August 19, 2016

Quotidian traffic, routine and commute in urban and rural areas

A queue of cars at the traffic light in downtown Yangon. Photo: Ye Myint (GNLM)
A queue of cars at the traffic light in downtown Yangon. Photo: Ye Myint (GNLM)

Basically, there exist two different human settlements around the worldwide i.e. urban settlement and rural settlement. Normally, the urbanized settlement and rural settlement are made on land. Nowadays, very few tribes live in primitive lifestyle and in nomadic life and they prefer to live in un-spoilt beauty of nature on earth freely. Nevertheless, their ultimate aim is fundamentally the same i.e. the survival of the fittest. The Eskimos (Inuit) can adapt to the extremely cold climate and cold regions and they survive. They love to live there and they are given a gift of God to live in such places and can survive with miraculous protection. They can get access to food and drinkable water and a very awesome shelter (igloo) and clothing. However, it is not possible for the people from different climate to live there permanently. Their settlement is not fit for other races of people to live under the extreme or harsh weather conditions. The other people will not be able to endure the extremely cold climate nor adapt to it.
The Inuit or Eskimos are the only human inhabitants in these icy and snowy places in the world. Their survival in these regions is a miracle indeed. In Myanmar, a race of people called ‘Salons’ known as ‘Moken’, live in the seawaters off Taninthayi coast of southern Myanmar. They are a nomadic tribe and they move from an island to island with the canoes — their homes. In the world, some small tribes live in the desert or in the huge forests, e.g. people in the Amazon forest. N.B. man can live and survive even in the great wilderness. This shows that our mother earth graciously supports sustenance for life. No one can deny the truth that any habitable place on earth belongs to entire human race irrespective of diverse tribes or races.
The urbanites or city dwellers rely on city-transport to go to work, school, college and factory whichever destination is not a walking-distance in a big city. Even when they do not want to walk to the daily bazaar, which is close to their houses, they take a rickshaw-ride or side-car ride. The quotidian traffic in cities is modern and faster so that they can travel from one place to another within the city or town. However, in some crowded cities, people encounter traffic congestion every day. In large cities, the worst traffic jam occurs during rush-hour and the people are stuck in it.
The increasingly imported cars, inadequate roads and poor traffic control system cause this problem. During the peak periods, the car drivers use a small road called a rat run to avoid traffic congestion on the main roads. Therefore, the situation of quotidian traffic in urban is frustrating and annoying. Few of the commuters in the cities travel by over ground trains or by underground. Depending on the facilities and sophisticated road infrastructure, the quotidian traffic can be convenient for the city commuters in their daily life. If the traffic system and traffic control management are awfully poor, the quotidian traffic in urban areas cannot be smooth and faster indeed. The smooth traffic is very essential for the urbanites to cope with the rat race. Students, factory workers government staff, company stuff must be able to get to their destinations punctually.
Rural people do not mainly depend on vehicles or motorbikes in quotidian traffic since there are not much roads and streets in the countryside. The villages are scattered in the rural areas with sparse population and their livelihood depends on farming, fishing and animal husbandry. In some developing countries, the population growth of rural areas (combination of village tracts) is greater than urban  areas. The pace of rural life is relaxing, calming and steady. Lots of open space in countryside does favor the rural people to be able to live and move comfortably. Luckily, Mother Nature on earth embraces the rural people! They use footpath as the road linked to places in a certain village or to nearest village. They get used to walk as far as they can in the countryside. Obviously, the rural life style is different from the urban life style. They are also free from concrete wood or concrete jungle which has already occupied the modern cities. They do not have rush-hour or fixed- working hours like urbanites. Even then rural people are contented and simple so they do not have much anxiety or stress. They can travel from one village to another by walking or by bike or by bullock cart. If there is a creek or a stream or a rivulet in the specific area, they travel by sampan or small boat to reach their destinations such as school, sawmill,and rice mill and depot. They do not encounter traffic jam nor traffic control. They can move freely here and there without worries about delay. The quotidian traffic of rural people is simple, smooth and easy for them. No matter how slow the traffic is, they could manage to secure their livelihood on daily basis.
The daily life of urbanites is different from that of rural people’s life. The urbanites must draw the quotidian routine properly so that they can manage to perform their respective daily activities. In order to cope with the pace of urban life, the urbanites spend their day time and night time for livelihood properly or in accord with individual work i.e. day shift/night shift/ overtime. As for those who are employees or staff or workers spend eight hours at work and spend about two hours for commuting from their home to work place every day. Approximately, the urbanites spend ten hours out of twenty-four hours for earning or livelihood and the rest fourteen hours are for normal sleeping time, enjoyment of entertainment and meal times. Their stressful life leads them to be alert all the time. Unless they can draw the quotidian routine, they might lose or fail in any endeavor. This is the quotidian routine of urbanites.
Rural people are early risers and they can manage their quotidian routine rhythmically. Normally, they are free from noises, air-pollution and stress because they live in countryside and they are being well-contended too. Simply, they work on farm with their own timing or timelineevery day. They get up early in the morning and have some breakfast meal. Then they prepare for work on farm or in the fields with cattle. They take lunch break around midday. After having lunch, they feed their cattle and livestock. Afterwards, they resume their work on farm or in the fields until late afternoon. Some herders or cowboys or cowgirls put out their cattle to pasture from midday till dusk. In the night, after having dinner, they chat and discuss about daily work each other. They listen to the radio and watch the entertainment on TV. They regulate their quotidian routine for different daily work and accomplish it properly. Instead of using alarm clock, they use biological alarm clock for quotidian routine. They never stay late at night. This is the quotidian routine of the rural people.
The exciting, tiresome and time-consuming quotidian commute occurs in the urban area. Since the city areas are large, people have to travel by land vehicles or ferry boats or trains etc.The quotidian commute of urbanites could be long or short to work or desired destinations in large cities .i.e. from suburb into downtown area. Today most commuters travel from one suburb to another suburb or one suburb to city in quotidian commute in urban areas.They spend few hours on quotidian commute, experiencing tedious and intolerable traffic jam on the way up and down. These days, long commute has to spend much longer time than before due to traffic jam on narrow roads in the city. Besides, the city circular trains are jam-packed with commuters in quotidian commute. However, urbanites must do quotidian commute for their livelihood or way of life in urban areas indeed. Otherwise, they might not be able to obtain creature comforts and urban standard of living or settlement.
Rural people typically commute from one village to another village by bullock cart or by bike or on foot. Their quotidian commute may be classified into long commute and short commute. The livelihood of some rural people depends on wood cutting, hunting and fishing on daily basis. They go into jungle or woodland for livelihood. In this case, the quotidian commute might be longer or shorter in accord with the distance between their homes and destinations.
The landscape, infrastructure, human settlement, peoples’ lifestyle and livelihood between the urban and rural areas are different. The great gap between the two areas is living standard i.e. availability of modern housing in urban areas. The rural life style seems peaceful and calming, but urban life style looks like busy, exciting and competitive. According to situations and circumstances of both the rural people and urbanites the quotidian traffic, routine and commute work naturally.


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