Yes, I’ve been Missing In Action. But with good reason.
I have been stuck in traffic. Not just any traffic. I’m talking congestion that puts LA to shame.
It’s called Surfers Paradise. Officially, the greatest traffic bunfight in the history of motorised vehicles.
The tourism capital, doesn’t move anymore. Roads in and out are at a standstill, day and night. I know this, because I spent much of last week stuck. With blood boiling.
It’s a city gridlocked. No-one can get anywhere, anytime soon. Need some milk up the road? Set an hour aside. Fancy a dip at the beach? Leave at midnight, and you might get there before sundown.
People can’t get home. They now work from their cars, waiting for the lights to change.
Families have dinner in the back seat. Kids do their homework at the next intersection. I’m serious. There are drivers out there somewhere, who left to pick up the paper a month ago.
Cabbies are sending their kids to posh schools. They must be making hundreds every time the meter kicks in. Because they can’t get anywhere. They just sit and make small talk, while passengers re-finance their mortgages.
Bus timetables are out the window. They now run every four hours. Actually, change run to crawl.
They are building a light rail network through the centre of town. Look up Disruption in the dictionary, and there is a picture of this massive work site.
Every, single road is affected. Lanes are closed. Detours at every turn.
I honestly don’t know how locals are coping. The glitter strip is being strangled, choking on a mass of exhaust fumes.
It’s a classic case of politicians not thinking ahead. Years ago, the road network should have been expanded. Instead, those in power sat on their hands. Meaning drivers now sit on their bums, for hours on end.
They trams will fix it, they reckon. No-one will need cars. Look out for that flying porker. I’ll believe it when I see it.
The Gold Coast holds special memories for me. I lived and worked there for years. It’s where the girls were born. Many wonderful times.
It makes it even more painful to see the place grinding to a halt. I’m no tourism expert. But I’ll tell you something for nothing. Getting stuck for an hour in traffic each day in your board shorts is as damaging as any bikie brawl.
If you’re reading this at the lights, good luck. With any luck, you’ll be home for Christmas. Next year. Just in time to catch the new tram.