Longest Traffic Jam Ever: Just Shoot Me

Cynthia Dermody

worst traffic jam china

I will never complain about traffic again. I feel pretty petty about all the bitching I did the other day when we hit a sluggish point in the highway that slowed us down from 60 to 25 mph and delayed our pleasure trip about 10 minutes. That's what living in New York does to you. It makes you impatient when you have no right to be.

But imagine, just imagine, being stuck on the highway for not minutes, not hours ... but DAYS! It's happening in Beijing, China, that land over thar that never ceases to amaze me with all its recent strangeness, like visits from UFOs. Maybe they've been sent to deal with China's horrific traffic problems.

Imagine, just imagine, bumper-to-bumper gridlock spanning for 60 miles with cars moving little more than a half-mile a day. Imagine having to sleep in your car -- with your kids! What if you forgot the porta-potty or extra diapers? What if you forgot extra Goldfish crackers or fruit roll-ups? What if you only started out with a quarter tank of gas?

Shoot me now.

This was the jam at its worst. Now at the 10-day mark, things have improved since this weekend, reports NPR. But the road construction that's causing it is expected to go on until the middle of September. Yeah, right. And that roadwork near my house was supposed to be done a year ago.

Some of the Chinese drivers have been stuck in traffic for five days. They are passing the time by sleeping and getting out of their cars and walking around, or buying price-gauged bottled water and noodles from local merchants who are making a killing on the massive transportation crisis.

But how far can you really walk when you have to constantly get back into your car, put it into gear, and move three feet? That would be maddening, especially with my manual transmission. My poor tendonitis-inflicted wrists would have to be put out of their misery for good.

But oh, yeah, I wouldn't have to worry about my wrists, because with the whining my kids do when they are hungry for all of five seconds, I'd have ended it all already, probably by abandoning my car and walking.

What's the longest traffic jam you've been stuck in?

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