Joy in the Daily Commute

Taken at Sophienholm

Some days the effort of driving the hubby to work and then the kids to school through the peak hour traffic can do my head in.  Lately it has been different.  Perhaps it is the women’s stress vitamins I am taking or the cup of coffee I made myself for the car ride (how sad I am now beginning my drinking even earlier) but I feel that I have a new perspective and am enjoying the commute.

Every day as we drive into Dampfaergevej which is where M works there is a new level of chaos for us to navigate our way through.  When we first started driving him to work we were confronted with Netto vans, bike riders and pedestrians.  Perhaps the odd clueless taxi, nothing out of the ordinary.  Now it is as if they have decided to up the stakes and turn the street into an obstacle course with successful contenders receiving the gift of the rest of their day.

Yesterday we had cherry pickers slowly moving across the road (and then back again) and trucks parked right on a corner (a corner that no one bothers to take slowly, not even me).  The cherry picker had moved off the street this morning (now blocking the car park so M had to jump out on the street) and two trucks parked at the blind corner.  Such fun!

If you think the drive to school is boring in comparison, you are SO wrong.  First we have the intersection where everyone of the road bar three cars (thankfully I am one of them) turns left and then right.  Two thirds of this traffic is cars and the rest large trucks.  Quite often the trucks can’t make it through the intersection so we who are not turning get to navigate through the tiny space they leave.

Then we get to the junction at Svanemøllen Station.  The construction of the new metro line has made this junction into a nightmare.  One road is completely blocked off until 2015.  The rest of the intersection is down to one lane both ways with work men defying death in the middle and other odd places. The kids love seeing what new trucks have arrived while I can’t wait to see the new design of the intersection each morning.

Today we had the added treat of the traffic lights not working as well.  Once I navigate through these pitfalls (surprisingly quickly this morning) I turn left across Strandvejen to cut back up to Ryvangs Alle (the road blocked off at the station) and drive uninterrupted to school.  This can be a bit tricky as the traffic heading towards Hellerup (actually towards the freeway entrance) can be quite congested so when I stop to wait for oncoming traffic (both cars and bikes) I block everyone behind me.

The street I turn into has onstreet parking (not parallel) and, due to the blocked road, is the shortcut everyone from Ryvangs Alle is using to get into town.  Thankfully we have a small car which is old as I managed with little difficulty to squeeze past the two trucks and one mini bus who seemed to feel they had used poor judgement this morning.

I am not being sarcastic when I tell you how much joy I have had the last two mornings and I am wondering why I am not feeling my usual levels of frustration.  I think it has to do with the level of unpredictability there is on Copenhagen’s streets.  Lately you can not predict if the traffic will be heavy or light.  Yesterday it was heavy, today light.  The weather conditions have not changed.  It is always a surprise.

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2 Responses to Joy in the Daily Commute

  1. Good lord woman, I will not complain about traffic between The Hague and Wassenaar again! I’m glad you have an upbeat attitude as we both know the rain/cold/dark is coming. Zippy music and 5 minutes of calisthenics/dancing before jumping into the car may be in order during the winter…

  2. Laney says:

    The fun is just beginning, Linda. Next week we have to use public transport due to a cycling race. This coincides nicely with the replacement of the gym floor at the school (from mold due to the excessive rain in Copenhagen over the summer). The school is placing a temporary gym in the top end of the carpark (which also doubles as basketball courts) and accounts for two thirds (roughly) of available parking. The school predicts that parking will be affected for 3 months. I’m thinking I need to invest in a better quality pair of boots and the nice new coat I saw a North Face last week. 🙂

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