Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday prayers

This post might be provocative. Please ignore this post if you are easily provoked. This is just what strikes my mind while stuck in traffic in a hot Friday afternoon.
Today is a Friday. My colleagues decide to have their lunch at a nearby shopping mall. Not feeling like having fast food for lunch today, I decided to have lunch at a nearby normal Chinese stall. Anyway, nearby is not really that near also as I still have to drive there.
It was a quick lunch and I thought I would want to make it back to the office earlier and finish up my work. It was terrible on the way back. I was caught in a jam caused by people on the way to their Friday prayers. It seems like either the mosque do not provide adequate parking or the devotee find it more convenient to park their car at the roadside. So, a normal three lane main road becomes as tight as a 2 lane kampung road with people crossing the road wherever they wish. You will also see a lot of motorcyclist riding without helmet. Maybe because this is prayer time and their God had suddenly made them invincible to traffic accidents.
Do these people realize that it is illegal to park at roadside? Or do they know it is illegal but since they are on their way to prayers, their God will forgive them?
Also, the town council in this area had been actively giving summons and towing away vehicles for illegal parking. You can see them making their rounds everyday, except during Friday prayers. So, did the town council give special privilege to Friday prayers? Or is it because all the officers are also religious and is already inside the mosque doing their prayers?
On a separate note, these prayers also interfere a lot with productivity. Most government offices have to shut down during Friday prayers to accommodate for their staff performing prayers. So, do they extend their business hours on Friday to make up for it? I might be making a false accusation here, but I have a feeling that most of the people who claims they are going for prayers, are actually using that as an excuse to do other stuff such as going to the malls.
Anyway, I have no problems with people going for prayers. Just make sure you don't break the law and become and an inconvenience to others.