Bangkok traffic – an exercise in patience

Enduring a long slow taxi ride when you arrive in a foreign country can be frustrating, especially when it’s made longer due to traffic not moving. We once hit KL late at night and sped our way out of the airport only to have the taxi slow as though it was winding down. It always amazes me that there never seems to be any visible cause for the congestion – just too many cars – and then suddenly it all opens up and we speed away once more. This particular night we were finally within sight of our hotel but it took another 20 minutes to travel the few blocks to get there. Had it not been for our luggage I would have hopped out and walked. It was so frustrating. Especially at the end of a long flight. When flying into KL we now ensure that it’s not on Saturday: seems like everyone and their kid(s) are out and about in their cars crawling along at a snail’s pace. 

But nothing prepared me for Bangkok traffic. The roadways are blocked with cars; they have major works in place but I understand that this is generally the case and a friend of mine said that she used to leave home at 5am to beat the traffic and stay until after 8pm for the same reason.  

We were on our way to lunch at the Issaya Club and GoogleMaps informmed me it would take about 20 minutes. Our driver colleted us at 11.30. At 12.18 we were still sitting in traffic moving at less than 5kph. That’s when we were moving at all. Our trip took us over an hour. The thing that amazes me is that Thai people accept this as the norm. Perhaps they are a more serene people. There doesn’t seem to be any road rage (well not that I’ve seen). And they don’t seem to get frustrated either. As a passenger I feel like reaching for a Valium to still my frustration. Strange really; here I am on holiday with nothing to do nowhere to go (I called the restaurant and advised them of the delay so all was good on that front) yet I’m annoyed. Obviously it’s time to chill, take a breath and let go of trying to change the things I can not. So deep breath and focus on the glass of champagne awaiting me.  All will be well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *