Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life Without A Car

So I don't drive, which is one of those things that's under review, and, really, if I weren't so lazy I might decide to get a car, but I am lazy, and people have been really nice about giving me rides, and I like sitting on the bus in the morning so much and getting that extra five seconds of brain-deadness and listening to Neil Diamond tell me that the time have never been so good, and so I don't drive.

Now, obviously, there are a lot of trade-offs that you make in deciding not to drive. And some of them strike me as totally fair. It takes me longer to get places. I'm more dependent on other people. I have to put up with the other people on the bus. Sometimes I have to pay for a taxi. My life involves a certain amount of waiting around. I walk places that are a little farther to walk than is really comfortable. Sometimes I carry groceries back home. Etc.

Those are the imperfections of life and I am willing to put up with them graciously. But the other day I found myself faced with a different kind of situation. I had to go into a setting where I was not allowed to carry my cellphone with me. Also, they refused to hold my cellphone behind the desk. Sorry, they said, you have to keep it in your car.

But, I said, I don't have a car. What can I do? They said, well, then you can't take your cellphone with you.

And if there is one thing that the functioning non-driving life requires, it is the cellphone. The cellphone allows you to summon a taxi, to call for help, to extricate yourself from unpleasant situations. I got kind of pissed off, actually, thinking about it. It is not really an issue, or it is one, at least, that I can work around. But there's something about the fact that non-drivers don't just have to deal with the issue of carlessness on the transportation front, but that they have to deal with it on the lack of portable storage front, that drove me nuts, made me feel like a person without status.


Noko Marie said...

Dude, I hear you. I often go from the library to the gym, so I carry both a laptop/book sort of bag and also a gym bag. And a small purse. I can't tell you how often people call attention to these items, call me a bag lady, joke about "luggage," etc etc.

And we all know where their gym bag, planner, extra tampax, magazine, and books are: they're in the freakin' *car*.

chanchow said...

maybe you should get a bike with a locker over the back wheel.