SeSam.hu

SeSam is Péter Szilágyi, Engineering Manager at Ustream, residing in Budapest, Hungary. This is his playground.

No Cars Go

There seems to be a smog alert in Budapest. So the city council made a decision to restrict cars taking the Chinese example. Just like in Beijing before the Olympics people can only use cars within the city limits with license plates ending on an odd number on one day then even on the following until the air pollution normalises.

The only problem is, what might have worked in a much more obedient Asian country is surely bound to fail in Hungary. I’m going out on a limb here and predict without checking any statistics that most drivers won’t give a flying fuck about what the mayor asks in the name of the community. Who the hell is the community anyway?

Should there be a smog alert in Tokyo with similar restrictions one would be hard pressed to find someone disobeying. Japanese may have an unhealthy devotion towards the greater good of the Land of the Rising Sun, but this actually comes in handy in such situations.

Of course I can’t tell what I would do if I had a car, used to driving to work. Public transportation is not great at most areas, even though it’s a lot better than people give credit for. And I have no idea why would anyone drive in the Budapest traffic.

Anyway until cheating taxes from the government is generally viewed as something to be proud of, until we judge people by their nationality and until we respect property so little that rioters can torch and destroy half the downtown of Budapest on every other national holiday we are not really Europe.