost empty petrol tanks — to get to class.
Easy for those who were dropped off to say, but nothing screamed ‘leg cramps’ like enduring the two-hour jam just 100 meters outside of Taylor’s University. In times like these, we start to wonder: if only we left the house earlier, or brought some food for the drive, or went to the loo before setting out. But these are times we cannot predict, hence this is why the following tips will help ease your journey the next time traffic decides to mess with you.
Realise the situation and accept your fate.
This may sound cheesy, but accepting that you are in a traffic jam will release your pent up anger towards the situation. Just like accepting that the ice cream truck had passed your street before you could even fish out a dollar, being stuck in a traffic jam is no less irritating, but realising your situation will allow yourself to see things clearer.
Improve your attitude.
When you have realised your fate, whatever crankiness left in you might continue nagging at the back of your head. If so, do good deeds! A bad mood plus a bad attitude is bound to push you off the rails. Avoid cutting lanes, even if you are in a hurry. The hundreds of cars behind you are also in a hurry. Allow people to merge if they are next to you. Being selfish or impatient will only invite more negative feelings. If someone decides to be a brute, don’t take it personally. Remember, they are in a bad mood, but they cannot affect you unless you allow them to.
If your destination can wait, let it wait.
Imagine being stuck in a two-hour jam to the post office that is only 10 minutes away, then queuing up for another hour just to send a pretty postcard to your friend. Come on, that postcard can wait — your bladder, I presume, cannot. When your destination is not an urgent one, relieve yourself from the journey. Head home, stretch your legs, use the loo — basically, enjoy being free with a full petrol tank and the ability to feel your behind.
The list for this one is endless. Listen to a podcast. Good conversation has the ability to keep you awake (unless it’s one on the French Revolution — then maybe skip that). Look around. If you are in a standstill, roll down your window and talk to the driver in the car next to you. It is very likely that they are bored out of their minds too. For the not so extroverted, put your favourite music on and let loose — in the comfort of your own seat, of course.
Inform your boss/family/friends.
Lastly, it really does you a great deal when you inform your boss, friends or family members that you will be slightly late for whatever you’re going to. It will save you the embarrassment when they call you out on your tardiness or worse, tell other people about you. A quick call can also earn you brownie points as the responsible employee or friend, as it keeps them from having to wonder where in the world you are.
Traffic jams are a pain in the behind, but nothing can stop you from making the best out of it. Stay sharp, Taylorians! And maybe when you’re up stuck in the next massive jam, you will wonder if Intro to Malaysian History is really necessary to attend at all. 😉