In the modern world, it’s easy to become immune to traffic. We spend so much time in and around cars that seeing them becomes second nature. Instead of standing out, they simply create the background.
Nighttime is different. That time of day when lights shine and glitter and the urban jungle takes on a whole new look. Flickr user Jason Rodman snapped this nighttime traffic shot and titled it “Chutes and Ladders,” a fitting name for the traverse of red and white in the midst of a city.
Vientiane may be the quietest national capital in the world. The common aphorism that Lao PDR stands for “Lao, Please Don’t Rush” is particularly appropriate given the laid-back nature of Laos‘ capital. The Mekong river maunders next to the city and seems to vacuum out the impetus and pressure of daily life here.
But quiet though it may be, it is suffering from a growing traffic problem as more people purchase cars. Of course, compared to any other major Asian capital, its traffic jams are laughable. The above photo from Flickr user rkzerok shows central Vientiane around rush hour.
However, Vientiane was never meant to handle much traffic at all. Its tiny roads can seem pretty packed despite only boasting as many cars as a Wal-Mart parking lot. And in response, the Lao government has even implemented laws to ease the congestion.
We here at Gadling are airplane nerds. We take pictures of the view from the gate, our inflight meals, and even take portraits in the bathroom. Even my daughter has become an airplane nerd before the age of 2, stopping in her tracks and pointing to the sky at the sight of a plane flying over. Naturally, this Instagram shot caught my eye, for the view from the wing of runway traffic at Jakarta airport and variety of planes in the queue. An airplane nerd might look at this and start daydreaming about where the other planes are going, how spacious their seats are, and what they might be having for lunch.
In India there’s a man for everything – the wallah. The chai-wallah dispenses your tea. The auto-wallahs drive the ubiquitous auto rickshaws. The dhobi-wallah does your laundry. They are India’s indefatigable industrious core and the exact opposite of a jack-of-all-trades.
The mastery with which these wallahs perform their one task is often mesmeric to watch. A chai-wallah mixes his liquid ingredients with a balletic grace, launching a pot full of boiling spiced tea across space precisely into a waiting cup. The auto-wallahs navigate through gaps in traffic with an instinct that borders on precognition. The dhobi-wallah’s metronomic dunking and slapping of shirts and pants could stand in for any band’s rhythm section.
So in a country where electricity can be unreliable, it only makes sense that Indian fun fairs turn to the wallah to keep the good times rolling, as seen in this antique Internet video from four years ago. An Indian fair ride can be a terrifying thing (witness the rusty, squeaking supports), so the impressive acrobatic talents of the Ferris wheel-wallah are all the more admirable – maybe not join-in-the-fun admirable, but certainly regard-from-afar-with nodding-approval admirable.
They say you can reach a meditative state through repetition. Who is to say if that’s the case here, but the white-shirted gentleman certainly appears to be in the zone.