How to get the most out of traffic jams

Ok, now that we all have realized that traffic jams in Karachi are as real as taxes and death, and nothing much can be done about it, why not convert this problem into an opportunity.

Here are some suggestions to make the best use of time lost in traffic jams.

Read a book: This applies only during the daytime. Keep a book or magazine with you in the vehicle. When you are in a situation where you know you won’t be moving for a long time, start reading the book. Do keep an eye on the road otherwise you will face a lot of honking and cursing from the vehicles following you.

E-books: This is an extension to the previous tip. If you have a CD/MP3 player in your car, you can download some e-books from the internet or buy some from a book store (Liberty books have some nice collection of e-books), and listen to the book instead of reading it during the rush hours. Of course, you don’t have to wait for congestion to listen to e-books, you can obviously do it anytime while driving.

Update: By E-Books I meant Audio Books

Phone calls: Don’t wait to reach home (or office) to make important phone calls. Grab a hands free headset for your cell phone and make all the calls from the car. By the time you reach your destination, you will have completed your calls and have extra time to do other important tasks.

Meals: This needs a little practice, but you can use the time wasted on roads very efficiently by eating and drinking. If you have a vehicle with automatic transmission, you can easily drive with one hand and devour a sandwhich with another. Even if you have a stick shift, you can eat and drive by estimating the need to shift gears. Needless to say, it’s even easier to eat when you are stuck in a jam.

Feel free to add your own tips and experiences.

17 Comments so far

  1. br0ke (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

    traffic jams are for cursing and swearing…. and if im stuck in traffic and guy in the other car is enjoying it i will beat the crap out of him….

  2. mantissa (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    being one who’s been terribly frustrated by the recent jams – hats off to you umar for taking such a positive approach to this :) cheers!

  3. Raja Islam (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    I like the idea of E-Books.It is better than listing music.

  4. Ahmed (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

    Traffic jams are always going to be around in any major city. It is not under your control and there is no point in worrying about it. The above are all good things to do and make the most of the time. I do like the e-book idea!

  5. me (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

    Suggestion#5: Get your personal grooming out of the way. Pick your nose, tweeze your eyebrows…sure it’s gross but that’s what tinted windows are for.

  6. IUnknown (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 7:36 pm

    nice amusing email umar

  7. Balma (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

    *Suggestion#5: Get your personal grooming out of the way. Pick your nose, tweeze your eyebrows…sure it’s gross but that’s what tinted windows are for.

    I am all for this one, if it stops Pakistani men from their bad habbit of picking nose and playing with their you-know-what in public, sometimes simultaneously.

  8. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 9:28 pm

    You are not more creative than these guys. I loved the spirit and passion about cricket.

  9. d0ct0r (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

    you forgot to mention radio/FM

  10. Kashif (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 11:56 pm

    take a nap

  11. SS (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 4:13 am

    BALMA, playing with … are you talking about the act perfomed by our law minister Khasi Zaffer on Geo talk show? Check out Youtube

  12. Straight Talker (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 8:13 am

    the idea of E-book is great. those who can afford internet connections, i mean the people who read these blogs, should also be able to afford a generic flash based mp3 player. next thing, get Quran’s tafseer or simply recitation and translation in mp3 format, listen to them, and discover the hidden treasure that we have been missing all our lives.

  13. Omer (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 9:27 am

    All constructive proposals. Though I would question the possibility of reading a book, and making a call as well as grabbing a bite, when ones attention and focus is to inch his/her way up the road.

    Making ones way along, firstly to keep hope that traffic is moving, albiet at a snail’s pace, and secondly, to avoid the ever so considerate people in the car behind/next (is there a difference?) to you from forgetting to take their hands of their car horn, is necessary.

    I, in my limited experience, can not fathom how it is possible to make good use of time in the car when I am driving a manual transmission car. Either I can foam at the mouth and inch my way up for reasons explained, or I can simply turn off my engine and indulge myself in the activities mentioned. I fail to understand why the merits of having and driving an automatic transmission car havent caught on. If price is an issue, the difference is marginal, for example the difference in listing price for an automatic corolla and a manual is one is Rs.50,000. If I am going to buy a car as expensive as a Corolla, 50,000 is not expensive.

    In any event, I do like your ideas Umar and will try to follow them today.

  14. Ali Jafri (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

    The Suggested suggesitions… can’t be implemented in Khi… reason ppl usually travel by bus and cars we don’t have any Underground or Train system here and u can’t even think of reading in a local bus lol would u b able to do that b honest and tell me, The max u could do is make imp calls n listen to the music.. provided u r not being robed lol Welcome to Khi Guys Wake up u aren’t livin in London or Paris…

  15. silver (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

    Traffic Jams are fun… you get get to discover some new swears … and make up some new… thankyou CDGK now i can spend upto 2 hours just playing with new words

  16. Balma (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

    *are you talking about the act perfomed by our law minister Khasi Zaffer on Geo talk show? Check out Youtube

    Unfortunately, I don’t have free time to check out stupid Pakistani ministers on youtube or myspace.
    To hell with these doe-tikkay-kay bastards.
    On the other hand, I must guess without watching the video, that he must have been wearing shalvaar. I have said it before that shalvar is a very unprofessional piece of garment, for men and women both. It should be banned in public places. Esp. for men, because it gives them extra room to maneuver.

  17. jav (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2007 @ 12:03 am

    How about keeping a copy of Quran in the car and reading it then with translation.. since we almost always never have time to read Allah’s Book.

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