carrieann: Cardiff, Wales (welsh words)
Carrie Ann ([personal profile] carrieann) wrote2010-05-04 06:28 pm

transportation and time

Hello again! I was talking a friend, and telling her I was amazed at how much she reads. Her response was something on the lines of, "well, I read during travel!" So that is what this entry is about: different transportation.

I live in a part of the country where having a car is essential to life. There are no subways, no real efficient bus systems. If you want a taxi, you have to call the taxi service and arrange a pick up. I can't help but be shocked when people I know over the age of sixteen don't have a drivers license. How do they survive?? When my car was in the shop after my brother got it in an accident, I went crazy! I also find one-car families to be amazing. My boss was one of those. She and her husband shared a car. They were lucky they worked in the same town. If not, I have no idea how they would handle it, especially since she used to have to leave work for five, ten minutes to pick him up before coming back to work the rest of her shift.

There are few times I've traveled where I didn't have a car at some level. I flew up to Maine years and years ago with my brother for fall break, but our parents were already there, and they had drove up there, so we had the family vehicle. A friend and I drove 24 hours straight to Virginia. The only real times I didn't have a car (except for the night we were picked up from the airport) were the times I went to San Francisco. Of course, in San Francisco, you don't really need one. They have the Caltrain, the BART, the buses, the trolleys. The second time I went there, I took at least three of those to get from the airport to my friend's place. I think I saw maybe one or two gas stations while in the city.

Back to where this entry really started from: time. That is, the amount of time one spends traveling from place to place. My parents spend at the very least 450 minutes driving each week. That's seven and a half hours. Imagine how much could be done in that time! Whole books could be read. You could finish projects that are for work or for pleasure. There's always catching up with a relative you haven't talked to in a long time. So many possibilities. And yet, here where there isn't public transportation, we're forced to use that time concentrating on the roads (doing anything else while driving is really stupid. I will confess- I do talk on the phone while driving. But texting? No way, no how.)

I guess what I'm saying is that I wish I could have that time that public transportation people have. Maybe I would get this huge stack of books I have out from the library read and done. But then I would miss out on the experience of driving down the road, seeing interesting things that you'd miss miss when absorbed in something else, getting to control where the wheels underneath me go.

Of course, you don't always miss interesting things when taking public transportation.