Have you ever experienced going on a long drive and doing your darnedest best to stay awake and alert? We all know that one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – enemies of a motorist is sleep or fatigue. That is why we always hear of safety admonitions to get some rest before driving, and that if you feel tired while on the road, it would be better to stop and nap rather than to push on.
How about an alternative wake up call? In China, the police have found a way to wake their drivers up and keep them safe on the road while at it. This novel wake up technique does not make use of the traditional caffeine jolt. Neither does it involve encouraging motorists to nap and rest. Instead, the police are serving motorists with raw chili.
Yes, raw chili. According to Reuters, the police in the southwestern part of the country (Chongqing region) have made it their mission to keep drivers awake. Their main strategy is to offer loads of raw chili in highway service stations. This is also in keeping with the Chinese belief that people become sleepier during spring.
And what do the drivers have to say about this? Chen Jun, a van driver plying the southwestern route says that “It’s really good to have some hot peppers when you are tired from driving. They make you alert.”
If the chili is as strong as I think it is, then it would certainly keep you alert for hours.