Thursday, March 27, 2014

What a waste

It took me 100 minutes to go about 30 miles from my grandkiddos' school in McKinney, Texas to downtown Dallas. (Had to go there to pick up some important, time-sensitive documents; otherwise would not have put up with such madness.)

I had almost forgotten how much I hated rush hour traffic in the Metroplex. When I had an office at the DFW airport, I worked from home most of the time and only went in for critical meetings or to check my snail mail. My co-workers probably figured I was traveling most of the time, as I'd go to Montreal and elsewhere frequently. I was just trying to avoid the $25 a day cost in gas and tolls.

Think of all the wasted time Texans and others in big cities waste crawling along the highways on the daily commute. If there are a million people in their gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks and they spend an hour each way each business day, that's 10 million wasted hours a week and 500 million wasted hours a year - and that's just for Dallas/Fort Worth!

I love that we live in a place that doesn't even require a car. We can walk to just about anything we need, take the one euro bus to the 'big city' of Perpignan if necessary, and the inter-cities train or TGV to any large city in Europe. Yes, we bought an inexpensive little car, but it's as much for impromptu excursions into the mountains or to explore castles or (the primary reason) to drive to the golf course.
Our commute is about 15 feet - the distance between the bed and the home office. (Unless, of course, we grab the computers and work in bed.)

I once vowed to never live in a place that had radio traffic reports. Anything that large was too big city for me.

I can imagine the 'traffic reports' in Argeles-sur-mer. "There's a produce truck delivering to the green grocer at the end of Rue Vermeille; you'll need to walk around it, and be careful of the side mirror. On Rue de la Republique, the Wednesday marche is filling up fast with tourists, and the crowd is three-deep at the sausage stand. And at the beach roundabout, there's a line of at least five cars, so plan on an extra couple of minutes before you can stick your umbrella in the sand. Now for a word from your favorite boulangerie ..."

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