READER REPORT:

Morning diary of an Auckland commuter

MARGHERITA CLARKE
Last updated 14:40 21/03/2013
Auckland traffic
RAT RACE: The Auckland commute.

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Margherita Clarke gives us her minute-by-minute account of what it's like to commute from West Auckland on a typical morning.

07.56am: Arrive at the intersection of Universal Drive and Lincoln Rd in Henderson. Wanting to turn left, to head to the city-bound motorway. Oh good, no queue on Universal... must be my lucky day.

07:57: So, a couple of cars heading up Lincoln have decided to run the red light and are now sitting in the middle of the intersection blocking my progress. Yes! I have the green light. No, don't try to avoid looking at me, I know you know I'm there. That's OK, I'm feeling generous.

08.00: Joy! I'm now about two car lengths from where I was three minutes ago - looking promising today. Singing along to the iPod, appropriately it's 'Shut up and drive' by Rhianna.

08.04: I have crept forward so I can now smell the coffee from Columbus café, what a tease, ah well, not long now. Great chance to practise my rib-cage slides and shoulder shimmies. No, gentleman in the white Hiace, I am not coming on to you or making suggestive moves at you, it's called a 'shoulder shimmy'. Google it.

08.06: Bugger, I would've had time to pop into the café for a take-out espresso and a breakfast Panini. Turn on the radio, apparently "the faster you go, the bigger the mess". Well, Lincoln is one damn clean road then, no chance of a mess here today my fellow lemmings!

08.10: Wondering if I should bring my dirty laundry next time, I'm sure the fast-wash at that Laundromat would be done and dusted by the time I get to the motorway. And folded too. And no danger of being run over by a speeding car when the laundry is delivered back to my car *rolls eyes*.

08.13: If you guys who are trying to cheat your way into this line by using Daytona Road to push your way in think we're going to let you, you've got another think coming! I shall studiously ignore you, using my new-found tunnel vision and loud radio to pretend you aren't even there.

08.20: OK, so why are we creeping through six light changes and moving slower than a rolling snooker ball in an Auckland earthquake? Oh, maybe it's because of you people who are cavorting down the left lane, then pushing your way into our lane at the last minute - excuse me?? Why is your journey any more urgent than mine? Or that young lady's in the black Suzuki swift behind me, who has managed to apply a full face of make-up and send four Facebook status updates while sitting on Lincoln Road?? Forgive me if I don't believe you are racing to save a trapped puppy.

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08.23: By using tunnel vision, selective deafness, and sheer bloody-mindedness, I have now almost made it on to the motorway onramp. Almost. Now I just need to concentrate on travelling five cms from the bumper in front of me, while adjusting my speed so I leave no gaps behind me either (this is a skill in itself), so that you, my dear erstwhile road-mate, cannot butt your way in.

08.24: On the motorway. I may be a shaking, blithering mess, but I made it. Now where's the nearest mental health facility? Oh, Lincoln Road. LINCOLN ROAD???? Aaaarrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhh...


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