There are many fascinating things about this place. I might be aggrandizing in that last statement when I say "fascinating". Maybe things are just different and not fascinating at all.
The traffic flow in the city and outskirts is what I was thinking about when I wrote the title and when I made the first paragraph. Presently, driving is the task that I have the most apprehension about. I relished in the fact that when I got here I was "unqualified" to drive and unable to navigate the traffic streams in the city. However, as time goes by and people get wise I have to accept the fact that driving is a job that I am going to have to perform, maybe on a daily basis. I don't have much of a choice, I suspect my superiors--there are many of them--will probably delegate the driving duties to me.
It is unfortunate because driving is one of my favorite pass times. Night driving, highway driving, country-side driving, city driving and four-wheel driving are things that get me excited. Not many things compare to an open road, a stout vehicle and good tunes.
There are no open roads in the city. The vehicles are not stout and the radios, well, the radios actually might provide some relief. I'm not sure, I haven't tried them yet.
The best advice I have received concerning driving in the city--probably the best advice since I have gotten here--is to just push through; that things tend to work themselves out. There is a sense of ordered chaos on the streets, of impending doom. Fearless violence of action is the recommended course of action for guaranteed success.
As I thought about this advice I reflected on how well it has helped in the past. It is the mindset that has been ingrained into me over the past several years and it is the very fabric of this culture I have embraced. It is an approach to life that I have always latently held true.
There have been moments in my life where quitting a given task was an option. Quitting, I think, is sometimes easy and sometimes it hard; sometimes it is encouraged and sometimes maybe necessary. Then there are other tasks that must be accomplished, that must be completed successfully in order to move on to the next day. I remember moments in my life where I have had to just push through; where quitting was not an option.
This is one of them. I just have to push through. When there are vehicles that have crossed the center line and are quickly closing the distance, when you have to make it three wide on a road for two vehicles because the taxi suddenly stopped in your lane to pick-up a fare, when the vehicle in front of you lacks turn signals and brake lights, when you have to make a left hand turn during rush hour at an intersection with no stop signs, no signage, pedestrians in all four crosswalks and motorcyclists weaving in and out of traffic; you just push through.
Of course, it's not just for driving. It's not just for dealing with the flow of traffic and overcoming the sense of vulnerability and danger that occur when you turn the key in the ignition. You just push through when the pills don't seem to be moving from the bottle, when family fails, when loneliness sets in and causes physical debilitating pain, when your lungs bleed, when your legs can't run another mile, when the stench of corruption and shit forces its way into your nostrils, when you think about the hopelessness of the situation and wickedness and atrocities of man, and when you fail. You just push through. These things tend to work themselves out.