Bangkok traffic complaint

Writing about Bangkok traffic, complaining about it or otherwise, is like saying “green is… green”, or something obvious. Come to think of it, there are probably many reasons to measure traffic in other cities against Bangkok traffic. I’m pretty sure Bangkok is a good metric, since it’s such an extreme case (although some colleagues tell me of worse – and personally, I think Jakarta traffic is pretty bad, as well.)

I now live some 6 km away from work, but it’s not unusual to take 30 minutes to get to work. And yes I’m thinking of cycling – I’ve even mapped out a bike route using the Gmaps Pedometer (Thanks Tim – and a possible route here).

One time, the work commute was so bad I had to Google “bangkok traffic flow analysis” as soon as I arrived in the office (this was triggered from a conversation with a colleague who  mentioned that the World Bank had done some studies in Bangkok a couple of years back). Unfortunately, there isn’t much academic research done in Thailand (western-style research doesn’t seem to be very strong here – I think it’s a reflection from ingrained Thai cultural and social values), but one of the papers noted that Thai values of “jai yen” (cool hearted) and Buddhist concepts of suffering and fatalism (a bit extreme, but you get the idea) has been a major factor of how slow the government has been  attempting to improve traffic (and never mind the relative corruption). Anyhow, I thought that was some good ethnography at work there – and there are many other factors at work that infuriates a westerner like me (at heart).

Well, tonight, I was heading to a gym at Siam Paragon, and it took me 45 minutes (this was the readout under “time spent under 5 km/h” on the taxi meter) to go some 4-5 km. I probably should’ve walked instead!

Anyhow, I know complaining does squat. However, I really hope there are more studies and real substantive work done towards alleviating the insane traffic in Bangkok. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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One Response to “Bangkok traffic complaint”

  1. ajma says:

    Hi Dan, it was good hearing from you again. Office 2007 is being used internally at MS by most employees already. I’ve been using it and I’m happy with it. Outlooks got built in feed readers so you may not need Newsgator anymore. I prefer web-based readers still.
    I was in London a few weeks ago and funny thing, I ran into Craig kind of randomly.

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