THE TRAFFIC SURVIVAL KIT – things to do when in the Nairobi traffic Jam!

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Out of all the things that cause us anxiety, traffic jams are right at the top of the list. In rainy or sunny weather, nothing can prepare you for the uncouth matatus that have zero road etiquette, or the traffic lights that may or may not work and many other unprecedented incidences that can put you in a foul mood for the rest of your day.

When the speed at which you can get to your destination is beyond your control, what do you do? At Easy Taxi, we often can’t do much about the traffic but we do want all our customers to have an enjoyable ride. So we have listed some activities that you can do in order to ease the agony of sitting in the jam.

Listen to the music on your phone
This is a no-brainer. Although most vehicles have functioning radios, the content isn’t always appealing. So we recommend that you load your phone with your favorite songs and let the music take you elsewhere; it’s a much better way to pass the time then to stare outside your window or look at your watch every 10 second interval. You’ll get there when you get there!

Carry a book or get the audio option
There’s no better time to expand your knowledge than to read the newspaper and always have a good book with you in case of long hours of traffic. Naturally this applies to passengers, although if you are a driver then audio versions are now available. If you are going into an important meeting then this is a great time to increase your knowledge on possible talk points. Or if you’re headed to a casual gathering then you can always check out news on latest events, restaurants and much more from your local newspaper.

Carry a healthy snack
As more and more people are becoming more health-conscious, the best way to curb cravings for unhealthy food is by snacking on healthier options. You can have fruits that aren’t too messy to carry around like bananas, apples, pears or guavas. Snack bars are also great to keep your energy levels up. Rehydrate by always having a bottle of water with you. Lastly, always have a mini paper bag to keep all your trash so that you don’t litter the car you’re in!

Call your loved ones
No more excuses. If you’re stuck in traffic then this is a great opportunity to call your parents, siblings, your friends or your significant other. Generally there’s no excuse for you to not use this down time to engage in a casual conversation – not everything has to be about business, so try and limit the amount of time you’re thinking about targets and invest in enhancing your relationships (if you are the driver, please use your hands free).

Take a nap
It is said that a 10-15 minute nap during the course of the day improves your performance. Some organizations believe this so much that they facilitate napping by providing their employees with places to rest their heads during their lunch break. If you are in a taxi then take advantage of this time and take a snooze. But make sure you don’t miss your stop.

De-clutter your wallet
Apart from storing money, wallets can also hold alot of unnecessary pieces of scrap paper like gum wrappers, old receipts, old business cards and other paraphernalia that you probably won’t ever use. There is no better time than when you are in traffic to de-clutter all rubbish from your wallet and keep only that which is needed.

Sing out loud
This is my absolute favorite activity! Pump up the volume on your radio station or the one on your phone and sing along to that jam. After the shower, singing in the car is the next best thing – it is quite liberating and alleviates all negativity that comes with sitting in traffic. Go on and release your inner diva, sing out loud!

Have a conversation with the person in the car next to you
Once I was in a grid locked traffic jam for over an hour. At one point it got so infuriating for everyone that people just started honking their horns relentlessly, but this proved to be a futile exercise. Suddenly two drivers next to each other rolled down their windows and began to exchange their grievances. After a while they were laughing and exchanging business cards and for one brief moment, all seemed right with the world. I don’t know what happened after that, but the fact that they were able to crack a smile goes to show that there’s always a moment to network, even in traffic!

Taking selfies
This does not need any instruction or guidance from me since majority of what I see on social media is people in their cars taking selfies. It is fun way to distract yourself from everything else going on around you.

Hold your breath
This is a much needed technique that is practiced by those involved in sports activities. Holding your breath teaches you how to endure any pain that may occur while swimming. Breath control is perfectly healthy and it is said that your body will be better for it. It basically extends the amount of time your body can do without new oxygen going into your body. Don’t overdo it though, this is just a light exercise that you can do for a few seconds to pass the time.

Article by Angela Mwandanda, Head of PR at Easy Taxi.

Thank God you are not one of these guys. Imagine a jam that long.

Angela Mwandanda

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