Supply and Demand

Everything. Is. Dependent. On. The <pause>. Supply. Of Dollars. In. Relation. To. The Cedi.

The shrill, halting voice of the African economist filters in and out of my consciousness as I stare blankly at the vehicles, stacked row upon row, seemingly to the horizon. I consider changing the station.

Since it’s Thursday, traffic shouldn’t be an issue

I had thought to myself

Meaningless beeps staccato to a crescendo. I ponder my next move. The lumbering beast beside me inches forward, 16 wheels in unison. When he moves, people listen. Stay out of the way of the big guy.

Do I take this lane? Does this merge into those seven, now eight, now ten vehicles on my right? Are they just exiting? Should I signal? Is life simply meaningless?

I descend into nihilism as three merchants, goods perfectly balanced on their heads, overtake me at a leisurely pace. On foot.

We move, slowly.

There are two lanes of merging traffic here, just prior to two lanes of exiting traffic. Everyone is going to the same places, at the same time. Heading east, on the expressway. Heading off, to the Mall. Or heading north, towards East Legon. Too many cars, not enough lanes.

It’s a problem of supply and demand.

And yet, despite the outnumbered lanes. It works.

With patience, skill, a sense for flow.

And patience (did I mention patience).

If you see space on the road, you have the right to fill it.

The overarching principle: keep things moving, however that might happen. Lanes are suggestions. When space exists, it is filled.

Honking is prevalent, but road rage near nonexistent. Travel throughout the country and you will be hard pressed to see an outraged driver. Courtesy rules the day, a sense that we’re all in this together.

Somehow, eventually, supply and demand merge and yield, reaching equilibrium.

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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4 Comments

  1. I like the way you bring us back to the start after throwing us into traffic. Somehow after all the merging and yielding, we all move to where we want to go. You captured the pace and patience of driving in Accra’s vividly.

    Like

  2. This post made me think of my time in India. There were always so many lanes of traffic, regardless of the number of lines on the road. I didn’t feel comfortable on foot or in a car in Indian traffic.

    Like

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