One for The Road
While “road” may have become synonymous with “route”, only when we start travelling do we realise that these two words have very little in common – a road is much more than a connection between points A and B, despite its primary function.
The road is a shopping centre – the perfect place to showcase your goods, whatever they may be. It’s ingenious! Maximum exposure for zero rent. I fail to understand how you would make a living as Watermelon Merchant #382 in this 75m stretch of road, but then again, I guess you wouldn’t be there if you couldn’t. Oh, and not to pick (pardon the pun) on fruit and vegetable merchants alone, the same goes for sellers of smoked fish, beach balls, clothing, handbags, farming implements, livestock, silverware, ice cream, tea shops, car spare parts, electrical equipment, plants, even mobile telephones. It’s all the same, just pull over and do some shopping, it doesn’t matter who or what is trying to reach their favourite tangerine merchant – they can duck and dive into oncoming traffic, and if they live to tell the tale, they too can have their tangerines.
By now I’m sure many of you are thinking, well if it’s that bad, why don’t you just stay home? No, because this is where the excitement is, the fun and the adventure are! Riding on roads outside of my comfort zone was one of the easiest ways to recognise my own health-and-safety dominated, sanitized existence. It put me right there in the thick of things. It made me understand that selling souvenirs and trinkets is how somebody feeds his family; the lovely smell emanating from rows of smokers tells me how that lady pays her rent at the end of the month. I’m not saying those things don’t irritate me, but it does make me think, and to try and see the world from their perspective.
You will come across everyone from toddlers to teenagers playing anything from badminton to hide-and-seek. Playing in lush green fields or perfectly flat spaces just doesn’t have that same allure as a hot and busy road. There’s no one to inconvenience there and it’s much more fun trying to see how many bus drivers you can give a heart attack to by running right onto their path as they frantically swerve into – you guessed it! – oncoming traffic. Indeed all these boring people using the road should realise life is about having fun and, as long as we are having fun, there can’t be any harm in it, no?
The road is convenient. No longer do you need to herd your cattle through dangerous open fields with healthy natural food growing abundantly. No, rather have all 264 of them strolling along the road, where they can find all sorts of nutritious snacks like plastic bags, water bottles, newspapers, cigarette boxes and sweet wrappers. And along with the dietary advantages of taking said road, there is the absolute inconvenience you get to cause to all of the other road users. All the socialisers, shoppers, players, other cattle herders and last (and definitely the least) the riders and drivers.
So, why did the chicken cross the road? Well, because it was there.