Random Play by Graham Reid

Chaos is in the mind of the beholder

Well, according the radio news reports it was “chaos” in Auckland today. And I’m sure it might have been in some places.

But I’m sorry to disappoint the out-of-town drama-seekers, but I went about my business and was impressed -- as I have increasingly been these past few years -- with the way Aucklanders (in general) behaved on the roads.

Power at our place in Morningside went out around 8.30ish but we drove into the city through half a dozen busy intersections -- no lights, of course -- and were absolutely amazed: traffic behaved as if the lights were still working and cars went through maybe 20 or so at a time, then someone stopped and traffic going in another direction went through, and so on.

It seemed alarmingly orderly, people waved each other through into mainstream traffic from side roads and at roundabouts, and life sort of went on as normal.

I stopped off at an office for a 9.30 appointment (and walked two whole flights of stairs!) and up there people were all saying the same thing: Wasn’t it amazing how everyone on the roads behaved? Wasn’t it actually pretty easy on the roads today?

Okay, there were a couple of morons -- ain’t there always? -- but in my morning out in the city and surrounds I didn’t witness anything remotely approaching what radio news people were breathlessly calling “chaos”.

Ah well, the weather and power cuts are always good for cheap drama and easy footage -- and in an hour I will watch the 6pm news to see “actual images” of the “chaos”.

However, I wish they'd focus on these dickheads on bikes who run lights, weave in and out of traffic like God gave them the right, and then blame drivers who accidentally bowl them over when they are coming from the wrong damn direction with no lights or even a florescent flag top warn us of their presence.

But that’s another story.

Today -- dickheads on bikes and a couple of others excepted -- I saw no evidence of “chaos”. Just ordinary people going about their business on an extraordinary day which demanded patience and tolerance.

Huh, I really must get out of the house more and find the drama in being an Aucklander on the quagmire of roads.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll go to this Sylvia Park that I keep hearing about on the news.