I’ve just come home from a 3-day business trip to Manila. I enjoy Manila, but the traffic is horrific and getting worse. It took more than 2 hours to travel from the airport to my hotel on Tuesday, and a similar time for the return journey on Friday. Someone warned me that on a rainy Friday afternoon it can even take 5 hours! That might have been an exaggeration, but many people told me of 3-hour trips.
That should be absolutely unacceptable. But Filipinos and Filipinas are patient people. They tend to accept things with a shrug and a wry laugh. Perhaps this has something to do with their strong Catholic faith – but Poles are just as Catholic and they can be as impatient as anyone I know.
I think it’s the Boiling Frog Syndrome at work. The traffic gets a little worse every day, slowly enough that people don’t notice the increments, just as a frog can be boiled to death in a pan of water without making a life-saving leap.
We’re all vulnerable to the Boiling Frog Syndrome. A cup of coffee used to cost sixpence. When did it break through the $1 barrier? How long did it take for it to smash through $2? $3?
What about foreign exchange rate spreads? What about bank charges? What about postal charges? What about bed-and-breakfast tariffs? We’re constantly being educated to regard ever higher prices as ‘normal’.
Oh-oh, my Stoppiness Quotient is rising fast. What do you think?