With traffic continuing to be an inevitable part of our lives, we are left with no choice but to find ways to ease the pain a little.
There are things you can do even before your drive or your ride begins, just like musician Raimund Marasigan who said, “I always check the MMDA traffic app, check Waze and Google Maps for alternate routes before heading out. If it’s really bad, I take a bike.”
And if you’re stuck, the trick is to keep yourself entertained. Alice Liu, VP for merchandising and product development for Golden ABC, relies on Spotify and Candy Crush to amuse herself while in the car.
Here are other ways to cope with horrible traffic.
Carpool. If an office mate or schoolmate lives near you, you might want to start carpooling. It’s a triple win: You lessen the number of cars on the street, you get a break from driving when it’s your carpool buddy’s turn and you get a companion you can chat with during really bad traffic jams.
Play games. It doesn’t matter if you’re alone or with other people in the car; you can play games while stuck in traffic. Come up with acronyms for license plates, see who can add license plate numbers the fastest or who can spot the most number of red cars. It might also be time to resurrect the Pendong Kotseng Kuba game, although those Volkswagen Beetles seem to be even more rare now.
Have access to good music. Prepare a playlist, burn a CD or fill a flash drive with good songs. Discover new artists and albums using the Deezer and Spotify apps. Swap traffic playlists with friends. And then sing along.
Listen to an audio book.
Listen to podcasts.
Find your favorite DJ. If preparing a playlist sounds like too much work, turn on the radio. Look for a show with the least annoying commercials and with hosts that will entertain you and keep you company while on the road.
Make it educational. If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, pop in an audio course CD.
If you’re not driving, make your traffic time productive. Read a book you’ve been wanting to read, reply to e-mails, write your grocery list.
Return calls—but only if you’re not driving.