Tuesday, April 21, 2015

POTD: Worst Traffic in the World

From 2015 03 11 Jakarta

Today's photo-of-the-day comes from Jakarta, Indonesia. Cities take perverse pride in being known for having the worst traffic jams. After only a few minutes observing the traffic in Jakarta (the photo above was taken the first morning of our visit), I was impressed. I Googled "worst traffic in the world" and came up with a Time.com study that ranked Jakarta as the worst city in the world for traffic jams. Time gets no argument from me.

Being in a taxi in the middle of a jam like the one in the photo above (meaning anywhere in Jakarta any time of any day), you can reach out and touch the motorcycle riders maneuvering to get by you. And the motorcycles always manage to keep moving up slowly after the cars come to a halt. It all sounds like what I imagine it would sound like if you stick your head into a bee hive. The non-stop buzzing all around you makes you reflexively want to swat them away. But don't do that. It just makes them angry.

From 2015 03 11 Jakarta
The Bees at Rest

A week later, while stuck in traffic in Hanoi, I emailed my son who was still in Jakarta to tell him that traffic in the center of Hanoi on a Saturday night was almost as bad as Jakarta's. Almost. He emailed back immediately to say that he was on foot, having abandoned his taxi because the traffic in Jakarta wasn't moving at all. I should have known I couldn't one-up him. Jakarta traffic is the worst.

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