Friday, April 28, 2006

The Correlation Between Traffic Cops and Traffic Jams

There is an interesting phenomenon in Amman that I've been noticing since I've been driving here (oh, yes in case I hadn't mentioned it, I'm driving!). It seems that anytime you encounter a traffic jam, gummed up cars, annoyed people, blaring horns, you will find at the head of the line a traffic cop. I'm certain that the idea is to improve traffic, but I haven't seen that they do so. In fact, quite the opposite seems to occur. Any day, you can drive through a stretch of road that is busy, but passable. However, the moment the traffic cop intercedes, the traffic snarls up and comes to a complete halt. Given the number the of times I've seen this, I've determined it's not a fluke. There must be a causal relationship between these two.

Our youngest, JoojooBean has definitely figured out the difference between driving in the US and driving in Jordan. One day as we were sitting in a particularly congested area (the road to Shmeisani), she observed the folks around us and said, Honk!Honk!. It was truly too funny. In the US, horns are used only in exceptional circumstances. They are used to note Watch out you're about to crash! In jordan, they're more of a general accessory. You know, Honk!Honk! you're too close, Honk!Honk! let me go first, Honk!Honk! I don;t like the way you look. In the US, I could go an entire week of hour long commutes without ever hearing anyone use their horn. Here, I'm lucky if I go 5 minutes! It's funny the world in definitely louder and more colorful. Smellier too. Probably all of the diesel cars with no obvious emissions standards. At any rate, it seems like everything here is bigger, bolder, louder, and more odiferous. It's a new experience every day, I wonder what tomorrow will bring!



At 11:06 PM , Blogger Ashley Maria said...

Hi, I love your blog on traffic. Traffic is one of the first things that changes between countries!

I found your blog from the multilingual babies board on Babycenter. We took have just done a world wide move and it's great to see a family in the same position as us (even the 3 children part).

Very jealous of the good weather part also ;)

At 6:46 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Thanks for your kind comments. I find traffic to be very specific to the country and as an American, it is certainly a wild experience in other countries. I'm glad you found this blog. I hope you enjoy.

At 3:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are you doing with not being a professional woman anymore? How is your sanity in light of having to think at baby bean level much of the time? Hope you are enjoying.

At 2:36 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Anonymous, ah, the 10 million dollar question. I'm taking an arabic course in June and will be putting the kids in "school" for that time. I can't wait! The transition to full time mommy is driving me crazy. As much as I love the kids, playing with them all day isn't for me. As you see, I close out each post wishin everyone sanity as, for me, it's in short supply. But, strangely, I'm also enjoying the time and think it's been helping JuniorBean excessively. His vocabulary has skyrocketed since we got here and it continues every day.


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