It’s Thursday night and I’m sitting here with the door open, listening to the traffic . There’s a truck stopped on the road outside, engine idling, diesel fumes wafting in the door. It’s been there for fifteen minutes now.
It’s the start of the Easter break and traffic is at a standstill.
Easter to me always invokes memories of travel. Of bumper-to-bumper traffic, of leaving early and finding the roads already crowded. Back in the days when the freeway only extended a hundred kilometres north of the city you slowed to a crawl as soon as you hit the single carriageway. Nowadays, it’s a little better, but sometimes not by much.
You’d stop at a roadhouse, or in later years, McDonalds. They were always frantically busy, full of white-faced travellers just like you, desperate for coffee and a toilet break (and not necessarily in that order).
Then back onto the road you’d go.
Only to do it again in the opposite direction come Monday night.
It’s like driving at peak-hour. For 300km.
We don’t travel at Easter any more unless we absolutely have to. The roads are just too busy. It takes the whole weekend just to recover from the drive, and as long afterwards to recover from the drive home.
And yet … I remember those trips with nostalgia. I wouldn’t want to do them again, but they were good times, fun times, and the road trip is part of those memories. Sometimes, when I see the white-faced travellers stop by at our local McDonalds on their way through the city, I want to be out on the road again.