THE TROUBLESOME TRAVEL Observation

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It is unfair and entirely wrong to detain man in one place; keep him waiting or preventing him from leaving or going elsewhere. Man travels from place-to-place for business, visits or other purposes throughout the day. It is human nature to be constantly on a move for whatever reason, yet, he is never immobile. Taking away his freedom of movement is equivalent to denying him his natural right. Traveling does cost the person very much unless he incurs unnecessary expenses due to unforeseen reasons.

So far the discussion has been about the general purpose of travelling. People go or travel to work place very early in the morning, midday or in the afternoon, depending upon the nature of the work they are engaged in. The variance of the work time is due to either the distance of the work place from where the person lives or transportation problems. One can witness the difficult situation that impedes easy trip from place to place.

Addis Ababa is a metropolitan city and more over the political capital of Africa. It is lately being modernized and strikingly expanding. Many people of the world, through their embassies, reside in it. Coupled with that, the constant and unprecedented influx of people from all parts of the country has congested the city blowing the number of the population out of proportion.

The streets are intolerably crowded with traffic, hardly can people move around with ease. Apart from the regular shops, every spare of land in the nooks and corners of the city is used as a market place and everything seems to be a commodity and every person, a seller. As the current situation in the city depicts, no corrective or restrictive measures are in place. It is a kind of laissez-faire, a state in which a person or persons behave the way they like despite the moral and physical injury they inflict upon the citizens,

As a matter of fact, these days, the problem of reporting for duty to work place on time is more or less becoming a wishful thinking. A delay of thirty minutes to one hour is common; it is the cause of a raw between the employee and the boss. Neither is to be blamed. While rising early to make to work place on time is the responsibility of the worker or the employee, taking the problem of transportation into account and understanding the situation is what is expected of the boss, too.

Both parties, as much as possible, on the one hand, need to comply with the job description and on the other, the implementation of the total quality management system to the best of their knowledge. The situation should not be the cause for one-sidedness and dissention between the two groups striving for the common venture for the achievement of the common objectives.

To look into the reality of the situation, an interested individual should just arrive at a bus or a taxi stop early in the morning. A long and thick line of commuters, all turning their heads to the direction from where the vehicle arrives is rather a disheartening sight. After a long waiting, the bus or the taxi arrives; the eagerness on the faces of all to jump into it and secure a seat is another appalling scene. Smiles are wiped off the faces of all, absolutely unacceptable experience in civilized societies.

While there are some decent taxi drivers, the unruly ones are bent on hoarding money at the expense of poor travelers’; despite the inconveniences they cause the travellers by forcing them to share for three a seat meant only for two is to have as many passengers as possible on board which is rather a disturbing situation. The problem does not end there; they somehow refuse to give the money change they owe the traveler despite the constant appeals the victim makes.

This situation sometimes escalates to the extent of fist fighting. What a troublesome travel! Respect and honor for humanity, a concept never heard by these riffraff individuals, should soon be brought to their understanding.

Their foul language, the other aspect, is what makes people look for another means of transportation. Here is piece of advice for you: while traveling by taxi, make sure you keep loose coins and keep safe by not indulging into discussion or argument with both the driver and the attendant, and keep quiet. They both seem to have sat at the feet of the same mentor who equips them with such unbecoming behavior. After all, they are quarrelsome. Buses are much better in comparison.

Man keeps moving from place to place. A trip within a city or distant cross-country, sometimes involves apprehension, a feeling of fear about what might happen while or after the travel. At the same time, a feeling of excitement can beautifully color the picture of the trip and good things ahead for the optimistic travelers.

For people to travel, they have to have certain things to do for the success of the trip: proper packing, while keeping all things that one uses while one he is away from home. Before even starting the travel, one needs to plan for where and how to get there. People leave the place where they live temporarily or for good; the preparation should be in accordance with the type of the trip they make. The size of the baggage depends on the type of the trip.

Coupled with this, prior knowledge about the people we travel to and the weather and geographical location, whether it is highland or lowland to keep clothes that fit each circumstance; and the situation that may trouble people could lurk somewhere along the way. The culture and the way the people we go to dress must be taken into account so that we may act and dress likewise if we seek to assimilate with them.

The general situation of the area, whether it is safe to travel at that particular time and the place of arrival matters a lot, to make our travel free of any trouble and enjoyable.

While traveling, there are risks of accidents, attacks and natural disaster which the traveller should be aware of and make all the possible preparations while travelling, and leave the rest to the care of God. To avoid the risks of attack, travelling at night is strongly disapproved. Calculate the distance and the location of the destination and start early in the morning to arrive at the place while it is still day time or before it gets dark.

One has to be sure of the condition of the vehicle; mechanical condition, availability of spare tires and fuel should well be attended to before setting out. As an ordinary traveller, the writer has witnessed that such essential things missing and because of that accidents happen at sundry times.

And thus, passengers maimed, critically injured and even die depending on the type and the severity of the accident. In spite of the grave incidence, the driver and the attendant remain indifferent to what has happened, if at all they survive. They can somehow be sued and in most situation justice that is meant to teach a lesson is rarely served.

The driver or the attendant bailed out and freely walk without fear or shame. The life lost and the blood spilt considered worthless and the bereft remain without hope. Due to the accident that took the life of husbands or wives and children, indignation is engraved in their hearts throughout their life. Burning tears ever flow as the memory of their beloved ones flash in their grief stricken minds. This is simply because the law that properly addresses such heinous crimes is not in place.

The law should have become stricter as the crime grows and is multiplied causing more and more disaster. It is high time the government took strong punitive measures before the situation gets out of control, and may threaten the peace and order of the people.

The Ethiopian Herald January 10, 2020

BY JOSEPH SOBOKA

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