Sunday, June 07, 2020

Journey to Exeter Services

Though local traffic had almost got back to ‘normal’ levels, we were surprised to find the highway virtually empty, leading me to surmise that we were in a post-apocalyptic road movie, which was sort of true (lockdown mostly felt over). The trees and foliage either side of the highway felt wildly overgrown and green (a good thing); there were birds of prey perched on the median strip, various abandoned car parts were littered along the shoulder and signs of fresh road kill were abundant (a bad thing).

We did some shout-singing on the way; we were euphoric screaming U2’s Without or Without You, and just reached the “Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh” bit at the end when the traffic news on the radio suddenly interrupted us. It was a huge comedown; the “Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh” became an anti-climatic “Oh”.

The Moto Services didn’t dispel my apocalyptic road movie feeling. Most of the shops and food places were shut but the toilets were open. The lights were on, music was playing from loudspeakers, but no one was home. Traffic cones, warning signs and black and yellow hazard tape reinforced my feeling.

Anyway, we successfully handed over the merchandise, a teenage girl, and went on our way. I tried counting the traffic cones for some roadworks along the highway, gave up. I estimated it to be 4,000. Then I looked up how many cones are in the UK: impossible to know precisely, but 1.3 million approximately, 140 million worldwide.

No comments :