Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Crime of the Century

by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer  

Although Okinawa has added a north-south expressway in the forty years since I first lived here, as well as a monorail in Naha, most of the traffic heading up-or-down-island still seems to do so on Highway 58.  It was a busy traffic artery in the 1970's, and it remains so today.

I drive Highway 58, about five miles of it, getting to and from work each day.  Going to work is a breeze.  I have to get there early, and traffic moves well in the dark mornings.  The afternoons, however, are a different story.  Highway 58 is three lanes in both directions, and sometimes afternoon traffic moves at an acceptable rate - and sometimes it does not.  This afternoon the southbound traffic was constipated.  Added to the stalled traffic was the snafu of a whole fleet of police vehicles, lights flashing and sirens blaring, trying to get through!

Drivers were pulling over to the left and to the right attempting to clear a path for the emergency vehicles - five cars and five motorcycles.   The motorcycles weren't a problem because they routinely weave through traffic - all motorcycles, not just those belonging to the police - but it took some adroit moves to clear enough space for the racing caravan of police cars to slice through the traffic.  Amazingly, they all got through with out any apparent mishaps and sped on south.

I don't know what was going on, but from the sound and fury it must have been nothing less than the crime of the century!  Either that, or one helluva doughnut run!

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