Postcard from... Belgium
Moving back to Europe after three years living in Bangkok, I thought I had seen the end of the grinding traffic jams which entail sitting in six lanes of hooting cars, taxis, motorbikes and trucks barely creeping forward more than an inch every 10 minutes.
You eventually reach a certain calm acceptance as the time creeps by, and learn to appreciate the precious moments in air conditioning and not stress about something over which you have no control. But that calm appears to have left me after a few years out of Asia. I found myself getting increasingly irate in the back of a stationary cab in the Belgian city of Antwerp as the meter ticked up to €18.85 for a journey that would have taken 15 minutes on foot.
As luck would have it, I have relocated to a country which – according to some surveys – actually has the worst congestion in the world. The INRIX survey reported on the Flanders News website this week put Brussels at the top of its list, with motorists spending an average of 85.4 hours in traffic jams a year. Second on the list? Antwerp, with 76.7 hours. Los Angeles, Milan and London come close behind.
It does, however, all depend on what survey you look at. One by the SatNav company TomTom last year did not even feature Belgium, and decided that Moscow was top of the list.
Before anyone thinks of moving to Asia to escape the traffic, be warned: both those lists shy away from even trying to quantify the traffic chaos in Asia’s congested cities, where it sometimes felt like 85.4 hours were spent in one traffic jam alone.
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
- 5 We have six months to save the world, says leading economist
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Sepp Blatter resigns: FBI are investigating outgoing Fifa president, claims report
Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...