Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Case for Public Transit

Living in Europe had many pros and cons. Obviously I felt like living in the US had a better pro/con ratio than living in Prague or I woudn't have moved back. However, tonight I'm not so sure I made the right choice.

I think what I miss the most about living in Praha is not having to drive a car. I tell people all the time how much I hate driving. I mean the biggest reason why I won't spend a lot of money to buy a new car is that from the moment I get in a car, my main thought is how quickly I can be back out of that car. Driving just annoys me. I'm not even a fan of passengering. I know that sounds crazy to most of my friends, but I just don't like the whole car part of my existence.

Life in Prague eliminated that concern for me. I could get anywhere I needed in that city without a car. If it was close enough, I walked. If it were farther I'd either take the tram, the metro (that's subway for you Yanks) or occasionally I'd slum it on the bus.

I loved the year I spent in Europe if for no other reason than it offered me a car-free existence. The benefits even trickled down. I had no car payments, no insurance bills, no deductibles, and no outrageous gas prices to deal with. And best of all, the extra walking I had to do helped me drop about thirty pounds in about nine months. It was win-win for me, and I loved every minute of it.

Why bring this up now? First of all, I must confess that I was in an accident about ten days ago. I rear-ended a Nissan Sentra that seemed to manifest out of nowhere at a traffic light where it decided to sit still when the light was green. Still, the law says my bad because I didn't exercise due caution by stopping in time. C'est la vie. My driver discount disappears from my insurance. My bill goes up about $24 a month. I'm totally bummed.

Fast forward to tonight. I go to my friend Graham's house in Nashville for some casual hangout time. I go to my to car to leave at about midnight only to discover that I was the recipient of a nice hit and run. I was parked on the street across from a driveway, so I'm sure they backed into my car and drove off. By the time the police showed up at about 2 a.m., the car in their driveway had a tarp draped completely over it. Oh well... nothing they can do. Now I just sit back and hope that the insurance company doesn't stick it to me royally because someone backed up into my car without my permission.

I can't wait to move back to a place with comprehensive public transportation. Anyone want to buy my house?

1 comment:

margaret said...

amen. A-MEN. I hate driving and I hate all the people who are allowed to drive that have no business doing so. At my last apartment - up until I moved - I often took the Nashville city bus downtown into work. Most people thought I was crazy and unsafe...yes, there are some interesting personalities on the bus, but it was fabulous. Not to mention I stopped having to pay almost $100 to park - FOR WORK.

Sorry to hear about your recent misfortune.

And I'm going to use this time to tell myself that your dislike of driving is the sole reason we never hang out anymore. Right?