Survival Guide for Fighting Traffic Jam Boredom in Dubai
Do you routinely find yourself in traffic jam boredom in Dubai? For those of us commuting during the rush hour, taking roads that we would zip along through the day, inching in traffic is routine. Carlease has come up with ways to help you pass the time productively. If you know of others, drop us a line.
If you’re planning a long road trip, make sure you check out our Ultimate Checklist for Long Drives too!
Before You Leave
For some of us, a car is a mini home that carries all our creature comforts. Make sure you pack it with some essentials such as water, seat-safe snacks such as dry fruits (instead of, say, crumbly and unhealthy potato chips), sunglasses and basic medicine. As summer approaches, make sure that you carry a fresh bottle of water, just out of the fridge, for your commute. Avoid items such as chocolates which will melt within 3 seconds of entering you furnace-like car.
Hit the Charts
Before you get in the car, take a look at your favorite music blog or check out latest charts in iTunes and make a list of the newest music in your favorite genre of music. Then either download the music or add the albums to a separate playlist on your Spotify / Apple Music / Pandora account. This way you will always have a cache of music to listen to when you get caught in traffic.
If you didn’t get a chance to load up on new music before you left the house, you can always stream some of the latest charts from your favourite app. One of our favourites for new music discovery is The Hype Machine, which aggregates the latest music being posted by a wide range of music blogs, sorts them based on popularity, and produces a human-curated list of the most popular songs. This is a great way to keep up to date with the latest music while you’re waiting for the car in front of your to move 3 inches forward.
Prep your car
Install Bluetooth connectivity in your car – if it does not come equipped with it – so you can make and take calls while you drive. Most of Carlease’s new fleet acquired this year has this feature allowing you to pair your phone to the car, making calling seamless and safe.
Traffic jams are great for your social life. Make sure you have a designated drive buddy (someone who has the time to chat with you on the phone while you drive) for the day and exchange information about what’s going on in your life and theirs while you are stuck in a jam. Don’t call the same person more than once a week, though, or you may end up friendless!
Ask your map
Even if you take the same route to work every day, you can avoid being stuck in a jam if you check the route with a navigation app. These are usually up-to-date to the last 10 minutes with traffic info. A few minutes spent on the app may save you half an hour in a jam.
In the Car
The reading habit
This one comes from a regular former commuter who did the Al Quoz-Sharjah trip daily. The guy is now in Canada, but while he was here he amazed everyone with how alert he was despite having spent more than an hour behind the wheel. His secret, he said, was audiobooks. With Tolstoy on your speaker telling you a story, or Raymond Chandler keeping you hooked to the latest mystery, you will look forward to drive time, taking the longer route back from meetings. Think about the last time you read a gripping book, one that you could not put down, and imagine that someone is telling you the story, delightfully read while you drive. Audible probably has the best collections of audiobooks out there.
Have you ever seen those pamphlets on airplanes that tell you how to keep nimble during long flights? Something similar applies during long drives – lift your feet off the floor, rotate feet in circles, repeat clockwise and anticlockwise. Raise your toes off the ground. Raise shoulders and rotate them in circular motion – again, clockwise and anticlockwise. Do a neck roll – tilting the head to each side after relaxing your shoulders. Then roll your neck backwards and forwards and sideways. Remember the exercise tip about walking along the aisle? Umm, don’t do that.
Some popular car games which come to mind are 20 Questions, where one person guesses what the other is thinking in 20 questions, and Fact or Fiction. The latter is a useful game in today’s fake news era. After all, those Whatsapp forwards promising doom and gloom need to be put to some use. The game involves one person talking about a news event that may or may not have happened and depending on whether you guessed right, or asked for more information, you gain or lose points.
In an unfamiliar location, you may even have fun reading all the unusual sign boards and names.
Most of us have grown up on a steady diet of travel songs. Here is your chance to make sure that the children know your songs as well. You can get them to sing along or just treat them to your singing – captive audience, anyone?
Check out a Podcast
Tune in to the best podcasts for your area – there is a wealth of humour and insight just waiting to be devoured. iTunes usually maintains a pretty comprehensive list of podcasts, the most popular of which can be seen at the links below.
Make friends with the RJ
Play the radio. Lurk for days and then start participating in quizzes. Who knows? You may win some of interesting prizes such as a ticket for an upcoming concert or a game. Your local radio station is also a good source of information to find and provide traffic updates.
Take a break
Do you know that club with a pool that’s on the way home? They have monthly memberships. If traffic jams are a daily reality, consider not driving back at that time while still getting some time for yourself. Take a gym membership close to work, or learn a new skill – speaking Arabic, or swimming or anything else that you may have wanted to do but not had the time for.
Life in the fast lane can be enticing and exciting, but could become lethal if your tires aren’t up to the challenge.
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