Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Riding on the Losermobile

My husband had a nickname for the bus in high school - "the losermobile". As soon as he could have a car, he saved up and got his license and drove around. Needless to say he'd rather walk than take the bus.

Me? Not so much. Don't mind it at all. Even tho I lived in a small town, there was a bus into the "city" every morning and home every evening so I could do without a car to go see a movie or go shopping. I took the greyhound bus on long trips and city buses to school...or I walked. I actually didn't get my license until I was 21 - when I needed it to drive for a landscaping job I'd gotten that summer. It just wasn't necessary - I worked around it. I tried to live near where I worked, or made sure I could bus where I needed to go. I didn't shun my car - I just found I didn't need it very often. Even now, I don't drive much, as J needs the car as he works early, before the buses start, and we have a bus that gets me to work faster than if I tried to drive anyways.

I still take the bus all over - both bellydance classes I am enrolled in this term are on bus routes, and I'll likely bus to them most times, due to J having to work. Sure, we could save up for a second car...but for all that cost, there is only the rare time when I really want the car and don't have it. And to be honest, I'm just not that good of a driver (heh), so unless I drove a lot more than I do now I wouldn't get better...right now I'm willing to bus it. No warming up or scraping the car in the winter. No worrying about slippery icy roads. I just sit down, plug in my headphones and relax.

The result is, I find I walk more, and am more in touch with the world by being out in it. I am more patient with others because I am exposed to them...driving everywhere in your cocoon can isolate you...make you fussy and less forgiving. I learn to interact and deal with people - I've never been a fan of crowds, but I find constant exposure to people makes me more relaxed. I can people watch...one of my favourite things. In the summer I bike everywhere I can...but biking in the snow is silly, so I'll stick to the bus until spring.

Last night I took the bus 20 minutes away to my first tribal style bellydance class. The timing of the buses happens to be perfect - arrives 15 minutes before, leaves 20 minutes after...stops 1 block from the school I need to go to and picks me up at my regular bus stop. A few ladies in the class saw me waiting for the bus and asked "how can you do that? It must be so inconvenient". Well, it's not my ideal life, it can be chilly some days, and it does take longer to get around, but it's not a bad thing for me. It makes me more active. I look at it this way - my house is a 10 minute walk from the bus stop, so I'm guaranteed a bit of a walk every day...I have kit for all weather types. I'm lucky enough to live in a city where I can take the bus to most places and not fear for my personal safety, and I like knowing I can get to places if I need to. It is odd, but it gives me a feeling of independance.

Don't have a point with this...I'm just sitting here on my coffee break wondering if I'd be less patient, more rude and weigh more if I had a second car. For all we do to try and be more active, I think that working it into your actual life makes it so much easier than having to slot it into times when you don't get it elsewhere...

3 comments:

Crabby McSlacker said...

I think going without another car is not only a sensible choice, but a virtuous one! Good for the environment and your health and your wallet.

MizFit said...

ok I am so stuck on the TRIBAL BELLY DANCING CLASS that I hath no car thoughts.

how was THAT experience??

I wanna know :)

Haley said...

As much as I love my car, I would be thrilled to be able to get by without one -- the hassels just aren't worth it.