Monday, 31 August 2009

Road Rage

Back on my feet and driving around lately has made me appreciate the different road users. In some instances, this has led to some actions which are starting to alarm me. Allow me to highlight my gross generalisations based on Sydney:

1) Car drivers
- Almost feel like the natural users of the roads, within which there is a hierarchy whereby fast gets more respect than slow; semi-trailers get more respect than a compact car (size matters purely for the reason of 'who wins in an accident').
- Drivers in Sydney feel no need to get into the left lane if they are travelling slowly.
- Unfortunately, some drivers feel that indicating means right of way and that other vehicles MUST give way (was almost in an accident today when a car in a merging lane just entered my lane!)
- If someone is kind enough to let you in, at least show some gratitude - it certainly wasn't your skill which got you there!
- At an intersection, it is selfish to queue across - especially so when the light is about to turn red, and the impatient driver on one end dashes to the other side to block not only traffic but also pedestrians.

2) Cyclists
- I had a cyclist swear at me as he had to stop while I walked across a zebra crossing....(what the?)
- I have seen numerous cyclists run red lights and ride in bus lanes. How does one expect respect without respecting some basic rules. Not sure, but is it somewhat unfair that cyclists can commute unlicensed without having to be subjected to tests which are common to all other users? Bizarre.

3) Pedestrians
- When running across a road to avoid cars across a busy street, although initially running full pelt, there is a need to slow down when approaching the kerb. However, this merely increases the chances of getting hit by the cars as the pedestrian slows down! The task is to make it across all lanes safely, not just the first few lanes.
- Some people really should learn to use a pedestrian crossing. Case in point: had an older man with a walking stick wave it at oncoming cars in a three lane street so that he could cross....with a pedestrian crossing not 10metres away.

So in a way, currently all of the road users have some fault or other. Of course not everyone adopts those attitudes, but the incidents are on the rise.
I do have to admire the bus drivers in the morning as traffic congestion shows no signs of easing and the bus is full of commuters happy to delegate the unnerving task of navigating through all the obstacles...while being on time (thanks to bus timetables).

Meanwhile, the dedicated bus lanes implemented are being cheekily used by non-buses to sneak ahead....

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Special healing

Who doesn't want a break. Who doesn't need a break? How about a two week break? Sounds awesome. Well, I am at the tail end of my two week break and I feel terrible. I'm sure everyone would be asking why, but I guess, it's because two weeks is a long time to be on sick leave.

What started out innocuously as a small cough, blew out to me seeing the doctor with flu like symptoms and then waiting in a hospital emergency to see whether the current medical welfare could accommodate yet another patient according to their pneumonia severity index.

So here I am, hopefully on the road to recovery *fingers crossed*. I really don't recall being this sick before in my entire life. Waking up feeling as though one can't breathe is not a great feeling. Cold in the middle of the night, with coughing fits - hardly enough time to suck air into the lungs before another cough erupts. Fevers causing wild temperature fluctuations and headaches - which were exacerbated by blocked sinuses. To top it off, having a chest X-ray confirming pneumonia. Grrrrrreat....

That first week was barely bearable. Sleepless nights were mixed with uneventful days of just being around the house, quarantined at home keeping the 'fluids up'. Being ill is already a sorry state - looking after oneself is even worse. Cooking, cleaning up - all really take a backseat as one lacks the energy, but it all just ends in a vicious cycle. No cooking or cleaning up means no getting better.

So when my mum came home after my first feeble week of trying to take care of myself, I was both relieved and ashamed. Relieved that she was here ('cos mum always knows what to do) and ashamed (that I did such a bad job, I managed to make myself get even more sick - no mean feat in itself). As my mum did what my mum always does and looked after me, I definitely felt I was getting better. I just didn't want my mother to get sick too. Within the first couple of days, she helped clean up and air out my room and the house, started cooking for me, changed all my bedsheets and made me feel a whole lot better.

I remembered waking up one morning during the week. The cold morning air was dancing outside my window, just as it did when I was child. The aroma of my mother's cooking had infiltrated the house, even though the windows were wide open - just like when I was kid. Of course, there was my mum, checking up on me and making sure I was comfortable and fussing over me - just like so many years ago. I feel so lucky that my mum is around and it's as though nothing has changed.