For more photos of today’s traffic in Sao Paulo, go here.
Today was my first metro (subway) strike in Sao Paulo. Well, the first one that I noticed. Not only did I get stuck in a cab for a ridiculously long time, but my class got rescheduled in anticipation of no one showing up.
In 2005, we had a subway workers strike in the dead of winter. Lucky for my husband and I, we worked in walking distance of our offices. In fact, New York is much, much easier to walk than Sao Paulo, and during the strike, many people just walked to work. Many of the other bunch who lived too far to walk worked remotely. One thing many New Yorkers got out of the 911 tragedy is the technology and ability to work remotely, so they are pretty much ready for anything.
I don’t know if Sao Paulo workers are set up for the same thing, but it seemed that everyone was in a car. At some point, while I was stuck in traffic in the cab, people began to just get out of their cars and walk. Now, of course, these were people either with drivers or in cabs. But it got that bad. And apparently it only got worse as the day went on.
I also think that workers in the U.S. aren’t as desperate to get somewhere on a snowy, no subway day as in Sao Paulo. Perhaps the fact that the metro isn’t running wouldn’t be a good excuse here. In the U.S., in some of the cities, a spattering of snow is a good excuse as any to not go to work.
Lucky for me, I’ve designed most of my life to be corralled into a four block radius. So I picked my daughter up from school (four blocks) went to a friend’s place (four blocks) and then to the Carrefour (four blocks). Don’t’ know how long I can keep this convenient world going, but I hope at least past the next strike.