Monday, February 15, 2010

The car

I kind of bought a car. Or rather a third of a car. It's nice to have a car every once in a while, but I don't have any daily use for it.

I promised my dear parents not to start driving it on snow and ice, what with having had a long break from driving, and having never had a rear-wheel drive car. Somehow, though, I managed to do exactly that, and due to natural lack of common sense I even mentioned it to them. Eek.

Anyway, I kinda like driving. It's parking that I hate. With a passion. Not even the parallel-park part, even though my parallel-parking skills appear to have rusted a bit. It's looking for a damn parking spot in the first place that I really hate. And looking. And looking. And finding, and then realizing that it's too small. And looking again. And finding, and parking, and getting stuck in the snow. And being unable to get in or out. And trying to get out and realizing that I can't open the drivers' door because of the snow. And climbing out of the passenger door, insulting the door, the snow and their mothers, and shoveling the snow from under the wheels. And finding another spot, 4 blocks away, and wondering about carrying 200 kilos of Lundia for 4 blocks. And then wondering about what the hell the the "I" parking permit, which I certainly do not have, and do I really have to move it somewhere by 9am, and where?

I've always wondered about people who equate a car with freedom. I can understand it in rural areas, but I've also met them in Helsinki. For me, freedom of movement is that I go to a bus stop without looking at the schedule, and immediately a bus shows up. A car is the opposite of freedom - it's more like a very demanding pet, who needs to be fed, taken to a vet, and kept in appropriate places.

However, just like many pets, it's quite a lot of fun.


Tony said...

"I've always wondered about people who equate a car with freedom. I can understand it in rural areas, but I've also met them in Helsinki."

I think a part of it might be where you usually go to - and maybe what you drive, too. I don't drive to downtown areas all that much, certainly avoid the rush hour, and when I do go somewhere it is usually on a work related issue and I have a parking permit which lets me find space. I also drive a Jeep and I really do not have the same amount of problems with snow. :)

There is also a philosophical aspect to this - when I hop into my Jeep I have control of the vehicle and the ability to decide for myself where it goes. When I climb onto a bus I am dependent on the driving skills of an unknown person and can only go where the bus routes go.

Back into the practicality aspect: my Jeep lets me carry basically as much gear as I want it to. Try hauling 500 rounds of .45 and another 500 rounds of shotgun ammo whilst traveling on a bus? Or all your gear to the shooting range a good 100km away from Helsinki, because in this Age of the Wimp that is the closest place you can train with a rifle, large bore pistol and shotgun... Also, once you get away from downtown area the ability of the public transportation system to transport you where you want to go drops exponentially. You do not need to go outside Helsinki city limits to be in a place where public transportation ceases to be amusing.

In short, lifestyle, location, philosophy. These seem to me to be the things that create different viewpoints on the issue.

Anonymous said...

Asukaspysäköintitunnus is really good to have. Especially in "I" area where parking spots are limited. It just makes life easier. It is also quite cheap even after the green fascists three-folded the price.