Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stop Sign

Traffic lights and sign boards are designed to prevent something unwanted (i.e. accidents) to happen. They also directs the flow of traffic. However, most people, including me, perceive that they limit our freedom and ability: freedom to speed and ability to get from a place to another as fast as it should have been.

Well, in the Netherlands or in Indonesia, there are not so many traffic lights as in San Diego. Here, in every turn or every block I make, there is always a stop sign waiting. It's annoying. I could imagine, why my friend always complained every time he drives to school or any other places; he had to stop every 20 meters. What's worse, there could be about 20 traffic lights to school. It's not energy efficient for the car!

Luckily, I ride to school and I find this road where there is not one traffic light blocking my way --up to 10 blocks-traffic-light-free. I am glad I find this shortcut. It feels like I earn back my freedom, I gain my speed, and the road is mine. I am relieved.

Today I passed through this highway of mine. I rolled on the right side of the road, switched to the left side in the next section, pumped my bike harder, glided in between the obstacles of the road and enjoyed the ride. Until I finally encountered a stop light.

I stopped and thought: this traffic light isn't actually that bad. I run fast enough just now. I enjoy it. But now, I have to stop so that I can rest, catch my breath, and get ready for the next part of the exciting journey. And without a stop sign, I might not be able to enjoy the ride as much as I did today.

Well, I know, in the first place, I shouldn't be thinking that traffic-light is bad at all. It's there for my own good. But I am just so accustomed about one thing: rules are there to be broken. But from the joy of riding I have today, stopping means recharging or refilling my energy which I would need a lot in the later part of the journey.

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