The Stop-Go culture of Kalk Bay road works also added spice to my life

The Kalk Bay road maintenance that has dragged on since sometime in 2008 has become part of my psyche and my morning routine to work in Fish Hoek. Usually my journey over Boyes Drive was predictable - that is, just before you make your way round  the last bend on your way to connect with the main road.

Multitasking on the broken journey
These roadworks turned normal reading of traffic flow on its head. Here on the last stretch of Boyes Drive, a long tailback is good news; no tailback is dicey. When you have free flow coming down the last bend of Boyes Drive to the main road, your brain is already trying to make calculations. If there is an eerie absence of cars in sight down the hill, you have missed the joy of continuing your uninterrupted driving.

I think there were elves at play whenever I came round that bend. I was always a few cars away from taking that elusive, funny circle to connect with the main road and whoosh past the railway traffic lights. As the nose of the car became visible down the hill, the man on duty, always dressed in neon reflector windbreaker and armed with those horrid orange bollards, sprang into action. With laid back motions, his right hand swung into 'Stop' position and the left  hand plonked the bollard right in front of the car. Then to add insult to injury, our Super Traffic man sometimes inserted a long stick into the bollard for more visibility. The sensible thing do was to switch off the engine and then just wait until you are given the go ahead. Utterly torturous at the beginning - so much time with no desire to fixate on bollards, bored workmen and tons of concrete on an empty stomach...
At the Kalk Bay Harbour/Boyes Drive Intersection.
Learning to go with the flow
 One learns fast, though. Soon I became a wise multi-tasker, even enjoying being caught by the bollard-wielding traffic controller. This became catch-up time or patch up time. I would whip out my Ipad and start picking up my mail and answering the mail that required a one-liner response. I also read my facebook or twitter updates and managed to repair a spoilt fingernail or two. There was the odd occasion I could fit in a Youtube video. I even enjoyed watching the occasional male driver taking a quick shave and another doing some stretches outside his vehicle.  Sometimes the time flew and I would have a mail dangling for the next of 3km or so or worse, driving with a freshly-coated fingernail or two ... Such were the joys and pains of the Stop-Go rhythms.

Surprise - no more bollards...

Now imagine my surprise when returning from vacation leave at the beginning of July when the orange bollard with the stick was no more! Suddenly there was no stopping time and a traffic circle at the junction of the main road was fully functional. What a cheek, I thought. Just exactly when was I supposed to keep current with all the social media if there was not even a decent waiting period? What plot has been hatched to mess with my psyche again?

Yes, it took a few days for me to lose my addiction to the suspended wait on the downhill from Boyes Drive. And I suppose I needed to be jerked back to reality for a while - that is, until the third phase of the road rehabilitation moves on the stretch between Clovelly and Fish Hoek.


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